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Methods, Motion and Time

I’m a process person and like to document how things work in their methods. I find processes fascinating, like finding out what it takes to cook a particular meal, watching how people click through a website, thinking about how people mentally process the written message and so forth. At work, I always like to figure out what the best way is to maintain quality in solving any particular problem while also trying to establish efficiency. Nature is efficient, so I should probably follow the same rule as closely as I can.

Processes are how we experience an event unfold over time. Sometimes, we develop process as “second nature”. Learning how to tie our own shoelaces is a process that becomes something we don’t think about consciously. Learning how to drive is process where we develop some natural instinct but have to make conscious decisions along the way. Going to someone’s house for a party has a process as well, but one that is more cultural or instinctive and allows a guest to navigate the experience in the moment (although the hosts certainly have a different process). These examples show how we develop second nature, mixed focus and instinctive focus methods of experiencing life.

What is key to all is having a sense of timing. When we develop a method, we learn about how each action must happen before or after something else. Sometimes, actions must occur simultaneously to achieve a desired result. As we follow the method and get the desired result, we can, at times, follow the process as “second nature”. However, sometimes, the situation demands we pay attention as we go and respond to choices as they arise. This also develops our sense of timing.

We can also use our sense of timing to pick apart how something happened that we didn’t have any part of. We can meet a friend and see certain signs that they may be unusually happy. We may notice other things that are new or recall a recent conversation whose details seemed vague and now make sense. Then, we conclude perhaps they’ve had a great time with someone new, or perhaps we see they’ve bought something new that makes them happy. It could be a lot of things, but we tie all of these details together through our sense of timing and how processes work.

Other kinds of timing have nothing to do with process, but merely experience. Music is a great way to sense a rhythm and when we dance, we move only because there is something that inspires us to move. We aren’t trying to achieve a goal or follow some procedure. We just want to express energy through motion and rhythm and feel alive through the timing of the musical beat.

Timing in both of these ways is another way we sense time. How often have things happened serendipitously and you’ve marveled (or agonized) at the perfect timing? It is fascinating when such events happen without any personal influence over them. It makes us feel connected (or perhaps cursed) when forces come together with perfect timing. The more we can focus on the well timed events that work in our favor, the more we can open up to the flow of time through timing and not just cycles. It can feel like we are dancing through life gracefully.

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