The evenings’ yoga class is coming to a close and so, too, is the day.
As I lay amidst a chorus of heavy snoring and gratuitous groans of pleasure, trying my hardest to mindfully “let go”, an unwanted sensation of anxiety starts to bubble up from a far below chakra.
All too soon, I am trapped in thoughts of today’s to-do’s left undone, and how the time—my time—has rapidly evaporated.
It’s now 8 p.m. and in my head I’m constructing the fastest possible route off my mat and out of the studio.
I have to get home before the night runs away!
I still have to shower, read, write, cook, meditate and go over that script for my audition tomorrow. I should probably eat somewhere in there too…
As I lay there allowing myself to be swept away on this maglev of a thought train, I am snatched up by another:
When had I started to think this way?
Since when have I been ruled by time? Wearing a watch? Checking clocks on walls and forever glancing at my iPhone to ensure I’m within the window of opportunity to complete the “important” tasks assigned to me by, well, me?
I certainly wasn’t born this way, nor was I concerned with time as a child. In fact, most children have no concept of time whatsoever. None at all.
The time of day effects them as little as morning and night. Everything else is just a blissful distraction between meals and play.
So why do we, as adults, allow ourselves to be bound by this constricting, formidable stalker called Time? It seems to always be creeping up and running away with us, claiming the day from right under our noses.
When playing with my five year old nephew, it always fascinates me just how time unconcious he is.
At noon on a Saturday in March I could tell him its 7 p.m. on Wednesday in July and that Christmas is three weeks away. He would gladly accept it, and with the powers bestowed upon him by his “Ben Ten” wristwatch he would continue trying to turn me in to an alien.
I can tell him that we’re five minutes away when driving to the toy shop and 15 minutes later he’ll ask, “Has it been five minutes yet?”
“Nope,” I cunningly reply, “Four and a half”.
The only times he knows are “morning” (when the sun comes up and he wakes), “evening” (when the sun goes down and its time for bed), and whenever his little belly rumbles.
Everything else is left to his inner clock, his innate ability to just be.
We talk of time as if it’s a personal possession—a currency we accumulate and spend, both expensive and fleeting.
Do you have time?
Im running out of time!
How much time do you have?
In our society, it would seem as though time owns us. We are confined by time’s rigorous rules and regulations.
But what if we said no? What if we refused to be dominated by the hours, the minutes and the seconds in a day and just got on with things at our own pace? Embracing our inner clock, our inner child and trusting in our natural ability to navigate the journey between sun and moon? How would we feel?
So, my proposition is this: Try going back to that innocent youth, try being like my nephew and lose your concept of time. Remove your watch and strap on a plastic “Ben Ten” replacement that could potentially turn people into aliens, or a Spongebob Squarepants time piece that goes backwards (or simply don’t replace it at all).
Turn the time on your phone off or better still turn off the phone altogether. Dismantle the clocks, set cooker timers to 00:00 and dismiss any alarms.
Try letting the sun wake you naturally, and when your tired allow yourself to go to sleep—don’t worry about looking to see if its bed time yet. If you feel like you need to sleep its bed time!
See what happens. Try and do a whole day or two without checking the time once. If you have a nine to five job, try this as a weekend exercise.
Be mindful of how it affects you not to be restricted with time, take what you learn and try to integrate it to every day life.
Eventually you will have to know what the clock says, but perhaps you can cultivate a feeling of being free from time, of you becoming its master.
Use the time as something you can take or leave, live with or without. Instead, reconnect with yourself, with your inner clock. Listen to your body and find the middle way.
Isn’t time just an illusion anyway? Created in attempt to explain and rationalize the incomprehensible reality of our infinite Universe? There is no beginning and no end at all…
Each day is just the rising of the sun, the falling of the moon and everything else in between.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emma Ruffin
Photo: Denise Mattox/Flickr