Whole Time Planners: Why & How

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Why & How

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It's About Time (blog)

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1. Organic vs. Mechanical Time

We typicaly measure time either organically or mechanically. Organic ways to measure time include keeping track of the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, or our own heartbeats. Mechanical measures are clocks and watches of all kinds. Those of us immersed in the technological culture of the western world generally rely on clock-time to tell us when to eat, sleep, work, get the kids, and love each other. Clock-time supports many arguable benefits, such as airline travel, an increasingly global communications network, and public education. But sometimes we take a good thing too far by neglecting the rhythms of organic, life-sustaining processes and the information they convey. We leave ourselves vulnerable to believing that all food comes from grocery stores and that reality is found on TV. Distractions R Us. Whole Time Planners offers a slightly different take on time, metaphoric assistance for tuning in to the organic, underlying rhythm of our weeks.

The mechanized world also tends to be overly linear. The assembly line is one of its most often-cited achievements, but the economics of big machines -- gotta keep em running, time is money -- emphasize quantity and uniformity over quality and uniqueness. The days on square-based calendars march along single file, like containers on an assembly line, waiting to be filled. This may work if you subscribe to the idea that “he who dies with the most toys wins,” but may be less satisfying if youre looking instead for patterns of culmination, completion -- wholeness. Whole Time Planners offer a more organic metaphor for our time, inviting us to tend our lives like a garden.

2. Our Mother, Who Art the Earth ...

Art historians, liberal theologians, and others who delve into the creative workings of the myth-making side of the brain tell us that circular imagery invokes the feminine aspect of divinity, which is often notably absent among the frequently feuding worshippers of a single male deity.

Kitchen-table theology: Think of the Earth, the Mother of Us All, rounding up her squabbling monotheistic offspring, saying, “Come on, kids, there’s plenty to go around if you can just learn to share. Let’s have some cookies and milk.”

Whole Time Planners, made in Her image, help us remember to honor the female side of God and the sometimes-overlooked contributions of mothers. I have this vague sense that the upwelling, nurturing energy of God the Mother is routinely chopped into bits by the way we understand time, space, and accomplishment. What would the world look like if we spent as much time and energy invoking God the Mother as we do God the Father?

3. Results May Vary

Use a Whole Time Planner as you would a calendar or an engagement diary, or as a lens that'll give you an entirely different perspective on reality.

This works on the change-your-metaphor, change-your-life principle. In other words, results may vary, and a lot of it is up to you. A possibly-helpful analogy: Some knitters use circular needles instead of straight ones. Circular needles let you do everything straight ones do, and they also open up some new construction possibilities, such as making a whole sweater in one piece, and knitting huge afghans without one needle being weighed down toward the end of the row. But the needles are just a tool. The choice of pattern and materials and the crafting is up to the knitter.

Updated December 19, 2010

Questions or comments? Please email kelly at wholetimeplanners dot com
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