The ‘Letting the Bus Go’ Exercise

Photo by Lawless Capture

Accepting how much we can achieve under time pressure without allowing panic to take over can be challenging. How often do we run into situations over which we don’t have much control, such as catching a bus ‘on time’ when it’s early? How do you react? Do you calmly head towards the bus stop or do your feet start running without processing what’s going on?

In my case, it has always been the second option. There might be a slight connection with my experience as a child, when I would see the bus from the top of the hill on a parallel road and I had to outrun it to the bus stop so I could make it to school on time.

Today I was advised to do the ‘letting the bus go’ exercise. It simply involved watching buses go into the direction I was headed, without catching them. My heart raced every time a bus reached their stop. I was ready to sprint, wave and position myself in front of the bus if need be just to get in. That was my fight instinct, a beautiful genetic heritage which in the world of having a bus scheduled every 10 minutes it only gives me stomach ache.

What is your ‘letting the bus go’ exercise that you need in order to improve your life?

The Misconception of First Time Successes

Photo by Irina Iriser

We allow ourselves to learn through repetition so many things, but when it comes to working towards a project we hope that if we work hard enough we can get it right the first time. Some people do and many people know that they can improve on that, and yet we write and perfect one paper that we need to turn in, we plan one project, we are looking for the one good photograph.

Self-editing our work does wonders, as does completing a project more than once. I grew up in the ‘work for the grade’ mindset of the education system and I learnt how to try to live up to standards that are so high that I’m afraid to follow through with my work. If that’s you, you’ve got this!

The cost of education is not only time and money, but also attempts and errors. Make a start on that new project, commit to growing that skill, walk towards your goal. That will make you stronger, faster and more determined than ever!

Time. How Boundaries Preserve Identities and Relationships

A long-lasting believe that I had was that a lack of boundaries means transparency. It may refer to sharing your phone security code with close one(s), sharing every detail of a conversation or thoughts that are private and I haven’t quite figure out.

The more I step into adulthood, the more I come to realize that boundaries are needed to keep people and relationships healthy. A great example is the concept of time and how many people think they can claim ownership of it.

Time is the only resource we can’t get back or buy more of. We are all equals in this particular resource. What differs is how we use it. Saying ‘no’ to remarks such as ‘it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do’ or ‘you’re free anyway’ will be worth the exercise when we replace those forced interactions with time to grow, time to be for ourselves and not for others.

Give yourself time to understand yourself. Self-sacrifice will inevitably lead to frustration – so set the boundary. Set availability for human interactions and for meetings/nights out and make sure that when you do gift your time away you’re in good company.

Not Suffering for Company.

The conditions of a solitary bird are five:

The first, that it flies to the highest point; the second, that it does not suffer for company, not even of its own kind (…)

Carlos Castaneda

Accepting loneliness is a huge part of enjoying and selecting the company of other people.

It prevents us from developing circumstantial relationships that don’t benefit us, relationships that take us away from understanding ourselves and our direction in life.

Life doesn’t always rend itself to deliberate planning that would lead to introspection.

What can we do then?

  1. Take time for yourself. Time for ourselves doesn’t necessarily mean running away to a meditation camp. It can be time inside our head that we use for distressing and understanding ourselves, our motives and goals.
  2. Be precious about your time. De-clutter people, interactions and reduce the impact they have on your life.

Remember: you can get paid for your time, but you can’t pay to get back the time. At the end of the day, being comfortable with yourself has a greater impact on your life than a friendship you might have missed along the way.