The first days of summer are easily the best days of the year for me. Extreme heat and sunshine guarantee a shift of pace and attitude that remind me of my childhood. One can fairly argue that a summer afternoon in the Deep South is the equivalent of 100 years. Time stands still.
I now understand what that time-standing-still feeling is about. The feeling that time has slowed or stopped is linked with the timeless dimension of Zero State. The name of the state says it all: in the state of nothingness, Zero, there is no time.
This is the profound mind-body state that we sometimes recall from childhood, if we recall it at all. Many do not, yet we all know to seek it. We universally seek Zero when we are not in it, because it is the state of purpose, health and knowing (and much more). It is linked defined by several intangible feelings, two of which I will discuss in today’s post.
The first, almost surreal, sensation of this profound state is the feeling of timelessness—all urgency and unrest of the body is completely gone—minutes literally feel like hours. Interestingly, accessing the timeless dimension is not about slowing the mind-body pace as much as it is about the mind and body moving in complete synchronicity with one another because we have slowed down physically and mentally. In this timeless dimension, the world becomes effortless and clarity of purpose returns.
Our pace is critically important to accessing the synchronized mind and body that our purpose requires. This is the missing link in our personal evolution because without it, we will always be guessing about what we are doing here. Yet we are designed to know this, and this “knowing state” of Zero is linked with the feeling of time standing still and something else we associate with summertime: carefreeness.
Mind-body synchrony is an effortless, carefree state in which all doing is fun, engaging, and joyful. I sometimes call this timeless dimension the work-play state because in it, all work feels like play.
Engaging in your purpose will feel so fun to you that it will feel like play. Your purpose it is not merely something you want to do or have always wanted to do. It is more like something you can’t help doing; it is the thing or interest getting in the way of your being more productive elsewhere.
The million-dollar question to ask yourself if you feel stuck not knowing your purpose is this: If I had all the money in the world, all my relationships were fine, and my kids were taken care of and engaged, what would I be doing?
If you don’t know the answer or the answer is not the same as what you are doing now for money, then that’s okay. Nothing you are doing now is wrong, but you may be feeling a new, higher calling trying to be unearthed in you. The main idea here is that you are unsure—out of the mind-body state of knowing.
We may not be aware of our purpose yet, but we can still begin a purposeful practice in all we do. From this practice, synchrony and purpose return to the mind-body. We slow our pace down enough to complete every task not as a means to an end, but with complete presence and care in the movements we make when “doing” things. This is about witnessing your movements in real time and becoming one with them instead of thinking about what you are going to do next.
You can practice this in anything you do. I call it purposeful movement. Here’s an example:
I am holding a sharp knife and cutting onions. Wow, the smell is strong and wonderful; they are slippery and feel cold.
The mind is witnessing and engaging in the doing, noticing the shapes and sizes your cutting, the sounds of the onions being cut, and the way your fingers and muscles move in synchrony with the act. We engage the present moment and movement with curiosity, quiet and a slow fluidity. It is almost like listening to music and has a rhythmic feel.
Contrast this with,
I am cutting onions… . Oh my god, the taxes are due tomorrow, and I had better call the accountant. Then, while still cutting onions, in mid-panic the phone rings: Hello? Hey let me get my earbuds, I’m making dinner. Omg, guess what? I forgot tomorrow was tax day. Did you do your taxes?
If you’re like me, then you’ve already pulled a pan out to sauté the onions, are warming the olive oil, and headed to your office to find your accountants number while still on the phone with a friend. The mind and body are doing separately, chaotically. There is no quality of movement in either. Dinner likely comes out less than your best. Meanwhile life feels like you’re dodging bullets in a war zone instead of living in an HGTV Dream state of mind(c’mon I know you’ve seen their dream homes).
You are looking for a big shift into “joyful, meaningful doing” regardless of what you are doing. Time will feel slower and deep quiet will come into your body when you find this synchrony. More than that, the big gift of this dimension is the wisdom you gain about yourself and the world. You will have sensations about everything making sense again. You will also have sensations of knowing what you came here to do. You may see it, or hear it, but it will be a mind-body event, not simply a thought.
I have found the shift to the timeless dimension very quickly through this process. Of course, the mind will shift back to the hurry-worry state very quickly if allowed, so just keep retuning the mind to purposeful doing. The more we do this, the more that the rest of life will figure itself out—in other words, the universe will support the authentic path.
Let me know what happens!