Feel like you’re running on auto-pilot? A hamster in your cage scrambling in disorienting circles? In our world of electronic communication and multimedia, time has raced forward and we expect immediate response and instant gratification. Forget about email – we can now tweet for even faster, real-time replies! Ever notice how as the information and communication level increases, so does the workload? I certainly fall prey to this cycle as my expectations grow along with the technology that fuels them.
So I’m working on “sitting in my synapse.” It’s a concept of Body Mind Centering that I explored in a workshop with Amy Matthews last month, and it relates to the fluid space where neurotransmitters drift from a nerve to the receiving tissue to send a message. If that makes you glaze over, don’t worry. It serves as a metaphor for a place to pause in life, just like the message that was traveling at electric current speed suddenly slows as it changes to a chemical nature, floating, if you will, to its destination.
This image of pausing is one that’s literal for us in our lives on a larger scale, and available at any moment. It can be in in the moment before acting on a feeling. It can be in the moment before experiencing that feeling. It can even be in the moment before thinking the thought that spurred the feeling.
Consider this. You’re waiting in an office for a job interview. After 30 minutes you’re finally called in and make a sarcastic comment about the wait. That action stemmed from feelings of impatience and frustration. But the feelings stemmed from the thought that your time is being wasted and you’re not taken seriously or appreciated.
The pause in this example could have occurred before any of these moments of action, feeling, thought. It especially could have occurred before the initial thought – you may have already anticipated that you wouldn’t get the job or even subconsciously thought that you weren’t qualified for the job. In other words, your preconception was met in the end with alienating the interviewer, essentially creating a self-defeating cycle as you didn’t get the job in the end. But had you paused in one of those moments – i.e. one of those synapses, you might have changed the course and therefore the outcome.
So as I start this new year I not only sit in my synapse – I lounge in it. After running myself ragged last year, I pause now to breathe, to reflect, to experience what the coming year may hold. And in doing so, I’m recovering and growing and expanding in ways I didn’t know possible.
Far from stagnant, I’m accomplishing more now while I slow down and pause and heal. In my synapse, I realized I needed to open a new exercise and Pilates studio, which I’ve suddenly done over the last month. Quickly, yes, but frantic, no. That’s the difference – the intent. I’ve put other projects aside for the moment, and in doing so, my synapse has expanded and allowed me the time to focus on this new endeavor which is now nearly complete, and has created openings and time for other projects.
Rather than hit 2011 full steam at a pace destined for exhaustion and adrenal fatigue, why not explore an alternate route to your destination – perhaps experiencing a new one – and sit in the synapse with me?