Monday, April 20, 2009

The Art of Stopping Time

Although I don't truly believe in TIME (since all that truly exists is NOW), I do live in a world with clocks, deadlines and to-do lists, so I live around it. Some days I actually manage to stop, or at least slow down time and I'm happy to share how I manage that skill.

Saturday was a great example of slowing and stopping TIME. My friend, Barb, called and made a last minute invitation for me to join her for a "girls day". There were some errands that she wanted to run with some specific shopping needs, as well as some other potential "girl day adventures". It just so happened I had nothing scheduled, which incidentally is very helpful when you'd like to stop or slow down time.

My state of mind as our day began at around 10:00 a.m. could be described as open. I had no specific tasks on my mind, no agenda, no timeline and no attachments to getting anything in particular accomplished. I was open to having fun being with Barb. I should mention here, although that level of openness is helpful, it is not absolutely necessary in the stoppage or slowage of time (I just made up the word slowage).

Together we created our day, one moment at a time. When we made our first stop, we were both open to the experience, which happened to be checking out the grand opening of a new Ulta store, and specifically Bare Minerals make-up. We had fun getting made over (or actually made under), checked out all of our options and decided to purchase some products. I have no idea how long we were in the store, but since time stopped and we were not rushed, we were able to do all that we wanted to do.

The next few stops were in checking out individual brew pod coffee makers. Once again, we were open, relaxed and simply moved from store to store until we noticed we were getting hungry, which signaled us to stop and eat.

Lunch was leisurely and delicious. Since we were fully present with every bite, the meal was delightful and fully appreciated. Without checking our watches, we moved on to the Mall where a few more stores were visited. The slow, un-rushsed pace continued since there was no clock to beat.

On our way out of Elmira, we stopped at a new little shop that sells designer, lightly used handbags. Our visit was full, allowing us to admire every single bag in the store and engage in a fun conversation with the owner.

When we hopped back in Barb's car, I noticed the time on the dashboard clock. I couldn't believe that it wasn't later in the day, considering all that we had accomplished.

I am convinced that when we were fully present in the moment, time stopped. I have no idea how many seconds or minutes were added to day, but I know we gained some. The accumulated minutes turned into moments, and probably even hours.

What we were able to create was a full and wonderful day, without fatigue, stress, rushing, or disappointments. We practiced being present with whatever was before us in that particular moment. Time stopped, but the fun continued to build all day.

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