We are all travelers in and through time
My name is Abbie and I am a ‘through time’ traveller. Discovering that there are two types of ways in which we can be around time was a huge eye opener for me. When I began my coaching training the second part of the course was dedicated to NLP techniques. Neuro Linguistic Programming. These amazing techniques are how many coaches can tap into the deep levels of their clients subconscious to effect powerful and long-lasting change. For so long I didn’t really get it. But when the penny dropped, I fell in love these fab techniques. I found them fascinating.
It was at one of these workshops that I had my biggest realization. Myself and my tutors at the time fellow coaches Jane and Louise were enjoying a particularly interesting conversation around introverts and extroverts. I sit pretty much in the middle of that spectrum. I love to chat when it comes to clients and I am energized by problem solving and conversation, yet I display many of the classic introverted tendencies such as needing my own space to recharge, focusing in great detail on tasks and a compelling desire to work alone when under pressure. So, we were having a great chat about the positives and the challenges of each and we started to chat about in time and though time. In time people tend to be introverted and through timers’ sway towards extroversion although this is of course not always the case. Chatting with Jane (a true in time introvert) I asked what does time look like to you then? She explained how time didn’t impact her the way it would a through time person. “For me” she said “I am unaware of the passing of time. I know time exists and I am able to operate within in, but I just doesn’t impact me in a way that is distracting”. “So, if I am getting on with things, I just do what needs to be done and if I do look at my watch it’s always a surprise to see how much time has passed.
My chest was tight. “So how do you not be late for everything?” I asked. She laughed “Well often I am late, not by much but sometimes I do arrive by the skin of my teeth.” “My husband is through time and it drives him crazy”.
“So, when you are getting ready for a night out and he is pacing up and down and looking at his watch, what is going through your mind?” I said “I am aware of his frustration, but it has no impact on me time doesn’t push me to go faster”.
“Wow. That is about as far away from how I experience time as you can possibly get.” I said with utter bewilderment. I felt like I had just met an alien. In the nicest possible way. I had no idea this world existed. Then the penny dropped. “Oh my god I have just realized why my daughter Ellie and I fight so much. She really is from another planet”.
Ellie the daydreamer
From the moment she could sit up walk and eventually talk, Ellie frustrated the hell out of me. I can say this with love but oh my god I was convinced they had given me the wrong child when I left the hospital. She has dark olive skin, beautiful big brown eyes and golden blond hair. I’m short fat and pale with mousy brown hair. My life was a struggle in many ways in those early years and by the time Ellie was 10 months old I had finally summoned up the strength to end the relationship with her father and move in with my sister Kate.
I was at home alone with Ellie all the time and the days were long and boring. Despite her incredible whit and ability to make everyone around her howl with laughter, Ellie was for the most part quite a solitary child. By this I mean she just appeared to be in a constant daydream. Not quite connected to anyone or anything around her. Like she was existing in another dimension. Ellie was 5 when Maya was born and as Maya grew up it became even more evident that Ellie was different. Her teachers were starting to express concerns about her attention in class and that led to her being tested for all sorts of syndromes and learning difficulties. As it turns out at the age of 14 she was diagnosed with mild dyslexia and a few other things I forget the name of now.
This however still didn’t explain, why every single day for her entire childhood she was the last one out of the classroom. Or why she was always so slow getting ready, or why she was unfazed by the pressure of needing to be ready on time. Hurry up hurry up hurry up – Ellie everyone is waiting. She just looked at me and carried on. Every day and I mean EVERY day, I would be stood in the playground thinking she had been abducted or wandered off. Then around 10 mins after the last child was collected, she would come strolling out like nothing had happened. Hurry up Ellie everyone is waiting I would shout at her when we had to get ready for a family event. And the more I shouted the slower she went. “Oh, my fucking god she is doing this to punish me” I would say to my mum. It’s like she hates me. I have stuff to get done and yet she is determined to piss me off.
When life is stressful
Life for me was a lot more stressful than it is today and I know this didn’t help. Ellie was not great at communicating either. Unlike Maya who, like me, loves to ‘use her words’. Ellie was quiet and solitary. I would regularly get to school only to find out there was a dress up day or school trip and Ellie and said nothing. She always had a good excuse as to why she hadn’t remembered. She was incapable to my knowledge of planning ahead and time just seemed to sit around her like a bubble. “I wish I lived on your planet sometimes Ellie.” I used to say to her. “Existing in a bubble not giving a toss about anyone else.” Not my proudest parenting moment.
When we do not understand something, it is frustrating and for me Ellie’s complete disconnection from me and the rest of our lives was infuriating. Until that day. “So, Jane when Clive is tapping his foot and pacing around why does that not make you go faster?” I don’t know she said I am not doing it to annoy him it is just how I am.
Suddenly it all made sense. Ellie made sense. I have over the years become much more skilled at focusing in the moment, becoming more mindful and not racing onto what’s next all the time. Living too far into the future is as destructive to our energy and productivity as living in the past. This moment is the only one that counts. This doesn’t mean I have suddenly stopped being organised or on time.
When it all changed
Ellie had living in the moment nailed. It was the only way she could operate. So, after making the discovery and finding out that there are definitely different ways to travel through time, I rushed home to speak to Ellie. “Guess what Ellie, you’re not a weirdo after all. Just kidding” I said. “Guess what I found out today”. From that day forward Ellie and I began a new journey of understanding, curiosity and acceptance. Understanding what drives her and what drives me has enabled us both to have a much more productive relationship with each other when it comes to time. Acceptance of who she is around time has meant I no longer experience the frustration. It has also given me perspective on where my through time behaviors are useful for me and my business and where they are not.
I have always felt that my training as a coach, while offering me a fantastic business and income. My greatest appreciation is how it has changed me as a mother. Not only am I able to completely lean into parenting in a way that I couldn’t in the early years. I get to enjoy the moments and feel like I am actually living in my life. The wonderful relationship I have with my girls has made it all worthwhile.
Want to find out what kind of time traveler you might be?
Here is a quick In Time Through Time exercise that can give you some clues about your time driver behaviors.
For more information on how coaching can help you to make the most of your inner time traveler behaviors contact me here.