I don’t think I ever understood what those two little words, just 8 letters, meant until I moved to the country, and to “semi-retired” existence. I say this having just emerged from a long bath which I took mid-morning on a weekday, something I probably would have never done in my former city incarnation.
The motivational business guru and author, Stephen Covey, talks about “urgency addiction” in his book, First Things First. This concept must be the very opposite of “taking time”.
Covey lists a few ways in which people describe the experience of being pressured by anxiety about what they have to do in their busy lives.

 • I often blame the rush and press of external things for my failure to spend deep, introspective time with myself.
• I’m frustrated by the slowness of people and things around me.
• I hate to wait or stand in line.
• I feel guilty when I take time off from work.
• I always seem to be rushing between places and events.
• I frequently find myself pushing people away so I can finish a project.
• I feel anxious when I’m out of touch with my work place.
• I’m often preoccupied with one thing when I’m doing something else.
• I often give up quality time with important people in my life to handle a crisis.
• I rely on solving some crisis to give my day a sense of meaning and purpose.
• I often eat lunch while I work.
• I keep thinking that someday I’ll be able to do what I really want to do.
• The way I feel productive is if I have a huge stack in my out-box at the end of the day.

Taking time applies to yoga practice, too, of course. Doing an asana thoughtfully, slowly enough, to be fully in your body and right there to experience the influence of each phase and cycle of breath. In meditation, being present enough to peel away the layers of thought to arrive at the Observer.
Taking time might mean some sacrifices – for example, less intensity of work for less pay. It probably would mean showing some bravery. If one is really addicted to that feeling of urgency, it would take courage to try on some new behaviours, as in going out for a walk at lunchtime or not fitting in one more task that will make you late for an appointment.
Judith Lasater, author of Relax and Renew, asks in her yoga workshops whether we have the courage to relax, and recommends long (30 min.) savasanas daily.
I’m just about to go off to the Yoga Shed to teach a private lesson, but before I do, here’s a few more gems from Covey. He really does sound like a guru, but I think he walks his talk.
To foster the things the matter in your life:

• Read and ponder the wisdom literature (classic, philosophical, and inspirational literature dealing specifically with the art of living) to broaden your awareness of timeless principles.
• Stand apart from and learn from your own experience.
• Observe and learn from the experience of others.
• Take time to be still and listen to your inner voice.
• Respond to that voice.

- take time

Flannel Flower


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