(Originally posted on Instagram November 2019)
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. Life!
Downtime is when your attention goes inwards, to your feelings, emotions, thoughts and inner experience.
There are some situations where uptime is helpful, for example when you have to go to a meeting and engage with others. Maintaining radio contact with your intuition is great, but drifting off into the realm of self-related thoughts and feelings might not always be helpful when you need to be listening.
Likewise, 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 and think and be and feel. Downtime is calling. Uptime & downtime are helpful concepts and provide a way for us to explore and modulate how we are habitually relating to our experience.
On a less practical note, in meditation, this boundary between in here and out there dissolves. There’s no inner and no outer, just boundless presence. 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 those moments where you aren’t meditating or sitting with your eyes closed. Such as walking in the park or drinking tea for example. And it brings 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 or poetry, offers us the fantastic opportunity to experience ‘uptime’ and ‘downtime’ at the same time!
Art is a chance for uptime and downtime to get together... and dance! 💃🏻