Have you ever heard someone say “I don’t have time?” Of course you have and I expect it’s something you have said yourself many times throughout your life, most of us have. “I don’t have time! Is this really true? Is it possible to change time, create time or make time?
I had the pleasure of spending time with a lovely group of women the other night and one conversation in particular stood out for me. One of the younger women was sharing that she didn’t have time to do the things she wanted to do and I could see she was quite stressed about it. Listening to her share make me think about the whole concept of time and how our lives are so wrapped up in it.
Someone once said to me that “time doesn’t exist anywhere else but in our minds and only humans use time as a measure”. I laughed and replied, “what do you mean time doesn’t exist? Of course it does and it’s finite!” There are 24 hours in a day, 8 hours in a work day (for some) and an hour has a maximum of 60 minutes! I am most aware of time when I have more things to do than the time to do them. You know what I mean? So you can’t tell me that time doesn’t exist!!!
Funny though, when I started thinking about it and allowed this concept to linger on my mind I noticed a shift in my perception of time. I noticed that, on occasion, time appeared to stop and at times felt like it slowed down, almost like a rubber band, it seemed like it stretched at opportune and inopportune times. How was this possible? I wanted to know more.
I set aside my biased opinion about time and allowed myself to consider that time really didn’t exist outside of my mind. I imagined my day without using the concept of time and an amazing thing happened. Time disappeared. Literally, it disappeared and I was amazed at how much I was able to accomplish that day. Not only did I get a lot done, I was able to truly enjoy all that I did and I marvelled how I felt when I was done. Reflecting back on the day I could see how, by removing the concept of time, my day was full and fulfilling at the same time without stress and anxiety. As a result of this experiment I have become a believer that time is a concept and that we do have the ability to exist without it any time we wish. I have adopted the thought that “I am the creator of my time and I am not longer controlled by time itself.” Could you imagine what this would look like on a daily basis?
Utter chaos I would suspect. Time was created for the purpose of controlling people. Think about it. Who would show up, on time, for work? For appointments? For play dates and coffee? Imagine if time hadn’t been created, how would we manage to function? Quite differently I would venture and without the mountain of issues we have today. Go back to a time when time wasn’t measure as it is today, back to prehistoric times when time was measure differently.
I’m not an expert on prehistoric times and I understand is that period of time was measure by seasons and daylight. Cavemen and women got up with the light, went to sleep when it was dark, planted crops when the ground thawed and harvested before the ground froze again. I imagine life was much harder and much simpler without all the modern conveniences we enjoy today and I bet they didn’t sit around the fire exclaiming that they “didn’t have time”, nor were they stressed about all the things that they had to do. They were too busy doing rather than talking about it. I understand that their thoughts and thought processes were quite simple compared to the modern man and woman of today. Back then I expect their thoughts consisted of “eat or be eaten, find shelter and keep warm”. The simplicity of their time, I would suspect, allowed time to move much slower than the pace we experience today.
Fast forward to today. It wouldn’t be realistic to think we can live without time all the time and I believe we can alter our perception of time when we know how and when it suits our needs. The secret is in the knowing and I will share what I know so you too can make time for the things you want in your life.
There are a few key elements required to successfully alter time one of which is being fully present in the moment. Although challenging being present in the moment is a learned skills that requires ongoing practice to master. The good news is once learned this skill will enhance other areas of your life as well. What do I mean by “being present in the moment?”
Simply put it means to be fully focused or aware of everything around you in any given moment without conscious thought about anything else from the past or in the future. Take a moment to be aware of your surrounding right now as you read this and note everything that you have not either noticed or paid attention to because you were thinking about what you did yesterday/last week or what you need to do later/tomorrow etc.
Take a moment to really acknowledge your present surroundings including visual objects, sounds, smells, how your body feels and the thoughts in your head. A simple exercise of thanking each item you acknowledge as you become aware of them is a great way to keep your focus in the moment rather than wandering back to past or present thoughts. If you find your thoughts wandering (as they do in all of us) gently direct them back to the exercise at hand. What I do when I find my thoughts wandering is to say (silently) “thank you for sharing and right now I am being present in the moment”. Sometimes I have to repeat this many times to get back to the exercise and that’s okay, it normal and part of the process of learning and strengthening this skill.
At this very moment, as I do this exercise myself, this is what I am experiencing. I can hear the ticking of a clock and I am grateful for the consistent sound of each tick. I can hear a consistent hum or vibration, I believe coming from within me, that I wasn’t aware of before and I am grateful for the opportunity to hear it. In the distance I can hear the occasional vehicle passing nearby on the highway, airplane flying and I am grateful for the times that I live in that allow for this type of transportation. Visually I am surrounded by the warmth of wood in the cabin where I am sitting and I’m grateful for all this cabin has to offer me including warmth, protection from the elements, security and comfort. I am aware of the things within my sight including a soft light, comfortable couches and modern furniture I am grateful to have in my life. I am present to the colours of things in my space, I have surrounded myself with earth tones of greens/browns/black/red/orange and natural tones. I am grateful for the soothing feelings I have when I’m in this space. In this moment I am thinking of nothing else but what I have just described and for a brief moment the rest of the world did not exist. While in this exercise I was not aware of time at all or anything else outside of what I just shared. Interestingly enough while focussing on everything around me I didn’t hear the sound of typing on my computer, so technically, I left one sound out of being in the moment. 🙂
I encourage you to practice this skill as often as you can to help you build your muscles. Literally, take a minute or 10 to fit this exercise into your day and begin to create the time you need to do the things you want. I promise you will feel timeless joy from this exercise. Being in the moment is one element of managing time, the other elements are: clear intentions (knowing what you want), permission (giving yourself permission to experience) and discipline to name a few. I will talk about each of these in future posts and show you how you can create time to have what you want in your life.
To live your life as you choose and to have the time to enjoy it is my wish for you. If you have an experience you would like to share or you would like to hear more, please feel free to contact me.