Time In, Not Anaesthetized Time Out

A woman came into my clinic this week and shook me up.

She’d just returned from a two week retreat/course/mini-sabbatical.

It was two weeks of being fed well and looked after while going through some self-discovery process. The kind of thing that makes you look at yourself, the parts you love and the parts you don’t. What’s working and what isn’t in your life. Whether you actually love what you’re doing with your life or not, and what you can do about that.

She looks radiant. She sparkles, for god’s sake. I wish somebody had taken LDL levels and blood pressure and all the rest of it, because she is healthier than she’s been for the seven years I’ve known her.

Which made me think, what are we really doing with our lives?

We work hard, we say, in order to create a life for ourselves and our kids, to create some kind of wellbeing. To create a future. I get that.

But something about it isn’t working.

My clinic, like any other clinic, like walk-in clinics, like hospitals, is filled with people who are there because of stress (psychological, environmental, emotional, physical, post-traumatic, dietary, blah, blah, etc.). Period. It’s the biggest contributor I know to physical pain, degeneration, disease. Stress is the Big Aggravator.

So we “fight” stress.  (Which sounds pretty stressful to me.)

When it’s too much we eat like hell, watch reality shows, drink, shop, medicate (lotta mother’s little helpers helping the day go by out there), do whatever it takes to take time out of the whole tornado whenever we can.

Even if we “fight” stress in “healthy” ways – with treadmills, therapists, “coping strategies”, baggies of carrots and celery and low-fat yoghurt – aren’t we still just demented boxers who are working at better technique?

Why not put the gloves down?

I look at my friend’s radiance and genuine wellbeing, and I think, that’s what we need to create a real future for ourselves and our kids.

We need real time in, not anaesthetized time out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for the conversation,


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3 Responses to Time In, Not Anaesthetized Time Out

  1. Tina says:

    I totally agree that we should live in real time. People have become so caught up “existing” through life that as a whole, we’ve forgotten how to stop and “live” life, and find appreciation in the simple pleasures. I took a personal inventory 18 months ago to figure out how to stop intense migraine headaches being caused by STRESS. I didn’t go see a counselor or minister, nor did I turn to medications, food, “coping strategies”, or an outside source. I stopped and looked inside. No one on earth knows me and my needs better than I. In order to do this, I had to learn to be still, listen and hear the spirit within me and seek guidance. I had to learn to breathe and feel the breathes. I returned to my personal practice of yoga(I practice at home alone). Instead of using it solely as a form of exercise and stretching, as I had in the past, I learned to meditate and relax. I learned to recognize the spiritual guidance from within. I, most importantly, learned to hear and follow the guidance I felt from within my soul. I realized I had taken care of EVERYONE else in my life, but I had failed to take care of me. I followed my heart back to the things in life that bring me joy and peace. I quit “being” religious and truly developed a relationship with the Divine Creator. I learned to live in the moment and appreciate all that I have been so very blessed to have; instead of trying to “get more” of what society sells us that we need to be happy. I learned to appreciate the simple pleasures. A beautiful sunrise or sunset, the laughter of my daughters and their friends. The warmth of the sun on my skin, the smell of fresh cut grass, a conversation with a friend, a hug. There are so many simple things that bring me joy now. Things that I had missed as I hurried through each day trying to accomplish everything on my “to do list”. Happiness doesn’t come from things that can be purchased, or from another person. Happiness is a fountain within us that is just waiting to be turned on. When I found my “on button”, the flow has been a steady stream of quiet contentment. I am a single mother of 2 teen-aged daughters, I work in a very stressful job, I have been in an extremely stressful relationship (I probably need counseling over why I’m even still in it, but that’s for another blog???)… so the stress didn’t go away… it was the change within me and my views of life, my attitude that changed and the stress induced health problems have gone away. I received the best annual health check in 5 years… lowered blood sugar levels are now 74, cholesterol good to bad ratio is in the excellent range, lowered blood pressure 104/68, I’ve lost weight,35 lbs, many positive changes have occurred. I’m almost 49 yrs old. I feel the best I’ve felt in over 25 years. It’s amazing what a paradigm shift will do for a total life make over. My advice would be to others: live in the moment and trust the spiritual guidance within yourself. Trust YOURSELF!! LOVE YOURSELF!!!


  2. nanci says:

    Every day I try to wake up a little bit more – to allow each feeling to be present – to flip the voice that breaks me down to the other voice that allows me to soar…because that is what we are designed to do – SOAR.

  3. chowsr says:

    Because I’m in the midst of completely changing my life I picked up a book at a 2nd hand bookstore called How to Survive Without a Salary ~ Learning how to live the conserver lifestyle. It’s nigh 15 years old, but contains a lot of wisdom about how much we actually need versus want and how to meet those needs.


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