Moving Beyond Your To-Do List

in Art of Listening, Cultivating Clarity

To-do list

“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever said, or maybe heard someone say, “I need to carve out time for…

my family, the kids, my spouse, exercising, journaling, meditating, cooking, creating, relaxing.”?

Whatever the reason, the phrase “carving out time” was used with the intention of squeezing or manipulating one more good thing into your daily schedule. Unwittingly, our lives can quickly be driven by our list of things-to-do; the tyranny of the urgent. And if we’re not careful, we can quickly fall into the belief that our life is all about efficiency and productivity.

And this path can be rather exhausting, can’t it?

Therefore today, I’ve decide to post an excerpt from the book, Heaven is a Garden by Jan Johnsen. In this short piece Jan grapples with the difference between mechanical time and nature’s time.

“Human time (mechanical time) is run by the clock and calendar. It divides our days into hours, minutes, seconds, milliseconds. It is, as Alan Lightman writes in his book Einstein’s Dream, ‘as rigid and metallic as a massive pendulum of iron that swings back and forth, back and forth; unyielding, predetermined…’  Mechanical time exerts a constant pressure on our lives, suspending all else.

Nature’s time, on the other hand, is unrushed. It is as eternal as a granite boulder and as fleeting as a snowflake on a sunny winter day. It needs no device to measure it. The sun’s rays and moon’s waxing and waning are it’s dutiful keepers. Nature’s time affords depth and adds a patina to outdoor elements. Wood grays out and becomes the color of stones over time. Stones become covered with moss and lichen and become the color of the woods. Time burnishes everything with change, wrought be the passing years.”

Today’s Unitas Project:

  • What might your day look and feel like if you walked at a slower pace and intentionally practiced being fully present in this moment?
  • What if rather than feeling pressured by the mechanical time of your do-to list, you breathed deeply and truly felt the sun on your face, the wind in your hair and heard the laughter, tears and voice of the one you’re with?
  • What if there is an alternative way to live – a way that is truly congruent with who you already are?

Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.



Photo via Shutterstock Images