Do you feel that you do not have enough time for the important things in life?
That time is not on your side? Time is our construct. Perhaps I should say that our perception of time is our construction. Time is actually fluid. There is a principal called time dilation that is derived from Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Time dilation proves that time is not the rigid structure that we think that it is. You could argue that this aspect of time relativity only becomes apparent at near the speed of light. But think of how differently time feels to you in different places and ages of your life. How long was that summer vacation as a child?
There really is no present time. Only now, and now, and now. The moment you say “now” it becomes the past. We expand on this constructed idea of the present to include things that have just happened or are about to happen. The sense of “in real time” is as events are actually happening. But our perception of time during the event itself can be wildly different. Have you ever been witness to a dramatic event and time seems to slow down or speed up?
So how can we use this to our advantage in our daily life? How do we “slow down” time? In my experience, being “in the moment” or “being present” is the key. If you wonder what that is like, I will give you a few examples; playing at sports that put you in physical danger to some degree can do this, e.g. surfing, skiing, skydiving. These things focus you. Maybe you experience this while playing a musical instrument? Dancing or other physical activities that require concentration? I find this while painting or creating. That heightened sense of timelessness and consciousness that accompany being entirely focused on something while creating.
You can also go in the other direction. Stillness, meditation, prayer. All of these when practiced daily will change your perception of time. I have a Quaker friend that as soon as he gets to work in the morning, he closes his door and meditates prayerfully for 15 to 20 minutes. He says that this time spent is well worth the focus and productiveness that it gives him for the day. He also says that he feels less rushed or pressured and can more easily see the big picture.
This practice of daily meditation or prayer cuts across cultural and religious boundaries. Being reflective will truly change your life… if you let it. It will also expand your sense of time. Here is some advice from a Buddhist:
“If you don’t meditate each day — in the morning if possible — you won’t have anything to integrate into the rest of the day. But if you rest in natural wisdom and hold others in unconditional care during a morning session, you can return to that perspective throughout the day. Loving compassion and wisdom can then flow naturally into your relationships and interactions, infusing them with grace and ease.
Remember, the rigid sense of self that obstructs our potential to love is nothing more than a chain of shifting thoughts. So if you think, “I can’t change, I’m not a loving person,” remember that those thoughts are nothing more than a momentary fabrication, containing no real claim to truth.”
Lama John Makransky (from Awakening Through Love, p. 204)
Now it’s time for me to get back to work….let me know if this works for you.