Ribbon Candy Theory and the Art of Nexus
So they’re back to school, our darlings in NZ. I hope you had a fabulous summer. Even if it didn’t necessarily feel like it in every moment, “Mum, I’m bored”, looking back, we did right by our kids. We had heaps of sailboat, travel and surfing time, and wonderful visitors that made evenings long and slow on the back deck.
We also had the biggest month for Goodbye Sandfly we’ve ever done (that’s 15 years of building up to the January we just had). Seems all of NZ was out having fun in the really great run of weather.
As you might have guessed, if you’ve been around longer than a month, I’m unpredictable with writing. In the first two years I hooked myself to a publication schedule. Now, I allow life to unfold, creating about 20 posts in my head to every one I actually write.
This one came up yesterday, and as I head back to “normal” schedule, whatever that is. I hope you find it good timing for you too. There’s a place for you to create your own wisdom at the end.
With respect, Cricket, Bex
Ribbon Candy Theory and the Art of the Nexus
Ribbon Candy is a treat that was at my grandparents’ house every Christmas as a kid growing up. It came in all colours, and always looked way better than it tasted, even to my sugar loving small kid self. I loved its pattern, back and forth, like a repeating, never-ending S, each loop connecting to the next.
Somewhere after writing Slow Down the River, I started equating the back and forth path of the ribbon candy with my own path created in life. I think I’m going in a straight line, I’m moving as fast as I can, and when I look back, I’ve walked a long path to travel… not far. But oh so much done. Tasks and more tasks for every hat that I wear.
For years I’ve said that I don’t subscribe to the myths of ahead and behind, but that doesn’t seem to translate to my speed. My expectations often outstrip my actuals by about double, which means I’m destined to fall in bed feeling I didn’t get enough done. Ah, behind.
In Ribbon Candy there are places where paths touch, nexus points. If you pause just before or right on a nexus point, you might see it, and just step across. How elegant.
So for the last 18 months, I’ve been playing around with creating opportunities to pause and allow for the efficiencies of these gorgeous nexus points. What is really happening is the wise visionary in me (and you) has this moment to be heard. It feels marvelous when it happens.
Often it’s reducing a proposition:
Don’t need to put 100 hours into that project only to realize it’s the wrong proposition? Nexus.
Don’t need to clean the house BEFORE the kids’ party? Nexus.
Don’t need to drive to Auckland next week, I can combine it with another trip. Nexus.
Sometimes it’s setting up for efficiency:
Weed, feed, water in and mulch that bed, and it will be happy and productive for weeks without attention. Nexus.
Make double pumpkin soup. Yummy nexus.
Sometimes it’s engaging assistance:
Child hangs up laundry while I make dinner. Rare, but lovely nexus.
Outsource the video transcripts so I don’t have to do it? Yea!
The key to making these nexus points really work is to recognize the ones that have happened. Because once you realize how a day perfectly unfolds at a pace sane and beautiful. Once you realize that enough stuff got done. That you are doing a fantastic job of this life thing. Then you get the SATISFACTION of life.
You can be an all out nexus-hunting, efficiency pro, but if it hasn’t changed your sense of ahead, behind and perfectly in tune with a kind universe, then you are missing the gift of the nexus. They are like little graces that let you know you are well and all is right.
Here’s where the magic happens. It’s worth another cup of tea sitting watching the trees at mid morning. It’s worth a shivasana (lying down doing absolutely nothing) 15 minutes before the kids walk in the door. Gracefully, mindfully if not strolling your path, then maybe just not rushing.
Are you ready to make a promise? Fill in the blank. For the next 30 days, I will ______________ every day as a lovely way to pause, knowing that as a result I will not only be more rested, but more efficient. Not to mention more loving.
Signed, with respect for my self and my amazing efforts, ___________________
I’ve started a Facebook Post here with my own as yet untried 30-day promise. You can see what I wrote and add your own promise here.
p.s. Garden Followup is coming! Start taking photos and we’ll create a collage of your garden celebration in NZ. It will make our Northern Hemisphere friends very jealous, and sustain them through their winter.