Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thinking about... Natural Time

The second principle of Nia is Natural Time. It's about moving and living in a way that is connected to the natural rhythms of your body and the earth. The opposite of Natural Time is what the founders of Nia call Mechanical Time. It's the structure we put around time - the days of the week, the hours of the day. When we get too caught up in Mechanical Time, we can get out of synch with ourselves and our bodies. We wake up because our alarm says so. We eat because it's 6:00. Our time becomes defined by our commitments and the structures that support them. And in the midst of that order, sometimes we forget to breathe.

Reconnecting to our natural rhythms is a great way to breathe, to open up to the possibility of spontaneity and surprise, to experience the magic of what's going on right now instead of what is supposed to go on right now.

What if 1 day this month you turned off the alarm and took off your watch? What if you ate when you were hungry and slept when you were tired? What if you took off the schedule just for a day and let time unfold before you. What would happen?

Here's one inner dialog that comes up for me

Jamie's Inner Dialogue around Natural Time

- If I didn't watch the time for a day, I'd just want to sleep! I'd notice how tired I actually am. Hello, I have to get things done. I can't just lollygag around for a day!

- Um, little voice, did I say you weren't allowed to do anything?

- Um, no.

- If you feel inspired to do something, you absolutely get to go for it.

- What if I'm too tired?

- Then you're too tired and it's time to admit you need some rest. And hey, you can take more than 1 day in Natural Time.

- I can?

- Yep, in fact, you could design your life around it.

- Gulp.

What does your inner voice say? What if you spent a day in natural time? A week? Are you willing to try it?


Sacred Suzie said...

What a great post and amazing photo! I luckily have the luxury of natural time but still try and organize my life into a schedule, LOL. I think because of the chaos of the move, I have been freed by the organization of time. I have to rest and take it easy and move when the natural time says OK. I hope you keep trying to do this too Jamie, it can be quite freeing.

Shannon said...

Great post Jamie! I've kinda been doing this inadvertatley (when I'm out and about - inside I always have clocks in site), by not wearing a watch. Yesterday I wore was and was sooooooooo stressed about being late, whereas when I didn't wear one I didn't think about it too much. Sometimes I was late , but it didn't really matter.

daisies said...

love this ... thank you for sharing :)

and that photo ... gorgeous! said...

This reminded me of the time that I took my mother to our rented beach house in NJ for the week. It was just the two of us that year, and the first day we were getting ourselves ready to spend the morning on the beach. My mother was running around looking for her watch, and I asked her why. "How will we know," she asked, "when it's time to come in for lunch?"

"Uh...maybe when we're hungry?" ;-)

Jana B said...

I love to do that on Saturdays... just get up when it feels right, and do things when I feel like it... it's so awesome.

My inner voice is sighing deeply at the thought, but also panicing that the house might end up not being cleaned and the laundry might not get done.

Marilyn said...

I gave up wearing a watch many years ago. But working in a school (with bells!) it's hard to get away from mechanical time. :) That said, in my OWN life, I've been quite removed from my natural rhythms lately. When I get too crazy-busy at work, I tend to let that pace bleed over into my own time...need to pay attention to that. Thanks for the reminder.