Coach: You said that you were restless this morning, thinking about the past and the future.
Norm: Yeah, another collision with reality. I’m still trying to get perspective within my new time warp. I have SO many unfinished commitments and plans.
C: And fond memories as well?
N: Yes, but they seem to be overwhelmed by my regrets this morning.
C: And how about thoughts of the future?
N: Of course, I’m uncertain right now but, I sense an ultimate hope in it all working out.
C: Not sensing fear or despair now?
N: No. Perhaps I will, and I know that my fear can create despair. But when I sense that level of fear, I know that I have the choice to choose faith over fear, in that moment, to move out of it.
C: Even when conditions are at their worst, you know the power of full engagement is to stay fully present in the moment. It’s been said that neurosis is what you exhibit when the past or the future holds the present hostage.
N: Yes, and I remember you coaching me in the “Take 5″ skill about a decade ago in order to stay present in the moment. It goes like this: go inside and focus on the next best thing, set a timer for 5 minutes, go for that thing with sprint energy, then stop and re-focus on the next 5 minutes.
N: I’ve always found great worth in the” Take 5″ events that I’ve chosen. And I’ve come to appreciate what many of our participants in the addiction recovery program say as they end their sharing, “I’m grateful to be sober, and I’ll take another 24.” A day at a time gets them through, but this morning it seems like 5 minutes at a time will get me through.
C: Alright, here’s a Zone 4 Challenge for the next 5 minutes. What would you do to Take 5?
N: I’m going to pick some tomatoes from the garden.
(Norm goes out to the garden at 7:40 AM …)
N: Here are some of the tomatoes I picked this morning, in various stages of ripening.
C: What did you experience as you were picking the tomatoes?
N: I felt connected to the moment, and to the tomatoes, and to my energy. When I’m on the high road in the moment, the past seems good, and the future seems hopeful.
C: Your perceptions changed to the high road in all three “time zones”?
N: Yes, in fact, I sensed that I was “finding strawberries” rather than tomatoes!
C: So, you took one hand off the “vine” (See Finding strawberries, together) while you picked tomatoes?
N: Right. My plan for today is to keep one hand on the vine, and with the other hand, find strawberries, or tomatoes, or whatever is of high worth.
C: Good, Norm. That may be the best expression of multi-tasking yet. Keep Taking 5! See you in the very near future.
[Note: See Bloomfield and Cooper, The Power of 5, for lots of creative ways to Take 5.]