I dont know if we here in the US ever had much down time. Were we ever a nation of porch sitters?
I know that in most peoples lives up till industrial times the seasons and the lack of strong light to illuminate night meant that we were forced to have some down time in our lives . Mostly we were farmers and we died of some communicable disease , exhaustion or if we were female from the complications of childbirth or the exhaustion of running a household of many children and no labor saving devices. Not pretty.
The work ethic here in the US is part of how we live in our work lives and in our down time.We work harder” smarter” than our fathers/mothers and…. this is supposed to be a good thing! If we are not productive even in our leisure time we have the nagging feeling that we might be wasting our time.Our children grow up scheduled and a little antsy if they are not doing something or being entertained by something.
If you think about it it is interesting that CA was born here in the US , a nation that prides itself on a citizenry who can keep an ever growing number of balls in the air in their business and personal lives.Multi-tasking as a word was born and we all felt inadequate that we just arent all that good at it and it is just one of those words born here on the West Coast that laud us for being able to give more and more of our souls to corporate identiities in shorter and shorter time increments.
The ” slow ” movement in food and agriculture could be seen as out of step with our busy harassed lives:after all who can afford to do all that choosing and picking and preparing of food items from scratch to slow cooked deliciousness.Many of us lack those wonderful bourgeouis commodities of time and money to be able to afford the organics and the time to ride our bikes to get them and the time to get our familiies all gathered around a table to consume them ,slowly.
I suggest that community acupuncture is one of a handful of movements that is trying to replenish the exhausted adrenals of Western society and that our pricing structure means that it is available to most of us, not just those of us with the twin pillars of time and money to pursue it. My patients get slow as soon as they are pinned to their chairs. They have carved out time in their lives to actually do some resting , restoring and healing because they see that it has value. Many of our patients find themselves “slowed” relatively in their lives after receiving regular acupuncture.They sleep better , cope better with their schedules and often make decisions to periodically take themselves out of the corporate ” time ” culture again in the near future.As we watch our patients get better we can sometimes see that their priorities change also in their lives to wanting something slower…
In its own quiet little way this is revolutionary . We are taking back the porch, the tea break,really ” visiting” again, in our clinics around the country,in Canada and Israel.