How do you enter a time warp?

I lament the seemingly quick passage of time often, like writing a check and thinking, “where did December go and how did it become 2016?!”  but I found a time warp this holiday season and it was in Terlingua, Texas….

Every mom who has brought her family elsewhere for Christmas knows that it takes much more effort to make happen than staying home so when Chad decided that our family and each of our bikes were going to Terlingua, Texas for Christmas, my mind immediately raced (read stressed) through the logistics of this endeavor, and got after the preparations in November.  This middle of nowhere place, we affectionately refer to as the Lazy KZ Ranch is the home my in-laws, Kevin and Zoey.  Lazy they are not, the lifestyle they’ve created is nothing but lazy. With no prior building experience, they have built an artful abode by hand over the last 16 years amidst 200 acres surrounded by mountains of red, orange, yellow, tan and brown 

I’ll provide a few facts to clarify the extent of middle of nowhere  and unlazy lifestyle to set the picture in your minds eye. It is 450 miles from San Antonio, 360 from El Paso, and 82 to the closest town of over 2000 people.  It is on the edge of the Big Bend National Park where STUNNING BEAUTY is everywhere.  The energy for electricity at LKZR is provided by the sun, the heat, from propane space heaters and the minimal water that falls from the sky, (14”/year, US average is 37”) is consciously caught from broad rooflines and stored to be used for bathing and washing. There is not a flushable toilet and I won’t extrapolate on that but to say that I am happy that I have flexible hips and a good understanding of hydrodynamics to keep splash off my boots. Washing clothes with the 1945 Maytag is more labor intensive (and you run the risk of losing a fingernail if you are a curious 5.5 year old boy) but has a certain joy about it.

 Before the trip, I had a list of ideas on the special bike rides and hikes we’d squeeze in and outdoor adventures we’d have and our trip WAS full of daily hikes, rides and adventures but nothing was ever squeezed in.  We entered a space where time was determined by the sun and no one had to be anywhere at any particular time and I quit keeping track of time.  We had our work-rest-energy ratios all dialed in; we flowed.  My phone didn’t work as anything but a camera and time piece there but I mostly didn’t know or care where it was but to capture a photo opp.

 In addition to biking and hiking our strength was volunteered to haul a 100 pound piece of petrified wood out of the desert, pick axe and transplant various thorny succulents, dig fire pits and move rocks of all shapes and sizes,  and to place the granite that was once our front desk to its new kitchen home.  Working felt good.  I brought a TRX and a Rip but chopping, digging, hauling, squatting, hiking and climbing made it almost unnecessary to work out. I was applying functional movement to functional tasks and my spirit filled with joy, and I built up my energetic fire through these tasks.  To give creative effort and kinesthetic effort to transform the land where I plan to spend down time for the rest of my life was a fulfilling and ironically erased time. My tasks had purpose, and soul.

Time is a construct for productivity and I love being productive…. It too often overrides my need for creativity but in the creativity is where the heart sings and time ceases to exist. It builds your energy and vitality. Even if you aren’t exactly a member of the cult of Getting Things Done, you probably have a schedule, calendar and a couple lists of things to do, but how well do you manage your energy? While each of us has 24 hours in the day, our capacity for energy isn’t measurable in minutes.  It ebbs and flows. We fuel it and suck it by our choices.

In regular life, how do we balance productivity and creativity and infuse it all with love? How do we keep our ENERGY to stay on track to our current PURPOSE.  We often need a plan to begin, but once we attach purpose to it has a whole new life. Then we choose to be present to the moment at hand, truly embody our body, breathe deeply and enjoy the people in our presence.  We get after it.  We do.

 Are there people who suck your energy? Build you up? Are their foods or activities that make you sluggish or invigorated? Athletes understand that effective training comes from a combination of exercise and rest. By getting better control over your own energy cycles and capacity, you can do far more for your productivity making a To Do List.

Working constantly and resting constantly are both suboptimal. Being acquainted with our energy cycles can help us stay balanced.  We all have to do lists, daily goals are great but a goal with purpose has soul.  Don’t simply set a goal, meditate the process and attach meaning and spirit to that goal.  It will provide inspiration and can make mundane tasks seem fun. It can even make your awareness that time exists melt away.