Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, it is always now. And, what is “now”?

I like to think about how “now” is like “no” and “know”. What is now and what we know is about what is not in comparison to what is. In order for something to be here, something also must not be here. Now is an experience of separation that by entering we paradoxically become connected to everything. This nowthing becoming everything as we use this physical portal as a conduit to connect to all that we are not.

As a highly sensitive person, it is easy to feel a constant stress and pressure to do things on a checklist because we are naturally feeling everything all the time. To-do lists often feel great to make. They are linear and concrete and allow what is floating around aimlessly to materialize into words on a page that we can then manage. It is the illusion of control. The reality is that then the to-do list controls us. We become anxious and stressed when we do not complete it. We think that if only we did everything on it, everything there is to do, then we can have peace. And so we turn into hamsters on the never-ending wheel of time trying to do it all...so that we can stop doing. Quite silly when I word it that way, no? Striving to be, a good explanation of what many HSPs do. But, striving will never be being. We are already being. So, we must change the way we look at time if we want to change the way that we experience it. We must change the way we look at ourselves in time and space.

Time exists because I exist. I am literally the creator of my time even without a clock. And time with a clock, Greenwich Mean Time, was created by people in political power as a means to regulate and control. But, it is just as arbitrary as any other type of time. Some places in the world tell time based on when the cows come home. Others don’t keep track of age or years. Time shows us what is important to us. For a very long time, control and managing and constructing has been important. And so we have had a very constructed and controlled sense of time. It can be useful in many ways to have this agreed upon structure for time and space (which otherwise has no inherent agreed upon structure). It can also be restrictive to have these limits and rules and impositions. The point is that it is constructed and it is what much of the world uses, and so it is important to understand. BUT, it is a tool to use for YOU.

Just like numbers and letters and furniture and buildings are tools built for humans by humans, not the other way around.

“I’m always running late.” “I always have too much to do.” “I am always behind.” “There is always more to do.” “I just need to get ______ done and then I can ______.”

What if these beliefs were ways that your body was trying to keep you safe where you are? What if there was more for you than this?

What if you had the audacity to question time and space, to directly experiment with it and see what it really is instead of what you have been told it is?

On the hamster wheel of time, these beliefs will always be true. ALWAYS. You can guarantee that. Just consider that for a moment and you will see that it is true.

The fact that everything is constantly changing only feels stressful if you think you need to manage it. If you don’t need to manage it, then it can be a huge relief. The most important things to focus on at any given time are what is here now, who is here now, and what is needed now.

Put your self at the center of your life. Literally. Whatever you face are the hands of your clock. Whatever is important to you at that moment tells you what time it is. Right now it is ane::time. 

Rather than looking at what you COULD do, SHOULD do, WOULD do...we are going to look at what you WILL do. WILL can take us through time instead of running in circles.

Will gets more and more pure and strong when you are in alignment with all that is. It is not something you can get or control, it is something you can strengthen. You can only do what you will. If it isn’t your will, you can’t do it. Therefore, it really is to your advantage to work with your will by being impeccable with what is here now. That increases your will power, and therefore your capacity to do what you want, when you want, where you want.

WHO is here now are people you can actually name. Not hypothetical, not outside of your reach. They are not the people who SHOULD be here.

WHAT is here now are the things that are in front of you now that are relevant and important. There are always a lot of things urging you, urgent is different than emergent and important. What is emerging is what is important, fresh, and current. It is ripe right now.

NEED is how the who and what interact to satisfy each other. A need is a state of being, it is never a specific thing. We may think we need ice cream, but really underlying the ice cream is a need for a state of being. We may need pleasure or comfort or satiation or entertainment. Ice cream is only one option. Needing is allowing yourself to be vulnerably lacking to create the vacuum to bring it in. Your focus is on the vacuum, not what should be there.

With all of these, we want to focus our full attention. We want to give ourselves entirely to what we are engaged in. In order to do this, it helps to consider the least amount you can do to have the greatest impact. This is called leverage.

:: LESS IS MORE :: MORE IS LESS :: IS MORE LESS :: LESS MORE IS :: IS LESS MORE :: MORE LESS IS ::

The less you do at a given time, the more of your attention can be focused on it. The more potent whatever you are doing is. Do not use your attention//time on things that do not require all of it or in which it is not worth all of it. That is not impeccable. If you are relaxing, relax completely. If you are talking with someone, communicate completely. If you are responding to a factual email, respond with complete detail. If it doesn’t feel worth it to be complete with something, then it’s not worth it at all. Do not direct your attention to it. Say no.

In order to be a Sensitive Leader with your time, you can use both your time and Greenwich Mean Time. They can work together and they can interact. I call them SOFT TIME and HARD TIME. Hard time creates a container within which soft time can be supported and held. One without the other does not feel satisfying, this will decrease your potency and ability to attend.

You can do this anytime (anetime), anywhere. It’s never too late or too early or too anything. It’s always now. If you are addicted to planning, this will feel really hard to do at first. You will be developing your tolerance for being. Rather than being something, you will just be being and letting life happen from there as you participate with it. Your presence muscles may need strengthening. Do not expect anything other than a practice.

    ane::time NOW prioritizer

WHO is here now ::

circle 5, narrow to 3, then to 1

parent :: pet :: partner :: friend :: neighbor :: co-worker :: kid :: relative :: mentor :: client

___________________________ :: ___________________________ :: ___________________________

WHAT is here now ::

circle 5, narrow to 3, then to 1

deadline :: disagreement :: commitment :: object :: money :: vacation :: crisis :: health

___________________________ :: ___________________________ :: ___________________________

NEED here now ::

circle 5, narrow to 3, then to 1

freedom :: love :: peace :: kindness :: companionship :: coziness :: creativity :: connection :: beauty :: sensuality :: solitude :: quiet :: space :: cleanliness :: simplicity :: comfort :: destruction :: support :: clarity :: power :: fierceness :: nourishment :: shelter :: rest :: protection :: safety

___________________________ :: ___________________________ :: ___________________________

5 things I can do that incorporate all 3 (WHO, WHAT, NEED) right now ::

______________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Narrow to the most important one that is the least you can do and focus the most attention.

This is what I offer as what has been useful to me, just to open you up to what can be possible for you. You can lean on what I have found useful until you are able to discover your own time. I definitely encourage you to not stop here. Let this be a starting point for you to find your own time. 

Design your life, in your way, with you at the center. This is why you are here, to be you, and so your life needs to support that by design.

PLEASE follow up this workshop with the Self-Directed Workshop >>> here <<< to continue your process of leading your life.

And check out the Free Bird Apprenticeship if you want support in applying these practices >>> here <<<.

To you and your time here and now,

Ane Axford

Founder + Facilitator of Sensitive Leadership