It is time to move into the big wicker chairs in the screened-in porch, a wave of intertwined calm and energy signals that it is time to write.
I scoop up the cat, my constant companion and we make our way into the next part of the day. I am fascinated by this new routine here at the cottage. It has emerged as clear and delineated as any of my work agendas, with one huge exception.
It is built on natural time.
For many months during the pandemic, I lived without clocks or agendas. My clients focused on pivoting and I suddenly plunged into silence, turned to writing.
That’s when my attunement to time-shifted in response to the natural rhythm of my impulses, not the imposition of an artificial 60-minute schedule.
The time to get up was inspired by birdsong - loud and raucous at sunrise, it tempted me from my sleep. Yoga didn’t start on the hour but rather in the moment I felt myself lift my chin into the sky, curious to feel the first morning rays.
With the last asana and a feeling of calm connection, I paused to watch the full moon move slowly towards the horizon as she made room for the steadily rising sun. It inspired me to try to plan around two lists instead of one; what projects needed to emerge into the foreground and which needed to cede to the background - a system of rhythm instead of choice.
When did the hour become the measure of the day; the same unit of time given to eating, meeting, reading, solving problems? My thoughts, creativity, caring, communication are all forced to live within a construct that serves a tempo that is not mine.
I learned to listen to my rhythm and have found that my greatest productivity came from impulse, from an inner energetic knowing that said: “now is the time”.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner happened 30 minutes after I felt the first grumbles of being hungry. Sometimes I ate in the middle of the day and sometimes not at all.
Blogs came with the flash of an “ah-ha” caught in the moment, elaborated upon when they sank deeper into my awareness and finalized when I had a deeper sense of understanding instead of during the red colour coded hours that were “reserved” for creative output.
It has been so long since I had the freedom of space and pace.
Is that also the power behind the transformations that come on retreat? Perhaps it is less about the location and more about the fluid state that we allow ourselves to live in.
“What do I want from my life?” is hard to answer on a timeline. It is in “retreat” from the tyranny of scheduled time that we find space to go deep into the question, to listen intently for the impulse of the answer.
What do I want?
To honour me in natural time. To move through the days and my activities prompted not by artificial construct but on impulse, want, need. To achieve my excellence, my goals, led by the sense of muse within me.
I want to live in a world that is measured in moon cycles, not in minutes.
And so, as my clients reemerge and a new schedule of retreats is published, I wonder how I will remain connected to the moon’s trajectory?
How do I live both with the agenda that this modern world demands and the beauty of this moment, nestled with the now purring cat?
Tania Carriere, coach and founder of Advivum Journeys, finds delight in searching everyday life for epiphanies and creating retreats for her clients to do the same. You are invited to this month's free Virtual Retreat "How do you step into something new". www.advivumjourneys.ca