About Time

The Secret Formula of Life

About TimeI learned from a sweet little movie called About Time a very powerful message about to find happiness in our lives. The story is about a family with the ability to travel back in time. On the son’s 21st birthday, he is told about the power and how to use it. For the first half of the movie, this young man uses his ability to have do-overs. Can you remember your teens and early twenties? Are there words you wish you hadn’t said? Are there sentiments you wish you had? Did you have an awkward moment you wish to erase? Were their opportunities you would have seized? Were there choices you would have changed? Where their conflicts you would have handled differently? Every imaginable situation occurs as the lead character tries to perfect every moment of his life. Then the movie turns from romantic comedy to something deeper. It teaches us two important points about life: the necessity of living with the bad to get the good and the secret formula for happiness, living deliberately.

Living With the Bad for the Good

In the movie, we learn that if the time traveler goes back in time before his child is conceived that the baby will turn out differently. A hard choice has to be made between allowing a beloved child to be born or rescuing a dear family member from injury. If he goes back to fix a bad situation, he loses his good situation, his child. The lesson is that sometimes we have to accept the bad in life to get our ultimate joy. In the long run, sometimes the bad that happens is a wakeup call for a difficult lesson or a turning point which will become our purpose to teach and help others grow. Acceptance of some of the less than enjoyable situations may actually be allowing us to receive the good in our lives.

Living Deliberately

Toward the end of the movie, his father who has lived fully due to his time travel ability shares the secret formula of life. Unlike the first part of the movie, where the ability is used to try to make each encounter perfect, the father recommends living the day like everyone else. Experiencing all of the worries, stress, and issues which “keep us from noticing how sweet the world can be.” Then secret is then going back and reliving the same day, but noticing the joy, love, beauty, and miracle during each moment of that day – without changing it. Eventually the lead character learns that he doesn’t have to relive his day to see the sweetness of life, but that he simply needs to live each and every day deliberately to find the wonder.

Try it today. Instead of focusing on your worries and fears, look around you. What is beautiful? How can you find the humor in the moment? How can you gift another? How can you maximize each and every moment? I can not show you how to time travel, but through acceptance and awareness, you can surround yourself with an amazing life.

snowy street

At One

There have been many times in my life, and still some today, when I fight reality.  I want a different outcome.  I desire for things to be different than they are.  I pray for divine intervention to change the facts.  What usually occurs are that the facts remain and all I have done is to create pain and disappointment for myself.  It is said that what we resist, persists. What if instead of resisting, we accepted?

Recently I was introduced to the Navajo word “Hozho.”  It is the most important word in the Navajo language.  Roughly translated it means peace, balance, beauty, and harmony.  When you are one with and part of the world around you, it is said you are “in Hozho.”  Here is how it shows up. Say there is a drought. Many of the modern religions would say to pray for rain.  Instead, the Navajo hold a ceremony to help them be at peace with the drought, to be in harmony with the drought. Said another way, Hozho helps us to accept what we can’t change, to be at peace with those things beyond our control.

snowy streetThink about how this may play out in your life. Right now in Chicago it is winter and winter this year is cold and snowy.  Snow is not my favorite thing.  It is pretty to watch at the end of the movie White Christmas, but I much prefer seeing it on television than shoveling it.  What if instead of focusing my thoughts on my desire for it to be eighty-degrees and sunny, I instead fully embraced that it is snowing?  Wishing I could walk around in shorts today only makes me sad.  It makes me feel bad about my circumstance.  It puts a damper on my day.  The thought of wanting things different affects how I experience the entire day.  If, however, I embrace the snow, my mood shifts.  I don’t have to love it.  I only need to accept it.  The truth is that it is snowing.  There is nothing I can do to change this fact.  As I can not jump on an airplane headed for warmer climates, my only other choice is to accept my circumstances.  The best I can do right now is embrace my current situation.  In embracing and accepting my situation, I feel peace and can enjoy my day exactly how it is.

How often do you fight the reality of our life? How often do you wish for something different? How often do you pray for divine intervention to change your circumstances?  And how often does your resistance to reality cause you pain?  How can being in Hozho change the experience of your day?  Share your experiences.