Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shape Shifting

"He lives well who is well hidden"

-Rene Descartes

I often wonder what meaning re-create takes on in the context of todays fast paced society. Many holidaymakers are over on the island for the next few weeks, making the most of their time away from office, home, and regular routines. With an increasing amount of activities on offer for them here, is there actually any "re-creating" taking place?

I would suggest the guy that was in such a hurry he had to pass me in a carpark for heavens sake, is not taking full use of the opportunity he has here. The sign upon landing at the car ferry says "Slow Down -You're Here". That is just one of the reminders we have for visitors. Is it possible for people to change gears when they are on holiday, or is it now just another duty to be checked off the list of things to do, a latte-fueled charge down to the beach with Blackberry in hand, checking emails and keeping the motor on the SUV running, just in case?

If "work" and "play" were not words that had such emotive images attached to them, it might be a different story. "Work hard - Play Hard", and "Just Do It", are but two of the marketing slogans that have been imbibed in our culture of Continuous Partial Attention.

I remember the best (and perhaps the only) nugget of useful information I received out of all those years of management training and personal growth programmes. There is no such thing as Time Management. We all have the same time. 24hrs in a day. No one has any less or any more. How can something like time be managed? It is our priorities that are managed. What we do with the same time we have each day. The next time I hear someone say "there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done", I may have to kindly point out that there isn't much chance of a change in that department. The great New Yorker cartoon recently had two men standing at Stonehenge and quipping, "Now that we have invented time, perhaps we should create deadlines".

Perhaps indeed... We wouldn't want to miss anything IMPORTANT, would we?

I think often about what is really important in my life, and what simply is part of an interruption-driven desire to meet somebody else's expectations. Sure, we all have clients, bosses, friends, relatives, spouses, etc. that ask for our time, that most valuable of resources. This needs looking at from a wider perspective. For in each present moment, there is an opportunity to improve our lives, as well as the lives of others by our example. To re-create is an important part of that process.

It is not a difficult process, believe me, as demonstrated New Years Day, with some "quality time" amongst friends in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand:

Notice the distinct lack of activity. An important part of the "re-creation" programme!

The iconic kiwi shed, long recognised for the healing qualities it brings out in male energy, works just as well in the formation of long term relationship building(I have been visiting this couple on their two acre plot for over a decade).

Fresh veges from the garden, avocados from the tree, and ice tea on the veranda. Thanks Paula and Robin!


On another plane (or planet) altogether... quote of the week, has to go to the US Secretary of State, Ms Rice, who has implored Iran and Syria to "end their de-stabilising behaviour" in the region of Iraq.

Eh? Who took these people off their meds?

And what is sending in 150,000 soldiers occupy a country for 3 years, creating untold amount of suffering and chaos, after bombing the infrastructure to the dark ages considered? Stabilising?

Gimme a break.

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.

-Albert Schwietzer

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