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Time In a Pressure Cooker

Posted by terrepruitt on September 24, 2011

There is a song about saving time in a bottle.  If we could bottle time and take it out when we needed it that would be a wonderful thing.  But then again, maybe just learning to manage our time would be a wonderful thing.  I am one that could use to learn a few things about time management.  Although as I look around me I see little things transpiring that I can use as time-helpers.  One thing is the new Facebook.  I believe that I get caught up in reading and commenting on Facebook a lot, but with this new change I find myself signing on then signing off quickly instead of staying on to look around.  So that is a little “time-helper” for me.  The new format is helping me by making me want to spend less time on it.   Spending a little less time on Facebook is one thing that would allow me more time.  For some they pack their schedules so tight they don’t have breathing room.  There is no time to just “BE”.  No time to just enjoy the moment.  No time to decompress and de-stress.  It is as if pressure is on all the time.

A Nia student of mine and I were talking about having breathing room.  She is one of those people who packs her schedule really tight.  She was sharing with me that she had wanted to go to a Nia event very badly but trying to squeeze it into her schedule was causing a lot of stress.  Even though the event was something she really wanted to do the idea of trying to fit it in a jammed packed schedule was causing stress.  Nia is joyful and is the opposite of stress.  The fact that trying to fit this Nia class into her schedule was causing her stress and was negating the joy.  Reluctantly she decided not to go, she told me that with releasing that commitment she had a great feeling of relief.  She no longer had to figure out driving time, class time, and scheduling all her other work around that.  As much as she missed not going to the Nia class it was necessary to take it off of her schedule in order to allow her less stress.  And it worked.  The moment she decided to not go, there was a release of pressure.

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia cardio dance, Nia like Zumba, Nia is fun exerciseIn our society we are programmed to go-go-go and do-do-do.  Some people don’t say no to things because “they could squeeze it in between this and that”.  People sometimes feel it is wrong or bad to say no.  If they have a spare hour they feel it would be wrong to not accept the invitation or the task.  For some having nothing to do for an afternoon is unheard of and even more so . . . . a waste of time.  And they have no time to just be.  Some can’t enjoy the moment.  They aren’t taking the time to decompress and de-stress.  They live under constant pressure.

At my next Nia class my student shared with me that after our conversation she had went home looked at her calendar and decided a few things needed to be crossed off the schedule so she could just be.  She wanted to bring the sensation and the experience of just having time to relax into her everyday life.  She had said that she was able to accomplish that on vacation but she wanted to work on having more time in her life.  She was so excited to have done this and that our conversation had reminded her of the importance of saying, “No.”  That it is ok to say no and actually have nothing to do.  It is ok to say no and to keep that time free to be.

Then a few days later she sent me an e-mail she had received with this quote from Martha Beck.

We laughed at how the quote came at such a perfect time.  We had been talking about “emptying our time” and then bam . . . there is it another reminder, or confirmation in fact, of exactly what we had been talking about.

Amazing how sometimes things in life just keep telling us the same thing over and over.  Sometimes it is when we most need it to.  I know that I am not always good at recognizing it.  I know I could adjust my time a bit.  I feel I have a good amount of time to be, but there could easily be some modifications in my time management to make things less stressful.  What about you?  Are there things you could say no to?  Are there things you could adjust?  Do you have “empty time” in which you can just be/de-stress/decompress/reflect?  If you feel you have a lot of stress maybe you could start with little increments and see how that feels and then go from there.  You might be surprised how great it feels to relieve some of that pressure and give yourself some time.

6 Responses to “Time In a Pressure Cooker”

  1. suzicate said

    Great post and timely! I had planned to take Saturday to “just be” as it had been a long time and I felt I needed it. Instead, the guilt got to me and I did a million things I knew had to be done. In the process I hurt my bad and had no choice on Sunday but to “just be”. Aside from the pain, being still and listening was just what I needed mentally.


    • Did you hurt your bad ankle? Or is it your knee? Either way, I am sorry. I am sorry that you felt the guilt, I am sorry you let it “get to you”, and I am sorry that you hurt yourself.

      Do you ever feel as if you are trying to be taught a lesson? I mean, you FELT the NEED/desire to stop and slow down but you didn’t, so then OW, you were “forced” to. Some say it is the universe, some say God, some say it is our conscious. Just wondering if you were thinking it was “something.”

      I thought it was odd that your post, Jill’s (she is a frequent commentor here. She is a Nia teacher in Wisconsin. I have never met her except thru online things.) post, and my post were all in the same neighborhood of stillness, silence, be -ing. I hope your injured body part is feeling better.


  2. Hmmmm. A posting about time and not one reference to Star Trek or relativity. You are going to get such a talking to tonight. I kid of course. I have to agree that the most time I have saved is by ignoring most of what goes on in FB.


    • Yes, not participating in things is one way to save time. I am on FB less — except with the iPad, it is not as annoying as the computer because the ticker doesn’t scroll on the iPad and when I use the iPad I feel as if I am saving time because I am usually doing something else at the same time. Ha!

      But I think you and I have a lot of “BE” time.


  3. You know I had to release devoting time to my photography business. Although, I love my camera, and I love taking pictures of people, it was tipping me over the edge. I am a firm believer in me time and down time. I have to have it, or I become a not-so-nice of a person.

    Absolutely LOVE that quote!!


    • Yes, I know you decided to put less time into your business — at present. I was so proud of you for realizing that you needed to put it on hold. I know you love it, but you have other things that you love too, so the one that was able to be paused was paused. You are a strong and wise woman. And you can probably completely understand my example where my friend/student really wanted to do something she loved, but realized it was causing too much stress so she decided not to do it. Sounds EXACTLY like you. 🙂

      I kind of think that many people are firm believers in down time or me time, but they are not all firm DO-ERS of it. Ya know? Our friend SC (if you look at the comments) believed she needed it. But she didn’t believe enough because she felt guilty not doing something and so she didn’t DO what she believed and then hurt herself and was “forced” into down time. Hope she doesn’t mind me using her as an example but it is so perfect. She felt she needed it, but didn’t do it. And that is what I was saying, people believe but they don’t do. I am glad that you have recognized you HAVE to do it. I would imagine there are a lot of things that would be better if we were all DO-ers of down time/me time.

      The time doesn’t even have to be “ME” time. It could be family time, but time when they are just relaxing and BE-ing. Taking a stroll without the cell phone glued to the ear, sitting on the beach, star gazing . . . .

      I am glad you love that quote because it is a little icky, but it gets the point across. And it was really funny to use that it came in the midst (over the course of the week) of our conversation about “empty time”. I like that phrase.


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