by Kerrie Loya
- This month, Kerrie interviews Garni Sohrabian, one of the founders of Steal Time Back, a company that believes that "everything is interconnected and in constant interplay. We feel this unity the most when we fully immerse into the present."
Then, one afternoon, I looked at my watch and freaked out because it said 4:30 and the kids weren’t home from school. I called for my husband and said he better call the school, there was something wrong! He looked at me like I was nuts! “It’s 12:30, Kerrie, not 4:30!" Oh my gosh, my watch just stole four hours from me, I thought. Obviously, my watch needed to be repaired. I cringed just thinking about it because my watch, the only one I’ve ever owned, is a Rolex my dad bought me when I graduated from high school. I knew it would be ridiculously expensive to fix.
I certainly underestimated the repair cost! Yikes. I realized the universe was giving me a very costly sign that the only watch I needed was the NOW watch. The Rolex was retired. Three days later, my package arrived and my concept of time started shifting.
I was curious about the company and the creators of my “watch”. Their vision really caught my attention: “ An obsession with knowledge has lead us to forget the wisdom of simplicity”. Ahh, that is certainly something we struggle with at my house. Even though we do simple things, like ride bikes, garden and bake cookies, I have lost count of the number of electronic devices we have in our house! The kids accuse me of always being on Instagram and I accuse my husband of being a Facebook addict! The kids spend way too much time playing Minecraft. I crave simplicity.
I should have counted how many times I checked my “watch” the first few days. The cool thing is every time I did, I laughed. I’d run up to friends and say “Ask me what time it is!!” and there baffled face would make me laugh, too. One lady just kept asking, “But how do you tell time?” over and over. More laughter. Then, the ultimate compliment. My kids asked for their own. And what do you know, I just saw a promotion on Instagram for 40% off!
After I ordered two more watches, I emailed one of the founders, Garni Sohrabian, and set up a phone interview. We talked for almost an hour about the meaning of time in our society. Here are some of the highlights:
read interview below
K: What do you mean by the wisdom of simplicity?
G: Our society is impressed with technology and complexity, the more complex, the better. Life must be conquered. In many ways, we have lost our ability to appreciate the beauty of simple things. We don’t need bigger and better Smart Phones, we need wise phones.
K: I have noticed that even the yoga and wellness movement, which really started as an appreciation of simple things and an attempt to achieve a more peaceful, simple life has grown into a huge, hyper movement, particularly in Los Angeles.
G: Yes, there seems to be a huge amount of pressure. And also pressure to be loving always, to love everyone. I disagree with this. I think sometimes it is good to not like certain people and to be angry occasionally. There must be a Yin to the Yang.
K: I am glad to hear you say that because I was feeling like a bit of a failure because honestly, there are some people I just don’t like! I really try, but I just can’t. And sometimes I get angry.
G: Suppressing anger leads to popping off, which can be way worse.
K: So, my oldest daughter who lives in Southern California says the general feeling there is if you aren’t a raw vegan who practices yoga seven days a week, you are a slacker.
G: There is an idealization going on in the wellness “uprising”. Everyday a new “Guru” is born. There is a feeling that people must “conquer” yoga and wellness. This is the complete opposite of enjoying the simplicity of this movement.
K: Years ago, I realized “control is an illusion.” When did this happen for you?
G: I had a very successful business and was living “the L.A. life” when I felt something was missing. I would hike in the mountains to find peace. Then I hurt my back, which was especially hard because I was such an athlete. I knew I had to make a major change in my life. I sold my business. I realized control is about conquering. Learning to let go of that desire and trust the universe was the greatest lesson for me.
K: Coco Chanel said “Don’t spend time beating on a wall hoping to transform it into a door.” www.brainyquote.com
G: Yes, I agree. She is talking about how people try to force things, try to conquer, rather than just letting things be what they are. A wall can never be a door.
K: OK, here’s another quote I’d like you to weigh in on. This one’s from Charles Schulz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”
G: That’s funny. I just don’t like the word “end” because the whole world is constantly ending and beginning. We are as well; we are different people from moment to moment.
K: I love that idea. One last quote; agree or disagree with Vladimir Nabokov. “I confess I do not believe in time.”
G: I agree. Time is really a man-made concept. It is simply the symbol for change, for the constant creation and destruction of our planet and everything on it.
K: So you don’t really call your company a “business”, do you?
G: No, not in the traditional sense of a business, although “business” is part of it. We have a book coming out called “The ABC Brand” that describes us:
A -- Art. We create things that better the world, that make people feel whole.
B -- Business. This is simply magnifying and realizing the effect of your intention.
C -- Charity. We believe in the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Children naturally create art every day through play. Because we consider the whole world as one village, we donate 50% of profits to help children.
K: Any last thoughts?
G: Join us in our vision to bring more oneness into the world by reminding it of the present of the present.