Cover image for What's the rush? : a dreamrunner's guide : step out of the race, free your mind, change your life
What's the rush? : a dreamrunner's guide : step out of the race, free your mind, change your life
Ballard, Jim, 1933-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Broadway Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 209 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF637.S4 B34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"This is a book you can use to train yourself to get balance back in your life." --from the Foreword by Ken Blanchard, Ph.D. A beautifully simple guide for finding peace--and a better pace--in every step of life. These days, the world seems to be moving faster and faster, while we rush through our days at home and at work just to keep up.  We live at a quicker pace than ever before, but we find ourselves stuck in thinking at the same speed--making both our thoughts and actions unfocused and frantic.  Now, in What's the Rush?, business consultant Jim Ballard shows us how to step out of the race and stop setting unrealistic "finish lines" for ourselves--and finally find the pace at which we were meant to live and work. As Jim Ballard reveals in this book, rushing blindly isn't the solution to negotiating the rocky terrain of our work and personal lives.  Using the metaphor of running consciously, Ballard offers us a way to restore balance through the technique of "dreamrunning," which allows us to trust our own intuition to guide us, freeing us to reason and act from an inner source rather than merely react to outer stimuli.  Ballard guides us in discovering ways to live comfortably with the transience and impermanence that are an inescapable part of modern life--from job and career changes to the ups and downs of relationships.  What's the Rush? also teaches us to live in the moment.  As Ballard writes, "The present moment is where we have power and awareness.  It is where everything is happening.  The more we live in it, the more we see that time is a resource, not a taskmaster." Through a combination of spiritual meditations, exercises called "recipes for the sole," and words of inspiration called "footnotes," What's the Rush? shows the way to: Make uncertainty our friend and be energized instead of discouraged by change Choose realistic goals for managing long-term projects Focus on the present so that life doesn't pass us by Showing us how to balance logic with intuition, control with surrender, and thinking with feeling, Jim Ballard puts us on the path toward a life-changing experience.  For all of us who feel that there simply are not enough hours in the day, or that life is passing us by while we stand around, helpless to stop it, What's the Rush? reveals the sheer joy of running free.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Business consultant Ballard here teaches us how to step out of the race and stop setting unrealistic "finish lines" for ourselves. He uses a running metaphor to challenge the reader to find an individual pace and to live and work at that pace. He stresses restoring balance through the technique of "dreamrunning," which allows us to trust and be guided by our own intuition rather than by outside influences. According to Ballard, "The present moment is where we have power and awareness. The more we live in it, the more we see that time is a resource, not a taskmaster." He has developed 30 "recipes for the sole" that can be used either in exercising or in any routine activity. The "breathing yourself forward" strategy helps one to manage stress in everyday routines as well as running. Recommended.ÄRavonne A. Green, Blacksburg, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Introduction I wipe a mirror and place it in your hands. --Edward Carpenter What's the rush? Good question for most of us in these turbulent times.  With all the stresses and demands on us, it seems we must run faster and faster just to keep up.  But where is all this rushing getting us? Is it satisfying for us? Are we doing more tasks, but finding less meaning in them? If so, it's time to take stock.  We must separate what is important from what is merely urgent.  Are you happy with the pace and tenor of your daily life? Do you like the way things are going? If not, this book will help you to make changes.  It will guide you to step out of the race .  .  .  free your mind .  .  .  change your life. Living in today's turbulent world, it's easy to feel fearful about the uncertainties that accompany rapid change.  Lacking assurance about how things will turn out, it seems easier to just run faster, do the next thing, fit one more thing in, and tolerate the frustration and exhaustion, than to stop, take a look at what's going on, and begin to take action to correct the situation. Many people today see themselves as victims of a world in constant change.  Uncertainty haunts them.  They wake up each morning with a vague sense of dread, a low-grade anxiety associated with their inability to predict or control their futures.  They feel powerless; they worry about the future, about money, about their health.  It seems they can do nothing to change things.  But they can do something--they can change their minds. Experience is not what happens to us; it is what we do with what happens to us.  This means we don't need to change the world, but the way we look at it.  What is required is a self-science: the scientist is the individual self; the laboratory is the mind; the experimental activity is dreamrunning, the subject of this book.  What is dreamrunning? It is the practice of deliberately shifting attention away from the mind's accustomed ways of defining experience into another perspective, where the self appears to be not the cause but the instrument of action.  When a person has this experience, he or she achieves a balance between "making things happen" and "letting things happen" that feels right. This balance removes stress and makes life more enjoyable and fascinating.  Worry goes away, alarm and tragedy disappear.  It seems whatever happens is meant to happen, because while we occupy this space of the mind we are free of the fears that restrict us in our ability to deal effectively and creatively with life.  We experience a natural connectedness with things.  We can see clearly so that we recognize solutions which formerly were hidden from us. The core experience in What's the Rush? is captured in the words of South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim: "I am not a player, I am played." It is the exhilarating realization that we are not the "doers" of the activity in which we engage.  This experience tunes us in to the life force that is behind all our activities, the source of energy by whose agency we are enabled to think and act.  By practicing dreamrunning techniques we align ourselves with the hidden wellspring of our being, which goes unknown and unacknowledged when human beings mistakenly believe that they are the originators of their actions. What's the Rush? is designed to help people use their minds to catch up with their experience.  Why running? Because in these turbulent times we are all running--running to keep up, to stay ahead, to get everything done.  Running is a metaphor for all the hurrying and rushing about that people are doing these days.  What's the Rush? is not so much about jogging the body as jogging the mind out of its ruts.  The goal is to achieve and to maintain a state of "inner fitness." This inner fitness, achieved by self-effort and practice, creates an antidote for the growing sense of dislocation, the spiritual emptiness so many are feeling today.  The conviction that drives this book is that our true home, our rightful sense of belonging and security, is found not in the outer world, but within ourselves. The Three Noetic Practices What's the Rush? is a manual for how to use the mind to be happy by gaining inner control amidst the uncertainties of life.  Things we used to count on and take for granted are shifting before our eyes: job security, permanence of home and career, neighborhood continuity, dependability of institutions such as marriage and family, our role as a nation, etc.  In the world of business, all is in flux--markets, customer needs, and competitors seem to change overnight.  Even though we don't have much control over events and circumstances, we can train ourselves to be assured of an internal control that brings us peace and well-being.  This book describes why we have lost this important sense of inner control.  It shows how to recognize the signals that tell us we have lost it.  And it suggests ways to regain it.  I call these techniques for gaining control Noetic Practices. The word noetic (from the Greek nous, meaning mind or ways of knowing) refers to the scientific exploration of mind and consciousness as the roots of human experience.  The noetic self-science described in this book is about transforming our experience by deliberately and continuously changing the way we see things.  Working within the laboratory of our own experience, we develop our ability to see things in new ways, and in the process we come to know ourselves. This practice is based on what might be termed militant optimism --a ferocious commitment to being happy.  As students of this discipline, we begin by abandoning our lifelong careers of trying to change the world.  Whenever we find that we are stressed or upset, rather than assigning cause or blame to the outside event, we assume distortion in the way we are perceiving things.  This is more than "attitude adjustment." It is the practice of truth--making our perceptions match the way things actually are.  We are taking each unhappiness-making instance as a personal challenge, an opportunity to go inside and examine our belief structures.  By this process we gradually gain mastery over reality (defined as "the way I am seeing things"). By no means does this commitment to scrutinizing our own mental processes imply abandonment of ambition, or of thinking for ourselves, or of asserting our way in the world.  This optimistic self-science is based on a ruthless examination of distorted notions and attitudes and on a deep trust in intuitive perception.  When successful, we achieve an elegant balance between the rigidity of intellect and the fluidity of intuition.  Maintaining this balance sharpens thinking to a fine creative edge, awakening and attuning wise discrimination.  Noetic Practices involve us in a sort of psychic alchemy which has the magical power to transform our experience.  Paradoxically, the very simplicity of the practices makes them easily accessible for use in extremely complex and demanding circumstances. I examine three Noetic Practices.  They are: 1. Dreaming the World 2. Reframing Experience 3. Playing with Time As we regularly and consciously activate each of these Noetic Practices, we become more attuned with life as it unfolds moment by moment.  We begin to develop an ability to deal more effectively with our daily experience.  Instead of being tumbled about and disoriented in the chaotic rapids of our circumstances, we can view the stream of change from a calm perspective. Ascending the Noetic Practices (NP) Pyramid When people grapple with the uncertainties of relentless change, they can easily come to feel like helpless victims of all the changes.  Getting beyond this victim state of mind means essentially rising above it.  The three Practices outlined above enable us to do this, provided they are activated continuously and deliberately as a mind-management program.  A symbol that combines elevation by means of three forces is the three-sided pyramid; it is used here to illustrate how use of the Noetic Practices elevates us above the churning waters of change, giving us a loftier perspective and allowing intuition to kick in and reveal the truth about our situation. Overview of the Book What's the Rush? consists of two main parts: theory (the ideas behind the practices) and practices (the collection of dreamrunning techniques called Recipes for the Sole).  The Recipes have been interspersed among and between the chapters in order to remind the reader that the self-science I call dreamrunning is not merely a collection of concepts, it is about things you actually do with your mind and body. Chapter One, "On the Run," explores the problem for which dreamrunning is the treatment.  It shows how change itself has changed over the past few decades, culminating in the present condition of "constant white water." Amidst this turmoil, we are in danger of drowning--unable to keep up with our new ways of living--because of our old ways of thinking. Chapter Two, "Escape from Littlethink," is the outcomes-and-benefits chapter.  It details what dreamrunning can do for you.  This chapter hints at the joyous power to be found in using the three NP's to integrate life around a purpose greater than ourselves. Each of the next three chapters explores one of the Noetic Practices separately.  Chapter Three, "Dreaming the World," is a personal account of how I came upon dreamrunning.   It develops the idea that the world we see is really a dream, and that there are decided advantages to seeing it this way.  This chapter presents Noetic Practice 1. The second Noetic Practice is the focus of Chapter Four, "Reframing Experience." This chapter examines the process of perception and explains how, through the activity of dreamrunning, we can practice shifting the way we experience the world. "Playing with Time" is the title of Chapter Five.  It is our sense of time that most troubles us in this closing decade of a speeded-up century.  This chapter demonstrates Noetic Practice 3; how we can achieve great power by concentrating attention in the present moment. The concluding chapter, "Connecting with Our True Selves," facilitates the reader's ability to identify core values, plan solitude, and set a course for being "found" by his or her Mighty Purpose. How Important Are the Recipes? I have been asked, "Isn't it enough just to read the book and try to practice the techniques without running?" My answer is, It depends.   On the one hand, you can't build those intuition muscles just by reading about "Being Run." Dreamrunning is like any purposeful system of self-change: whether it be weight loss, financial management, or learning a musical instrument, you must practice to experience its benefits and achieve mastery. Dreamrunning involves choosing to engage the will on two separate levels.  On one level is the decision to take on the noetic discipline of changing ourselves from the inside out.  On another level is a commitment to put the Recipes for the Sole to use in everyday life without worrying about what happens.  This means having faith that in the long run this in vivo practice will train our unconscious in flexibility, free up the mechanisms that control our beliefs and attitudes, and help us become masters of our own reality.  And so, it is in the use of the Recipes where it all comes together, out there wherever the path of today or tomorrow takes you.  The Recipes are the dream-inducers and the strength builders. On the other hand, it's not necessary, or perhaps even advisable, to run--at least to run in the way that term is normally held these days in the public consciousness.  All-out athletic running is a high-impact activity--fine for some, but stressful, unpleasant, and potentially injurious for others.  Most importantly for our purposes, the performance aspect of the sport known as "jogging" may be downright antithetical to producing the mental and spiritual results we are seeking.  Running in public causes the ego to kick in (How do I look?), and dreamrunning is a process of bypassing the ego.  It can also be practiced while walking, swimming, biking, or using a treadmill or exercycle. Wun-Ralk What I recommend is an ideal exercise for using the Recipes, which does not tire or injure, and seems to be easy and fun for everyone.  The pace is a bit more than a walk, yet just short of a run.  Since the term "run-walk" is already used in sport magazines to mean alternating between periods of running and walking, I've chosen (at the risk of sounding like Elmer Fudd) to call this pace the wun-ralk.   The upper body moves as in running--arms bent and swinging to lift the body slightly on each step--while the lower body moves as in walking--heels planting instead of striking.  The measure of this activity is that the head, instead of bobbing up and down, moves forward in a straight line.  Anyone, old or young, athletic or not, can find great joy and great inner strength and peace by building the habit of going out and wun-ralking through the Recipes. Dreamrunning is for everybody.  Whether you exercise or not, whether you are a manager, a teacher, a homemaker, a software designer, a retail sales clerk, a top corporate executive, or an auto mechanic, What's the Rush? can train you to get balance into your life.  As we approach the millennium, the minds of more and more people are bewildered and their thinking is narrowed by coping with the horrendous amounts of change that they encounter.   Dreamrunning can help train the mind to deal with so much change. As this activity continues to be a source of continual joy for me, I am convinced that it can activate the capacity to experience the abundant bliss that lies within each one of us.  That is the real reason that has impelled me, after all this time, to gather the Recipes for the Sole, the strategies for inducing the dreamrunning experiences, into this book.  In place of the bitter brew of everyday, humdrum, business-as-usual existence, I offer the challenge of tasting for one moment the elixir which dreamrunning offers--exercises to change our minds to keep up with the times. Some authors start by telling you how to read their books.  I won't presume to do that.  For me, a good book is like a good run.  It may start off clunky and slow, the mind resisting until the body warms up and starts humming along, but it gathers momentum, and at the finish there is that indescribably warm, wonderful sense of having earned something worthwhile and important.  My only tip is that, since dreamrunning is about "being run," you might use the same principle.  That is, instead of reading the book (i.e., wrestling with the concepts and efforting at grasping every detail) just "be read." That is, give up control and let the book read you.  Enjoy the ride! --James Ballard Amherst, Massachusetts Excerpted from What's the Rush?: Step Out of the Race, Free Your Mind, Change Your Life by James Ballard All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.