When I was a 6th grade teacher we read A Wrinkle in Time as a class, and it was so much fun! I was elated to hear it was coming out as a movie, and was in line at the theater the night it came to Bogotá! Fabulous, by the way.
In my 6th grade class, I loved how we could get into these imaginative conversations where everything we call “reality” became a little more flexible. Especially time and space. I would lead them to Cartagena in a guided meditation and call it "tessering."
Now I’m a writing coach and I perform the same bending and wrinkling of reality, especially with time. The number one excuse to procrastinate writing a book is a lack of time. It’s the predominate reason that we pile on top of all the other reasons that we couldn’t possibly become a published author.
So let’s take another look. The thing about time is, it gets ornery when you try to control it too much. The tighter the schedule, the more contentious the battle becomes. One moment you’re late and you feel terrible, the next moment you’re early, and have to wait, and that sucks. Time seems to be slipping and sliding in all the wrong directions, and worst of all you never have any time to be creative!
However, there are ways to make peace with time, even when it seems like the enemy. Here are my fours steps:
If you tend to be really controlling with time (like I am, I want to squeeze the juice out of every second) this is the hardest step. No matter how frustrated you are, you have to breathe and say, this is how it’s supposed to be. This is my favorite spiritual conundrum, the idea that we’re always at the right place at the right time, even if that place and time are painful. Essentially, it’s the power of now.
As long as you’re not in too much pain (and actually this step can be helpful even when you are in a lot of pain) ask a question. Questions automatically open your mind and put you in a state of surrender. That´s when clear ideas flow in. You’re more susceptible to divine downloads.
Of course, I love to ask questions about my manuscript. I even write little manuscript questions in my phone or a notebook, so that whenever I find myself waiting around, I pull out my creative questions and sketch. That’s how I got my book done! It’s far easier for me to ask questions about my book than sit there trying to think of what to say.
Often when I play with time in this way, I appreciate the surprises. Habits like these make it much easier for me to live with the fact that I’m not always in control. Sometimes when I’m frustrated, I will look for the benefits of having too much or too little time. It’s not always obvious. It takes some practice, but in the end, it works. For instance, I love it when I get stuck in traffic and I can dive into my imagination a little longer. I’m one of the only people I know who loves traffic, but I’m spreading the movement. There’s plenty of traffic here in Bogotá, so there´s plenty of time to love it.
Here’s the funny part that I can’t quite explain. Now that I’m shifting my lifestyle and going with the flow, I get where I want to be. When I surrender time, it speeds up my productivity. The book gets written, the business gets launched, and I still have time for my family without feeling stressed. You would think that by relinquishing control, life would start to get out of control, but the opposite tends to happen. Life becomes synchronisitically organized. I wouldn´t have believed it until I tried it, folks.
If you want to learn another simple way that you can use questions to “wrinkle” time, take a look at this blog: Find Time to Write with this Simple Trick. Asking questions and surrendering is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it takes practice. Before you know it, you’ll become a regular magician.