Today I went to Bermondsey. I had no business in Bermondsey. Come to think of it, I can’t really figure out a reason why I’d ever have to go to Bermondsey. OK, now I need to go there sometime, to figure whether that’s true…
I ended up there because I was lost. In my thoughts. I was processing a conversation and before I knew it, I missed two stops.
Back in the old days, that would have made me feel anxious, self-conscious and stupid.
Today, I just smiled a big smile, got off when I noticed and kept smiling until I was at the right stop. Because I actually needed to get off at Southwark. That’s two stops. So I crossed over to the other platform and took the next train back. When I get home, I should ask Carlos where he buys those cans of self-acceptance. They seem to work. I must have accidentally put one in my bag before I left.
Who cares about two stops? I reconnected with an old friend. The conversation was the catalyst for a book project. And I can bring home the smell and memories of afternoon tea in David’s study from twenty to thirty years ago, because I found it at Fortnum & Mason’s.
What can you lose yourself in? What does it take to be gentle to yourself?
The old Greeks had a good handle on the space for that. They identified two sorts of time: kronos and kairos. Kronos is chronological, busy time. Kairos is slow, felt time.
We cannot escape kronos. But we can chose to slow down towards kairos.