…and the losing…or is that winning…entries are…

Posted by on 07.07.07 | No Comments
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…I’d like to thank…Tim Ferriss…my mother…the fire circle community…my many friends, etc etc etc.

Awhile back I posted a blog about ‘What might you do with 36 more hours in a week?’ The idea came from entering a contest on Tim Ferriss’s website: Experiments in Lifestyle Designs. Tim is an entrepreneur and iconoclast who says that we spend way too much time doing meaningless job-related tasks, even if we love our work. And that with some consciousness and courage and choices, we can ‘edit’ our workweek substantially–he has his down to 4 hours of work or less, hence his best-selling book ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’.

Andy Gray, of Black Crater Software Solutions, and developer of the Virtual Tea House site, urged me to post an entry into Tim’s contest, which I did. And then Andy posted his a few days later. While neither entry made the first cut, the thought and writing of them helped us both more clearly articulate the direction we are headed in our lives.

So, I’m posting both entries on this site, for gee whiz.

Maybe I should start a contest on THIS site, and the winner(s) would gain more personal freedom…what do you think about that?

Please feel free to post comments to this, or any of the blogs. You have to ‘join’ (easy process, the button is in the right hand corner of this page) to do so.

In the near future, I hope to have a couple of men posting blogs on this site…it’s becoming a little too feminine- focused for what we have in mind as we’re watching it develop!

So, here without further delay, are the losing entries!

First, Andy’s excellent entry, written with his characteristic clarity and humility:

“Through experience, I’ve reluctantly grown to appreciate just how important spaciousness and a slower pace of life are to my well-being – and how effective and focused my efforts can be when I allow myself to operate from that healthier place. Alas like so many in our fast-paced world, I sacrifice this far too readily and over-commit my time and energy to countless competing demands. Thus the first step is to just…slow…down. Simply having more time is no panacea: without deliberateness, thirty-six extra hours per week will quickly overflow again. I must invest these hours consciously for this pace to be sustainable.

To me, one such conscious investment involves youth rites of passage. Throughout history, cultures have honored and ritualized the significant transitions of life, such as birth, death, marriage – and especially the threshold between childhood and adulthood. Sadly, we seem to have lost touch with the latter in our modern Western world, where we often ignore the wisdom of our ancestors and of indigenous cultures about initiation rites. Our spirits have an intrinsic need to be accepted into ‘the tribe’ as a full-fledged, responsible adult; without this opportunity, young people often create their own, sometimes in unhealthy ways.

I would love to spend some extended time learning about (and experiencing, as possible) the rites of passage of cultures around the world: Africa, South America, Australia… These communities frequently involve themselves in the transformation of their young people in a much more direct way. How does this affect the way that youth relate to their communities and the world around them? And more importantly, what does this have to teach those of us in the “modern” West?

Of course, it’s simplistic to think that someone with an American upbringing could take a quick trip and have a meaningful impact from lessons of cultures very different than his own. But as the father of three now-young boys who will be soon moving into adolescence and on to adulthood, I strongly suspect that this is a journey worth undertaking with consciousness and humility.”

And now mine, written with my characteristic blahblahblah:

“I’ve been honored to serve in the non-profit sector for most of my 30-year work life, so I have had an experience of social justice. But something is pulling me…

What I yearn to do, as I enter the ‘forest-dweller’ stage of life, is to distill the experience and information of my lifetime. (Check out the Hindu stages of life.) Although there are many great books and teachers out there, my desire at this time in my life (I’m 52) is to not read any more, go to any more seminars. It’s only to sit and ‘chew the cud’ of what’s already packed into my head.

I know that from this place of stillness will grow some amazing outward-going energy. I’d love to learn how to draw more people to the virtual community I’ve started (Virtual Teahouse) for connection and inspiration. I’d love to spend my 36 extra hours a week listening deeply to some indigenous elders from around the world, because I don’t think we can get ourselves out of the mess we’re in without their wisdom and connection to the earth.

And from there, maybe write a book? Maybe just more time in my garden? Maybe teaching more? Maybe just laughing more freely. But the outgrowth of the downtime will be felt not just in me, but in everyone and everything that touches me.

“The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature” by Stephen Harrod Buhner is a treatise on letting the heart’s perception and rhythms have their rightful influence. The heart’s rhythms have evolved to be the major entrainers of our life-energy, but the post-modern human brain is increasingly taking over that function, and our heart–and the heart of the planet–is defibrillating as a consequence.

My ‘36 hours’ will be spent listening to my heart and the heart of the world around me. I’m not sure what I can do about the suffering out there, but I can address the lack of connection to my own heart, and in that, bring hope and courage to others.”

So…what might YOU do with 36 or more hours gifted back to your life each week, eh?

Beth, VTH Host and Grateful Contest Loser

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