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Mindfulness Garden Games
by Joann Calabrese
author of Growing Mindful
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Time Change Challenge

New Moon Greetings – March 10, 2024
It’s Daylight Savings Time Again

On this first morning of Daylight Savings Time (DST), I have a mindfulness time-change challenge for you. We know this six-month cycle of adjusting the clocks is disorienting. So you may be thinking the challenge is to remain mindfully attentive as you try to get through the week. A great idea-but that is not the experiment I’m suggesting.

Before I tell you the actual challenge, let’s take a moment to reflect on why this time change even happens.

A Brief History of Why We Do This to Ourselves

To start with, it had nothing to do with farmers. They often get blamed for this. But if you stop for a moment to consider – farmers don’t work by the clock, they work when the sun is up.

And for much of our history, all humans based their day on when the sun was up. As we moved into a more industrialized culture, coming up with a unified way to track time became important. Standard Time is more closely aligned with when the sun rises and sets and that’s what we used for a while. But Standard Time makes it darker earlier in the evening.

Daylight Saving Time was created to extend daylight hours. Originally the stated reason was about reducing energy consumption. More light in the evening meant people were not using as much artificial light. However, the research that substantiates actual energy saving seems to be minimal.

More light at the end of the day encourages people to be more social – a healthy thing. And businesses prefer light at the end of the day because people are out engaging with their establishments.

So What’s the Problem?

If you are not aware, there is a significant amount of research on how disruptive this time change is to our health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position paper on the time change a few years ago. In it they noted that the transition from standard time to daylight savings “… incurs significant public health and safety risks, including increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders, and motor vehicle crashes.”

Because of the awareness of the health issues, there has been discussion about choosing one or the other year-round. Health professionals recommend Standard Time because more light in the morning is better for our health and wellbeing. And it seemed like Congress was moving in the direction of staying on Standard Time for the entire year.  

However there has been a lot of push back from businesses as people shop and engage more when there is light in the evening. Most of the business community wants DST to be the year round time.

So we are stuck. Although many people agree that it would be good to have ONE method of tracking time year round, they cannot agree on which it should be. And things will probably stay unresolved for now.  (If you’d like to know more about pending legislation, check out this NPR article https://www.npr.org/2024/03/08/1235811935/daylight-saving-time-change-2024)

Cultivating JoyA Mindfulness Time-Challenge for You

If we can’t opt out of this time change at least we can allow it to highlight similar situations in our own lives. We can reflect on how some of our own behaviors mirror this policy. Perhaps you are hanging onto a behavior or outmoded way of thinking that is no longer serving you – if it ever did. We often hang on to outdated behaviors out of habit. There may also be fear of change. Or, as with the national time debate, we have choices to make and feel stuck.

So, in the spirit of DST week, use this time to be thoughtful about what in your life you are attached to but is really not working anymore. Consider the things you may want to let go of for your health and wellbeing, and the choices to be made. Ask yourself what is standing in the way of making a change.

Most of us will feel more tired this week, but we can let the time change inspire us to move beyond being stuck in old habits that are not working. Grab a paper and pen. What in your life needs to be jettisoned? How might you make some positive change?

Wishing you a safe and healthy week and the energy to let go of the things no longer serving you!

About this Blog Post & and Global Healing Circles
Luna in the grapevines

This post is part of my lunar blog series.  For the time being I’ll be posting on each new moon (not the new and full moon as I did the last few years because of some other writing projects). Blogs will post each new moon will be related to plants and ideas featured in my book,  Growing Mindful.  or on other topics related to mindfulness, gardens, and intentional living. For more details and a list of past lunar blog posts, click here. 

An invitation to healing circles: One of my new projects this year is partnering with other graduates of the IIQTC (Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi) to offer virtual HeART of Body Compassionate Self Care Practice Circles based on qigong and tai chi. Check out the information here: Global Healing Circles or contact me if you need more information.

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