Do you sometimes feel you are constantly ‘catching up’ with time? Or perhaps life feels somehow ‘out of sync’? Are you anxious to ‘get going’ but something is holding you back? Do you feel you are not in the same ‘frequency’ with people around you?
The art of timing affects our everyday life and we use it in our everyday language, yet when we are asked to master it we start thinking about horoscopes or how we should cleverly manipulate our environment to be ‘in the right place at the right time’.
I try to capture what the art of timing means to me.
I attended the first DrivenWoman workshop on the topic last Wednesday. It was moderated by timing consultant and astrologer Ysanne Lewis (“nothing to do with horoscopes!”, as she rightfully exclaims). The workshop was both thought provoking and clarifying and prompted me to write down my ideas about timing.
Cycles and rhythm
Everything in the universe has a rhythm, a cycle. We all understand seasons in nature, a business cycle in economy and even a seven year itch in a marriage. Animals obey their natural cycle, but we humans are the only species who don’t. We choose to ignore our own cycle and the rhythm of others around us. We are the masters of our own destiny. Or are we?
Our ancestors didn’t see time as linear but as a cycle. Instead of the prevailing Western linear view (life between a start point and an end point), life was seen consisting of many cycles and repeating ages.
I’m now old enough to count back and notice that I have a 4.5 to 5 year cycle. I can track this back to childhood: first my infant life, then a playful child, then starting to develop my own strong identity (and refusing to do what my mother told me!), then very difficult puberty (listening to my mum even less…), and finally taking responsibility and going to university and graduating (around 24 years old) and starting my career.
At the age of 29 I moved to London and started to work in branding, this meant discovering my passion in business for the first time. I started to feel anxious after 4.5 years and moved on to start my own business (as a part of a global advertising network). Despite of it being tremendously successful I moved on after 4.5 years!
I seem to strive for balance and as soon as I find it I want to move on and start a new life. My next life was to start a family. And after 4.5 years I had the itch again and DrivenWoman was born. I’m now 3 years into this cycle, I wonder what my big change will be in about 1.5 years time?
Track down your big life changes. Can you see a pattern? What is your cycle?
Our personal rhythm also affects our relationships with others. In my first marriage I remember being often ‘out of sync’ with my husband and our rhythms seemed to clash. This lead to a lot of friction and eventually to our divorce.
With the current husband (he knows I call him that, ha ha, I do love him deeply) we seem to be more in balance. He has a much slower rhythm and longer cycle than mine and he brings balance to my life. But as I also have a need for variety, I tend to push myself off balance every 4.5 years. My cycles bring excitement and novelty into our life together and we both are very happy with our joint rhythm.
Can you live in harmony with the rhythm of the people around you or do they keep pushing you off balance?
Timing is about connection
“We are all wired for connection.” Brené Brown
That’s why feeling connected is so fundamentally important. We need to feel connected to ourselves and to the people around us. And when we are on track with our own cycle we feel connected and in harmony. But when we fall off our rhythm we suddenly become isolated and disconnected.
I remember the 4.5 year period after giving birth. I felt constantly disconnected and out of balance. I now realise that I didn’t surrender to my own natural rhythm. It was my time to be a mother and to build my nest, not try to build a business or think about my career.
Yet, after 1.5 years I was desperate to get back in the hectic lifestyle I was used to. But no matter how hard I tried, nothing really worked until I had finished my cycle. Literally 4 years and 7 months after quitting my job and 3 years and 11 months after becoming a mother my cycle changed and DrivenWoman was born!
Have you experienced feeling out of balance? Are you searching for a new path and find it difficult to connect with the old?
For me the art of timing doesn’t mean maximising profit or calculating when to do something. For me it means that I can fully trust my own timing.
I can be fully present in this moment. I don’t have to worry if I could have done something differently in the past (letting go). Neither do I worry what might (or might not) happen in the future. I plan, but I’m flexible with my plans. I’m trusting the unknown. I’m relaxed and I believe I can always do my best what ever will happen. I don’t try to control or manipulate things around me, I’m exactly at the point where I should be.
Jennifer wrote earlier:
“This is what I call trusting the timing of your life, staying present. And accepting the work that has to be done next.”
That’s what perfect timing is all about. Accepting where you are now, and then accepting the work that follows.
I want to finish with my favourite Chinese proverb:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
So don’t wait for the right moment or perfect timing. Simply trust that the time is right for you now to do what you need to do next.
Have a great week!