Living Off the Grid

“The grid” I am referring to is a calendar page. You know, the 2-page spread of little boxes that hold a month of personal commitments…


As part of a group coaching call last week the facilitator asked us to envision what our world would look like if we dissolved the current structure we use for organization and planning? Hmm. In my mind’s eye, I brought my November schedule into a vision and then let the black-line grid dissolve, allowing my daily activities to float freely in my imagination. My initial reaction was, “Oh, oh – this is going to be chaos!”

Our invitation was to stay in this suspended imagery and see what wanted to happen; what naturally and easily emerged without apparent effort.

It took a little while in this meditation for things to begin to drift into any discernible shape. Eventually, however, a shape DID emerge – an inverted triangle. Our guide asked us to observe where and how the free-floating pieces gravitated. Mine settled into bands – at the bottom (the tip on which everything else balanced) nestled my personal time: creative, meditative, health-based activities. Above that, a band of practical, functional tasks settled and still above that the broadest, widest band carried the “big picture” projects that are on my plate: coaching networks, personal learning, financial planning, career aspirations.

Slowly, I became aware of some “outliers” – a few items still floating outside the boundaries of my emerging structure. Examining them, they were tasks I either didn’t want to do or didn’t need to do. They could be deleted.

The coaching call ended. I put the paper into my daytimer and moved on through the week. And, as things do – the idea percolated.

What if? What if daytimers were like this: what if the preordained boxes were NOT all alike? What if a few key commitments could keep me on point and keep me sharp through the everyday aspects of home-making and taking care of business? What if I gave myself permission to create a band of time (wider and broader than I do now) to dream, envision and intentionally expand my life-work and my long-term projects? What would be possible if I took myself off a grid-system and implemented an entirely new format?

Maybe it would encourage me to honour who I am, more than focus on what I do. Maybe I would discover something new in this re-visioned structure. Perhaps I could lean into giving priority to what serves my health (body, mind, and spirit) first, then to define the appropriate time for other tasks as they warrant attention.  Ooo… it sounds so simple. Could it be that in dropping off the grid I could more authentically align my time with my activities? I wonder.


How about you? If you dropped a rigid structure and let something new emerge, what comes to mind?   What shape might it take and how might that shape serve you more effectively and authentically?

Photo Credit: Eric Rothermel 

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