You have no idea what you're missing.

Fast and slow.

Time can move fast or slow depending on how you perceive it. Each day is comprised of just 24 hours. For some, these 24 hours go by like a flash in the pan. For others, they expand as far as the eye can see like a terrible desert.

Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity says the rate at which time passes depends on the observer's frame of reference. Einstein was once asked to explain relativity in layman's terms. He said that if you put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, it seems like an hour. However, if you sit with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. Pain moves slower. Pleasure moves faster.

In between these two extremes is another measurement of time called flow. Flow happens when you are totally immersed in a task in front of you. In a flow state, time doesn't move fast or slow. It moves both fast and slow. Time becomes difficult to register. Slippery, almost. When we are in flow, hours can feel like minutes and days. Time becomes a blissful eternity.

July 15, 2024

Thinking about thinking.

Metacognition is an awareness of one's own thought process. That definition is a bit heady. Some describe it as simply thinking about thinking. Steve Jobs used to practice metacognition by sitting on a meditation cushion and staring at a wall for hours, following his thoughts.

Not all of us have such an abundance of time and so another path in honing our metacognition is sitting still for two to three minutes and forcing ourselves to think in complete sentences.

If we closely follow our thoughts, we will notice they're a series of incomplete sentences. They might look something like this: What do I want for lu... I need to follow up with... Shelly still hasn't text me... I love this song... Is she mad at m... I wonder if the salmon is still go... I need more paper towe...

By challenging ourselves to not only have a thought but finish the thought, we will become better, shaper and clearer thinkers. This is metacognition. It's noticing how we think so that we can learn to think better.

July 11, 2024

Suffering is a time machine.

Suffering is comprised of three basic human emotions: Anger, Sadness and Fear. Anger is the feeling of having been wronged. Sadness is the feeling of loss. Fear is the feeling of worry surrounding the potential for loss. We spend most of our lives bouncing between these three emotions and so we spend most of our lives in a state of suffering. To escape suffering, it's helpful to consider it through the lens of time.

Suffering is a time machine. It removes us from the present and transports us to a place in the past or the future. When we are angry, we are hurt by something that has happened to us. When we are sad, we are hurt by something we no longer have. Both of these emotions are experienced in the past and so they remove our minds and our hearts from the present moment. Fear is a bit different––but just as destructive––in that it is experienced in the future. Fear prevents us from enjoying what we have in the present because we worry about not having it in the future.

To achieve greater presence in our lives, we must develop a greater awareness of our emotions and where they place us in time: Anger (past), Sadness (past), Fear (future). It doesn't mean we can't feel these emotions. It's impossible not to feel them. But, we can learn to limit our time feeling them. We can choose to step out of the time machine.

July 10, 2024

Your mind is a snow globe.

Your mind is a snow globe. Each morning when you rise, the waters inside are as still as ice and as clear as glass. However, as you go about your day, the snow globe gets jostled. Soon there is so much snow being kicked up in your little globe, you can't make out what's inside. To make matters worse, there is an odd excitement in jostling the snow globe. It's busy. It's frenetic. It's thrilling. Until it isn't. Too much jostling and you become separated from your true nature, which is to be calm and at peace. To settle the storm inside your little snow globe, you must become still long enough for your mind to return to its natural state. This is meditation.

July 10, 2024

Is it them? Or, is it you?

Are they offensive?

Or, are you easily offended?

Are they annoying?

Or, are you easily annoyed?

Are they boring?

Or, are you easily bored?

Qualities you find to be abrasive in others, can show you areas of fragility in yourself.

Don't be so quick to write off individuals who are abrasive.

Instead, ask yourself why you are so easily abraded.

July 9, 2024