Go with the flow

June 8, 2010

Slow makes things flow.

Doubt it? Have you ever noticed how traffic patterns are affected by one person going too fast behind you who then has to slam on the brakes because you aren’t going the same speed? Multiply the speed by the distance and the number of cars involved and you could have yourself a mighty fine traffic jam.

Such was my morning. As I gazed over the bridge above the autobahn, Munich-bound, I saw the cars lined up and at a halt. The sign above the bridge told me there was an accident. So I kept going straight, hoping my GPS would catch up. The voice persistently tried to get me to turn around until we got too far from the autobahn entrance. Then it readjusted and smartly got me back on track. I skirted around the traffic jam on backroads, then gracefully (and gratefully) hopped back on the highway. I breathed the slow and trusted in my belief about time abundance. I have more than enough time to do what is required to fulfill my ultimate purpose, I whispered to myself. GPS guy seemed to respond with his consistent voice of reason. “Now turn left.” And so I did.

The Truth Heals author Deborah King, whose book is coming out in German tomorrow, speaks of our chakras much like an autobahn. If our energy is blocked, we are in a jam. Depending on where our energy blockage is stored, we can have any number of health issues related to that blockage. In her book, she speaks about the healing power of truth. Dividing the body into seven power centers or chakras, she talks a lot about illnesses that correspond to that area where our energy is most jammed up.

Energy flow is immensely important for well-being. Much like the traffic example, when we go with the flow in slow style, we get there a lot faster than when we are either racing around or at a stand still.

Distraction or feeling as if you aren’t really here is an expression of our blocked root chakra located at the base of our spine. Our coccyx is what grounds us and connects us to the rest of our body. It connects to our feet, which keep us in the here and now. That energy, which flows from the base of our spine up to our heads, also races through our arms, feeds our brain and controls our attention. In effect, a flowing root chakra allows for slow while a blocked one is often expressed in fast-paced stress and a road to nowhere.

What does your personal highway look like today and how might you find more flow? I took the slow road today and it got me there faster. How about you?


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Lessons from the cloud

April 17, 2010

Thousands of people are stranded at the Munich Airport due to the volcanic ash hanging out in the stratosphere over Europe. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel has been affected by the continental haze that oozed from the base of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier. Flying back from a visit to the United States, she had to stop in Portugal instead of her planned destination of Berlin. Tens of thousands of others have jumped on trains or rented cars. One politician even took a bus from Hungary back home, braving the 600+ KM trip with other mortals who move slower than he.

How Nature teaches us the power of slow, enforcing its laws and bending its will against ours! If you were to ask any one of the travelers staked out in tents in the lobby of Munich airport, you might get a response of irritation. One brave soul admitted ‘we will sit and drink tea’, a marvelous German saying (Abwarten und Tee trinken), that implies an almost Zen-like acceptance of the here and now. But the no-fly zone has brought on a certain quiet in our skys that is both relaxing and notable.

As someone recently said to me, Nature will correct itself. It’s mankind we have to worry about.

Here is the visual of Southern Iceland’s pervasive plume of ash….

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Hanging in the Balance

March 12, 2010

As I was sipping my last cappucino at the Malta airport, it occurred to me why work-life balance is a concept that is at odds with itself. Work is as much a part of our lives as play. When we talk about balance, we really mean moderation. We want to be moderate in how we spend our time, whether it is at our jobs, with our families, or with ourselves.

Balance implies stasis. It is the state of non-movement. If you’ve ever walked on a balance beam, you know it requires utmost concentration and effort to stay on board. But life, like the rocky boats that sway with the Mediterranean outside our hotel room, is motion with unconcentrated moments that keep us slightly off kilter. Even if we are paralyzed, the inner workings of our bodies are pulsating.

Rather than speak of work-life balance, I plead the case of finding alignment. When our actions are aligned with our intentions, we are on task. We are on that balance beam, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes we fall off; sometimes we land a perfect ten.

If you love what you do, you are lucky to have your work as an integrated part of your life. If you are counting the minutes until quitting time, you might benefit from more alignment to bring you to a place of inner freedom.

Living the power of slow does not mean you are in an absolute state. Quite the contrary! It means you are feeling the rain against your skin when it falls and remembering that there will be sunny days, too. It means you are mindful of this moment, then the next and the next.

Our personal bank account of time is the gift with which we are born. How will you spend it today?

Maltese Slowness

March 8, 2010

We are leaping thirty degrees on the temperature gauge today. It’s not due to global warming, but due to our travel. The day has finally arrived in which we’re headed to Malta, an island in the Mediterranean 288 KM from Tunisia and 93 KM south of Sicily. They’ve promised me it’s warm there. It has to be warmer than here! It snowed in Germany again. The sun is shining though!

So as we head Southeast, I am reminded that the world will keep spinning even as I do not. I hope to blog about the experience. I am told Malta has a rich history ~ pictures to follow!

In just a few weeks, we’ll be changing the clocks forward once again. Does Daylight Saving Time make you sleepy and disoriented just like jet lag?

Take this poll!

Once upon a Null Meridian

October 11, 2009

Ask any transmeridian worker such as an airline pilot, and you’ll hear how important meridians are for coordinating air travel and the like.

time zone globeOctober 13th marks the 125th anniversary of the Greenwich Meridian that runs smack dab through the lens of London’s Observatory telescope in its Greenwich quarter. The world was then divided into 24 time zones in 60 minute increments. At the time, twenty-six countries reached a mutual agreement on the world’s y-axis. The equator, having always been the x-axis of the planet, now had a perpendicular companion. Nations such as Afghanistan still tend to use their own personalized understanding of time accounting. But nonetheless, the world’s commerce relies greatly on this agreement the folks in DC at the International Meridian Conference agreed upon that autumnal day in 1884. Oh sure, there were minor adjustments with a redefintion of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) called Universal Time, then again in 1972 with UTC  (Universal Time Coordinated) based on atomic clocks that reset in case you goof up the settings. You can get them at any store these days. Much to our chagrin, our children tend to set them at odd hours. The other day the alarm went off at 5 am…

The history of time, along with our collective agreement about what time is, is an interesting one. Happy Birthday, GMT. We transmeridian travelers promise not to hold jetlag against you.

Slow en Espagnol

September 24, 2009

In a few hours we’re boarding a plane to Barcelona. The late-summer sun has kissed our skin good-bye as we enter the warmer climes of the Spanish coastline. My sister and brother-in-law are making happy suitcase zippering noises, a reminder of adventure and good food to come.

We’ll be breathing the slow Spanish air for four days and three nights. Tune in for more stories soon!