Last spring I spent a week at an amazing private eco-retreat centre in southern Spain called La Finca Paradiso and returned with some delightfully unexpected gifts, including one from nature.
Amidst 33 acres of beautiful gardens designed and created over a 20 year period using the principles of sacred geometry stands a 2,000 year old olive tree that literally took my breath away.
Being in the presence of this ancient tree triggered an indescribable depth of timelessness that was at once unfathomably vast and eternally grounded in the Now.
Shift in Perspective
It didn’t take long for me to experience a palpable shift in perspective as the gaze of eternity shed a whole new light on absolutely everything.
I felt like the lens through which I’d been viewing the timing of personal priorities and professional projects cleared, and a weight I’d unconsciously been carrying just dropped away.
It was hugely liberating!
A New Way Forwards
It also thoroughly confirmed for me a decision I’d made just a fortnight before when I’d come face to face with the reality that estimating how long projects take is not one of my strengths.
At the time I was feeling a sense of urgency regarding new developments in my business yet also committed to finding a new way forwards that didn’t involve unrealistic timelines.
The dilemma came into sharp relief when I read a section in Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead where she tells the story of how she realized that estimating time wasn’t one of her skills either.
It was just what I needed to help me cross the threshold I was facing and make a conscious choice to allow ample time for the project to unfold with effortless ease and grace.
As soon as the decision was made, the subtle contraction of pressure opened into an expanded state of joyful flow; it felt completely right.
Two weeks later, the timeless gift of the olive tree reinforced this learning with an even more significant message about the value of making conscious choices from the perspective of eternity.
The Path of Mastery
Of course sometimes it’s entirely appropriate to make fast decisions and take immediate action in order to catch a wave, meet tight deadlines or save lives!
Yet it’s all too easy for speed to become an unconsciously driven habitual norm as expectations increase for everything to happen yesterday and/or be available instantly.
It’s tough to resist the internal and external pressure to see tangible results as soon as possible.
However, the path of mastery teaches that the greatest rewards come from steady commitment over the long term.
The perspective of eternity that the olive tree so exquisitely embodies opens the way for conscious choices to become possible through clearing the lens of conditioned response.
Now, when I’m faced with a challenging situation, I ask myself, “How does this look from the perspective of eternity?”
As my perception shifts to an expanded view of whatever details have presented themselves, clarity soon follows and the next steps become obvious.
Sense of Infinity
There are numerous ways to trigger a feeling of timelessness that can provide you with a similar sense of infinity as the context for important decisions or choices you need to make today.
You might feel it through an ancient wonder of the natural world, a sacred site that’s stood the test of time or a work of art that’s as fresh and vibrant now as when it was originally created.
The sense of well-being that comes from immersing yourself in this readily available but often ignored viewpoint is quite literally priceless.
As William Blake so famously wrote, “To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”