Time to incubate

Stella wears an intricately carved brass bangle repurposed from bomb shells

“You have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important.”

These are words from Raf Simons, on his departure from Christian Dior. Doing six shows a year with little time left in between to, in his own words, “incubate,” can take a toll on the most driven person.

As a parent who is too quick to yell “I count to five and you better be done!” and as a yoga practitioner who is well aware of the virtues of quieting down and tuning in, learning to take time off and to give time is a lifelong practice.

I took a little time off recently to reboot myself. This time, I did not over-plan my travel itinerary. I ensured there’s time to sit at coffeeshops and shoot the breeze. There’s time to give another human being my undivided attention because I was not in a great hurry to rush to another place. There was time for some TLC at the spa after my yoga practice. More significantly, there was space to go with the flow, change course, or let go, if so required. Truly, the equanimity that comes from being in the present moment, instead of being so destination-oriented, changes the experience of the journey.

When we give time, there is space to immerse ourselves in the experience, gain insight, fail and pick ourselves up again.

“Mama, what’s the hurry?” was one annoying question my child had the audacity to ask whenever I was trying to beat the clock. “It’s all about your self-imposed timeframe,” chipped in the eminently patient husband. Upon reflection on the [yoga] mat many years later, indeed, what’s the great chase about?

Mr. Sopheak at work

Try telling Mr. Sopheak you need him to produce 2,000 bangles in a day. It takes the talented self-taught craftsman two days to carve, file, smooth, polish and cajole one piece of this brass beauty into shape. Slowly and steadily, he produces our bestselling bangle, two days at a time. Does the Third World craftsman have no sense of urgency or is the First World being too consumed by life he has forgotten how to live it?

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care, consciousness and understanding. To purchase them, visit 100 Good Things store.

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