Work, Play and In-between
Newsletter #6
From Diana's Desk

About Diana

Look at your Life


      While walking home from Yoga class one morning recently, I was writing a mental list of all the work ahead of me for the next two weeks that needed to be done so that I could go away on vacation for two weeks and relax. I calculated that if I put in 12-hour days every day, I would be ready. An image of two large blocks butting up against each other like stones in a granite wall, one labeled work activity, the other vacation/play, came to me. I thought, oh I wish I had some in-between time. I envision in-between time as the time to sort socks, call a friend, talk to a neighbor over the fence, try a new recipe just for the trying, not for a big party preparation, organize old photos, or play with a child, getting totally lost in the game.

      Arriving home, I quickly took a shower so I could get started on my 12-hour workday. I was watching (patiently? Impatiently?) the shampoo slowly ooze into my waiting hand. It came to me that this was another of those in-between times, but on a smaller scale, a kind of micro in-between. There are so many of these for each of us every day; waiting for the red light to change, waiting for the microwave to finish, waiting for the internet connection, waiting at that copy machine and of course waiting in lines.

      We can choose how we react in these micro moments. We can be present, receptive and breathe calmly, or tense up impatiently. If these are micro in-between periods composed of moments, then the ones I described above could be called macro in-betweens.

      I wonder if we were more present and less stressed in the micro in-betweens, would we cultivate more of the macro in-betweens? My Yoga teacher starts class by telling us "You are here. You have nothing else to do, nowhere else to be but right here now doing your yoga practice." What if we took on that attitude for each activity in our day? Stuart Wilde has a phrase to describe that non-judgmental be in the present attitude. He says if you are caught in the rain, "do rain".

      So in this New Year I plan to be present in the micro in-betweens and consciously choose my activities and projects to include some macro in-between time, or balance. Later that same morning, I opened to this passage in Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching:

  • He who stands on tip toe doesn't stand firm
  • He who rushes ahead, doesn't go far,
  • He who tries to shine, dims his own light
  • He who defines himself can't know who he really is
  • He who has power over others can't empower himself
  • He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures
  • If you want to accord with the TAO,
  • Just do your job, then let go

For this New Year,

      I wish you rich meaningful work, wonderful times of vacation and relaxation, and marvelous micro and macro in-betweens.

Warm regards




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