October 18, 2010

Are You In Control of Your Life…. Or Is Time?

Lately, I’ve been very aware of my relationship with time. This ever-present, sometimes all consuming constant in life – daunting, welcoming and everything in between.

When life’s hectic schedules are permitted to overtake our attention, time seems to move at a much different speed that when we anxiously await news or an event. Some days seem to fit into just a couple hours while others drag on for a lifetime.  Regardless, on either end of the spectrum, most people struggle with this personal relationship with time. So, what really dictates the amount of time that we have in our day?

We logically know that time moves at constant, uniform increments, however, it’s our perception of time that changes – A function of our mindfulness.  So, to an extent, we are in control of the breadth of our time.

Slightly empowering, isn’t it?

This is practice that I often use to remind myself of this power within myself. Most of us have a cheap clock or watch that ‘ticks’.  Almost every clock in my house has a very audible sound.  I put myself in a quiet place with a clock and meditate on the sound of the seconds as they appear and disappear.  I get acquainted with them, play with them, and attempt at altering increments in between, longer and shorter, depending on my concentration (and yes, it works). Then, while still holding on to that awareness and power, I venture back out into the world.

I feel like I’m paying homage to, or agreeing to peacefully co-exist with, this ruling force of our modern world. I think to myself, ‘I understand that time must pass, however, I am wielding my ability to control how I perceive and utilize this constant, dynamic aspect of life.’

This exercise also instills in me a sense of respect and appreciation for the ephemeral nature of life. Every ‘tick’ of the clock represents a moment pregnant with possibilities and every pause before the next signifies that it’s gone forever… and yet another moment to savor at its heels.

We may have many ‘ticks’ in this lifetime but how many are you willing to waste in a mindless, autopilot existence?

When this idea is taken to a larger scope, beyond increments of seconds, it is blatantly obvious how habits and cycles control whole aspects of our day-to-day lives.  We simply surrender to time and allow auto-pilot to take control.  To different degrees, these habits and cyclical reoccurrences become more of an exercise in insanity than an actual mindful existence.

I know that this is all old news.  We are inundated with ‘mindful living’ prompts but, because we’re still so busy thinking about tomorrow, reminders are generally welcomed.

We are all armed with the tools, it’s just a matter of remembering to use them.

Just, yet another, loving reminder.

Who is in control of your life?

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Jennifer K. Jones  |  Contribution: 2,580