In less than three weeks, I will be hanging out with three of my heroes whose careers I have followed for years, as well as one new-to-me mentor and inspiration, as these four powerhouses focus on helping me live my dreams. It’s going to be a ferociously busy time as I prepare for the Enlightened Bestsellers Mastermind weekend, so I am using one of my favorite “live your dreams” tricks, which I call “Einstein Time.”
What is Einstein Time?
You have, of course, heard of relativity. Einstein himself expresses it this way: “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.”
I believe that when I’m truly laser-focused on the task at hand, I can accelerate my pace of thinking and creating to a lightning speed, as I did when I wrote 180 pages in one week back in 2010 while working on the first draft of my book. I don’t know if it’s divine inspiration, possession, or just pure raw determination, but when I need to get something done fast, I crank it out!
And when you are totally absorbed in what you are doing, time does fly by. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes about this concept in his book, Flow.
Mihaly defines flow this way: “When a person’s entire being is stretched in the full functioning of body and mind, whatever one does becomes worth doing for its own sake; living becomes its own justification. In the harmonious focusing of physical and psychic energy, life finally comes into its own.” He goes further to say it is the “full involvement of flow” that makes for excellence in life.
When I enter this state of flow, as I often do when writing, dancing, or public speaking, or preparing a speech, workshop or retreat, time evaporates in a fun way. I’m fully engaged. I love what I’m doing.
I lose track of time and stop looking at the clock.
Of course if time is flying by, one still needs to be conscious enough to be sure that the deadline is met. This is when I employ my other favorite trick of “stretching time.”
For me, stretching time is all about slowing down internally – i.e. operating from an internal state of true calm and peace, so I’m not frazzled or distracted. This to me means focusing intensely, and also committing more strongly than ever to my “foundational practices” of meditation and yoga, which ground me and help me to cultivate that coveted state of a “quiet mind.”
And, it’s about intending. So, I actually set an intention to “stretch” time to be sure I can complete all the tasks I need to complete.
Of course, good old-fashioned tactics like prioritizing make a difference, so in a fun and wildly busy time like this, I drop all the “non-essential” tasks off my list. For better or for worse, right now this includes deep housecleaning (I do my dishes and laundry and the basics of course, but no floor is getting swept or mopped until I’ve gotten through these deadlines).
“An immaculate house is a sign of a boring woman” is an expression I’ve always liked. Maybe this is because cleaning is hardly my favorite activity, although I can make it more fun by cleaning and dancing with ABBA on in the background.
Yet I’d definitely prioritize “living my dreams” over “having a floor I could eat off of.” There will not be much socializing in these next few weeks, with the exception of spending time with my adorable four-year-old niece and two-year-old nephew, who are visiting my parents in Massachusetts until early December.
I also want to finish the new version of my Website, print new business cards, and do a juice cleanse over these next two-and-a-half weeks. A lot to pull off, right???
Who Doesn’t Love A Good Challenge?
I like challenges, luckily, and have always been one to rise to the occasion… Challenges motivate me to perform at my highest and best level.
I’m so thrilled about this career opportunity, so am going to give it everything I’ve got. It’s what I’ve been working toward for a few years now, since I first started working on my book, Burning Down the House.
I get the chance now to be mentored by New York Times best-selling authors Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood, of The Passion Test, and Marci Shimoff, who wrote Happy for No Reason and Love for No Reason. All three of them also travel the world doing inspirational speaking, and they will help me to grow my public speaking career.
And, I’ll get to benefit from the expertise of Internet marketing guru Geoff Affleck, who is a globe-trotting speaker and facilitator as well.
There is no way I’m going to meet my role models without having done my homework first! Which to me right now means: finishing the book proposal, getting my new Website up, printing new business cards, and polishing my three-minute pitch that describes what my business is, who I serve, and how I differentiate myself from other life coaches and spiritual teachers.
I’m working on that now, and making steady progress every day. Last week, I hid away at a friend’s lakehouse for a few days, because he is in a remote, beautiful and peaceful location with no Internet, so I can’t even be tempted by Facebook or email.
I’ll return there this week for a few days, work hard for 12-hour days, and then spend the weekend with my nephew and niece.
Good times, good times!
Speaking of Einstein and Dreams…
When things get a little wild like this, I remind myself what a “high-quality problem” it is to have your dreams manifesting, and at the same time to have the chance to spend time with some of the people in the world who you love most.
I really do believe I’m almost freakishly lucky. I’ve been able to live so many of my life’s dreams already, and I’m still so young! I am less than halfway through my life, God willing, maybe a third of the way through if I really master longevity, and I feel like I’ve only just begun…
I’ve always been fortunate in having the opportunity to connect with my heroes and have access to amazing mentors as well, as I will at this Enlightened Bestsellers Mastermind weekend.
Einstein is one of my personal heroes, and he was a physicist at Princeton, where I spent my undergraduate years. I was originally a math major, and perhaps felt close to Einstein because of that. I also love it that he is a great humanitarian with the world’s most wonderfully wild white hair.
I used to dream about Einstein, and in one particularly vivid dream that I still recall clearly all these years later, we were out on a boat together in the middle of the ocean. Which ocean, I don’t know, but I don’t think it matters. Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, the Atlantic.
We were the only two people on this white sailboat, and Einstein, my buddy Albert, was busy sharing the secrets of the universe with me. Why he decided to bestow them upon lil’ ol’ me, who knows, but I was certainly grateful to be learning them and to be in his wild and gentle presence!
At one point in the dream, a red and white missile was rushing by us just underneath the surface of the water. It wasn’t headed for us, but I felt that it was my job to stop it.
I definitely have always had a bit of a “messianic save-the-world-complex” which is something one must release in order to focus on living dreams, really. Because I can live my own passions, and do healing work in the world through my writing, speaking and teaching, but surely I am not meant to save the whole world, singlehandedly.
Still, it was nice to hear the secrets of the universe! I just wish I could have remembered them when I woke up!
Staying Focused on Living the Dreams
Perhaps someday I’ll remember the secrets that Einstein told me. For now, I’m just focused on getting ready for this amazing Enlightened Bestsellers Mastermind weekend.
I love it when I am living the dream, in a way that exceeds what I ever could have imagined I’d achieve… These special weekend promises to be one of those magical times in my life.
So I will work hard, enjoy being in the flow, “stretch” time, and give it my all….
What are your favorite techniques to “stretch” time or deal with temporary “overwhelm” when many amazing things are happening in your life all at once? Do share your tactics here, dreamers, and keep dreaming big and living the dream!
Lisa Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on the Madam President Project or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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