There’s an interesting concept in psychological coaching called ‘uptime’ and ‘downtime.' Uptime is when you’re alert and focused outwardly on people, the environment, sounds, sights & smells. Downtime is when your attention goes inwards, to your feelings, emotions, thoughts and inner experience.
There are many situations where being in uptime is very helpful, for example when you have to go to a meeting and engage with others. Or when you’re walking through the park on a misty fall morning, how lovely to be in uptime, to smell the dewy ferns, to feel the ground underfoot?
On the other hand, when life is demanding and full of responsibilities, many people yearn for some ‘me time’. Time to just sit, think and be. When your focus is turned inwards, you're in downtime.
Uptime & downtime are helpful concepts and provide a way for you to explore and modulate how you're habitually relating to your experience.
Something that has often interested me is that in meditation, this boundary between what's happening in here and what's happening out there dissolves. There’s no inner and no outer. There is just awareness and everything appears within it. Sounds, sensations, thoughts, smells... it’s all appearing in the same placeless place. This sense of seamlessness then spreads out into moments where you aren’t meditating, bringing with it an overwhelming sense that life is one whole thing. Inner is outer, outer is inner.
Art then, whether in the form of pictures, music, poetry or a beautiful sunrise, offers you the fantastic opportunity to enjoy both ‘uptime’ and ‘downtime’ - at the same time. Art is a chance for uptime and downtime to get together... and dance! 💃🏻