I have been [taking] nineteen minutes a day to do [a something] that is quiet or pleasurable or reflective.
Is that even the word? Is it taking or is it finding?
Finding or is it devoting?
Something that pulls me but for whatever reasons I do not let myself follow this pull.
Maybe something I long for, maybe something I always forget about and remember and forget again. Something that is not currently getting my full attention or something I am not usually able to prioritize. My nineteen minutes can be given to anything in this category.
Examples of a something…
Maybe reading a chapter of a book in my toppling TBR pile, maybe asking slightly-wiser-me for direction.
Maybe sitting in the garden and talking to the labyrinth-to-be, maybe getting on the floor and watching the clouds move across the sky.
Maybe I don’t know what my nineteen minutes are for and so I ask them. Maybe the nineteen minutes are for the question and for the listening.
Maybe I don’t know where to even find nineteen minutes and the practice is about exploring that and running experiements…
Time for yourself without an agenda, time for BEING, is a big deal.
Triple-especially in this culture that only prioritizes DOING, and really only gives you any credit for doing when it’s in the stages of finishing. Everything is about accomplishing and word-count and ass-in-chair.
So this is an intimate, vulnerable practice just by virtue of not being about those things. This is the opposite of that. This is about prioritizing and treasuring process, letting ourselves be in process without an agenda other than can we observe what takes place inside of this container of nineteen minutes…
Harder than it sounds? Haha, yup, maybe, sometimes!
This practice falls in the category of deceptively simple, in the sense that things which are simple are not necessarily easy.
Pretty much everything about [19 minutes] can sometimes be more challenging than it sounds like it should be, at least for me.
For many reasons, including but not limited to things like WHAT EVEN IS TIME AND HOW DO YOU FIND ANY?!
Though also we have the very interesting question of WHAT IS JOYFUL AND DO I EVEN KNOW ANYMORE HOW TO JUST CHILL.
That’s the practice though, right?
That’s part of why I’m doing it. Because taking time for myself is subversive, and exploring what might be joyful is a worthy investigation.
Mainly though I’m doing it to see what is revealed. In me, in the practice.
And of course, observing this process is also revealing.
What comes up as I am IN THE BECOMING?
That is to say: becoming someone who prioritizes carving out space and calling in permission for presence and play? Maybe even becoming someone who can intentionally do some delicious nothing at any time without any accompanying guilt or panic? Hahaha. Who knows.
And if I can already do these things some of the time, what changes when I have this lovely container of Time, Space & Intention to call in what is next, to magic up the new and better?
The most important part of this (to me)
For me, the practice is not so much the nineteen minutes as it is engaging with the idea of it.
I can get as much or more useful intel on a day when I can’t seem to carve out nineteen minutes (or on a day when I notice myself beating myself up about forgetting the practice) as I do from taking the nineteen minutes.
The practice is not the doing or the perceived accomplishing.
The practice is the engaging-with and the noticing. The practice is learning about how I can meet myself with kindness when I get stuck, and figuring out what I might want to try when I can’t.
Revealing love with love
When I am feeling [perceptions of lost & stuck], I ask Incoming Me what to do. She always says the same thing:
“Let nothing be hidden, and have nothing that is not needed”.
Do you feel how this is the essence of revealed and revealing? I feel it like a heart-belly reverberation.
Revealed means you know what is there and you know what you need.
You know what is there (nothing is hidden), and you know what you need (because what you have is what you need, or you are ready to remove anything that doesn’t support your needs).
Revealing as the natural extension of gleaming
Revealed is what comes from Gleaming. Revealed is what allows for Shimmering.
Revealed is related to Fierce Purpose, the north of my compass, and to the superpower of clearing the path to clear the path. Revealing is a gift of last year’s practice of Further Reductions To Gain In Powers.
It also reminds me of this elegant Feldenkrais concept: “If you know what you’re doing, you can do what you want”.
What am I noticing about how I am doing what I am doing? Let’s take 19 minutes for that!
In Feldenkrais, you practice awareness through movement, noticing how you are doing what you are doing, so you can either do something differently to change your movement/experience, or stay with the same movement while adding grace, ease, pleasure, awareness.
This is what I’m aiming towards in this practice of 19 minutes. What can I notice in this container of time? Am I doing what I want to be doing? What would add grace, ease, pleasure and awareness?
Companionship (would you like to play with this?)
Something that has revealed itself for me in the past months of being a hermit in the desert is that I am craving companionship and community in the form of people who share my desire to play with these ideas.
I’m opening my practice to anyone who wants to play in community, so some intel below in case you want to join us, which is still possible through Monday!
A container of time-space in the form of private intentional communal space for just about four months to mess around with this concept of nineteen minutes.
* Or your form of that, maybe it’s three minutes, or maybe what you want isn’t measured in minutes at all! Or maybe you’ll take a few months to work up to nineteen minutes, that works too.
We just embarked last weekend and you are welcome to join in. We will go until September 23rd which is equinox (autumnal in the northern hemisphere, vernal if you’re on the other side) so just about four months.
A private-access separate blog that no one will know about except this group. You run your own practice in as many series of comments as you like, and everyone else runs theirs.
This idea is to enjoy the benefits and superpowers of companionship and community, without the migraine-ey Endless Scrolling effects (for me at least) of being on FB or another platform. I’m doing this experiment of 19 in part to interrupt my patterns of Endless Scrolling.
Some benefits/superpowers of community include:
+ the weird wonderful thing that is collective energy and intention set into motion: even when we forget or get stuck, other people’s untangling supports our untangling, and our rest supports them!
+ the zoom effect of magically getting more done when someone is keeping us company
+ get inspired by other people’s insights and process
+ low-key accountability aka the kind that doesn’t make us feel terrible about ourselves
Because the work of seeding new habits or patterns is made easier when we have a form or a container to support this, and sometimes we need to invent one.
Because we will have so much more peacefulness in this complicated high-stress life if we have dedicated time-space to practice just listening and following instinct, and it’s easier to do this when our friends are doing it too.
(And the why of 19)
I don’t know, it just felt so right to me. Less than 20?
I imagine of course that other people will approach differently. Maybe someone will want a practice that is five minutes, and maybe someone else will want a practice that is not tied to time or numbers but something more like “each day I’ll read a chapter of a book for fun” or “I want to go for a short walk and breathe air!”
And other people might really feel pulled towards a frame of nineteen minutes but need to work up to it because life is doing life-things as it does, totally understandable. You can use this container for that too.
Re: working up to nineteen, if this is a thing that interests you…
If I wake up (or go to bed) one minute earlier each day, in less than three weeks I have an extra nineteen minutes.
If I wake up (or go to bed) ten seconds earlier each day, in four months I’m at nineteen minutes, absolutely NAILING IT, and who even notices ten seconds? Superpower of CUMULATIVE & FRACTAL!
The point is, there are many options, lots of ways to play. And if it takes us the full four months to carve out those minutes, that is both the right amount of time and also a useful experiment that will shed light on everything else we’re working on in life.
But in my experience, slow shifts can become fast shifts, there is a snowballing momentum factor that kicks in. In any case, the point isn’t to Do It Right, the point is to play, observe, learn, and change the experiment as needed because it exists to support us, not to be another thing we “should” be doing better or feeling bad about.
And what if the thing that pulls me isn’t pleasurable?
This keeps coming up for me because there are SO MANY THINGS I want to give nineteen minutes to, and some of them are more in the category of currently stuck-ish.
So I personally am not planning to use this time for iguanas (things that are stuck and need to be liberated) or for big scary exciting projects (write a screenplay?!) because I want to establish this practice of Devotional Minutes in my body-mind as something that is associated with feeling good. I am using it to cultivate joy.
Your practice is of course your own practice. I recommend starting easy and then making it easier, but that’s what works for me, and People Vary, and you know what works for you, and if you don’t, well, you can take nineteen minutes a day to find out…
And a word about fear of failure.
Again, to me at least, the practice is not so much the nineteen minutes as it is engaging with the idea of it.
There is no way to screw up the practice even if we don’t do it, because we are learning about ourselves.
Maybe some people will take the entire four months to slowly work up to nineteen minutes, or investigate the idea of it. Take as much time as needed to meet the version of you who takes time.
It’s all a grand experiment. And we will also benefit from everyone else running their experiments in the form of shared wisdom and sparks of insight.
I was going to write some kind of FAQ but then got stuck on that because answering questions is itself part of guru culture, which is the very thing I’m trying to dismantle in my work.
As you know, I don’t want to be the answerer-of-questions, the one with the answers. I want a relationship of equals where we all explore until we arrive at our own wise knowing.
I could of course process some of the questions I’ve played with on my own. I can also trust that you have the ability to process your own questions as they come up. Feel free to use the comments section for that.
And GUESS WHAT! A SPECIAL PRICE for you, sweet faraway online friend
I am extremely excited about this four month adventure and also never wrote the page to announce it.
Can blame many things (house is a construction zone! I fell down some stairs and am covered in bruises! at war with a mouse!), but to be quite honest, maybe I didn’t want to write it. Maybe I will write a page for the next time we do it, if I ever want to run this experiment again, who knows.
You get some good news which is that I will give you the discounted pre-signup price ($77 USD as opposed to $167 USD) since I’m the one who hilariously never told you what it was or why you should do it. Good through Monday.
We will play together from now through fall equinox . Here’s the discounted sign-up link!
As always: breathe into your yes, the power of the collective will work wild magic no matter how much or often you participate or not! Usual boring policies apply.
You are welcome/invited to use the comment space to share any !!! or anything sparked for you about any of these concepts, and the delicious word REVEALING which is giving me life right now as the kids say.
If you want to talk to any version of Incoming You / Slightly Wiser You about nineteen minutes or anything else, go for it. You’re always welcome to play with any of the concepts here, name wishes, call in some magic and superpowers, whatever you need. This is, as always, safe space for play and process, we meet each other with love and we don’t give advice.
And if you’re joining me for four months of 19 minutes, CONFETTI PARADE!
As always, please share with anyone who could use any of this. I love that you’re here with me.