How to have a Pooh-moment Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Thursday, 24 May 2012 10:30
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“‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” 

Before Alan Alexander Milne wrote ‘Winnie-the-Pooh,’ the pooh-word had one kind of meaning and one only. Why choose such a name for a bear? It probably has to do with children’s scatological sense of humour. They lose it soon enough, just as they lose their sense of golden moments, and start seeing time as one long string of linear happenings where you always feel as if you’re behind schedule.

Life coach Martha Becks writes that, as a teenager, she never felt she had enough time to do everything she hoped to accomplish. She says that she has always been obsessed with time and, strangely enough, she also always keeps losing her watches.

So, imagine her panic when she yet again lost a watch, this time on a road trip. She was shocked by how often she kept looking at her empty wrist. To her huge relief, she soon bought another cheap plastic watch. This one, however, had a feature she had never seen. To set the time, Martha had to bring up a screen that said ‘chrono’.

Every time she saw this screen the following thought would pop into her mind: Not chronos, but kairos. Chronos is a Greek word that refers to the passage of linear time. Kairos means the time of the ancient Greek gods.

According to author Sarah Breathnach, chronos is time at her worst. “Chronos is clocks, deadlines, watches, calendars, agendas, planners, schedules, beepers. Chronos keeps track. . . Chronos is the world’s time.”

Kairos, on the other hand, is time at her best. “Kairos is transcendence, infinity, reverence, joy, passion, love, the sacred. . . Kairos is Spirit’s time.”

Sarah writes that we exist in chronos, but we long for kairos. That’s our duality. We do in chronos, but in kairos we’re allowed to be. It is a sad fact that we judge doing to be more important than being.

Eckhart Tolle says that what we see as important is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. “The more you are focused on time - past and future - the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

“Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life,” he writes. “Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now.” It is this moment in this day.

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day,” said Pooh.

Do you remember feeling the way Pooh does about a day? It all has to do with being present in whatever you’re doing. As adults few of us are present in our own lives. We tend to get stuck on what author Jonathan Foer calls the OK Plateau.

This is a place where things are going reasonably well; well enough so that we’re content to sort of stumble ahead. Most adults spend years on the OK Plateau when it comes to having fun.

They want to plan fun for the future and cannot remember how to fall down the rabbit hole of sudden unplanned fun. Still, it takes only a moment to cross over from clock-time to an indeterminate time, from chronos to kairos.

Next time you burst into laughter, next time you catch a scent of jasmine on the evening breeze, next time a puppy brings you a toy – remember that these are the tiny windows opening up to allow magic to enter the material world. Don’t let the doing-dynamo-in-you propel you past them.

“You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by,” writes James Matthew Barrie; “but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.”

After all, it’s much like Pooh said: “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

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