One of the finer gardeners of fruitful wisdom, Dr. Seuss wrote this little plum: ‘My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?’
Too frequently, the best observation comes too, too late. Which is why I ask the initial question: Is it time? Is this the moment for you to do those things you want to do? Whatever they may be.
As you ponder the latch on that pandora’s box, consider also the adjectives you would use to describe your perception of time. Is it free and floating or rushed and condensed? Is it out of your control? Is it a flock of swifts before sunset– chaotic and divingbombing your head?
I have this theory about time which isn’t really my own at all: it’s relative. It behaves in accordance with the position of the observer. And, forgive me for getting a little metaphysical with the theory of relativity, but just as light is a constant, so is a deeply rooted iota of you. In the Vedas, a body of texts that comprise the earliest Sanskrit literature and the oldest scripture of Hinduism, the absolute– Brahman, or the nature of truth, knowledge and infinity– the constant. It is also the original source of all that exists and ever will come into being. It isn’t god; etymologically, it is that which causes things to grow. Like the speed of light, it doesn’t change. Our perception of it, however, depends on our position.
Which is a long way, slow way of introducing you to the idea of establishing control over your time. It’s yours to appreciate but it’s wily. It’ll escape if you aren’t careful. It flies and it only comes back if you ask. It sticks around only if you pay attention. It may even expand if you sit still with it for a long, long quiet time.
So how about you give it a try? No side effects but a little moment of rest and respite.
Set aside ten minutes in the morning and sit down without your phone, your coffee, your dog. Set a timer and take a seat. On the ground, the grass, the couch, the pillow. It doesn’t matter. Sit and listen to your breath. Count your breath. If your mind roams, escort it back to your breath and count again. Feel your inhale lifting your ribcage. Feel how the exhale lets it drop.
I hear you. ‘Ten minutes!’ you’re shouting. You’re thinking ten minutes could be used for better things, important things, things that will make you better and important. Things like learning Mandarin, writing a book, establishing a petition to change small business laws.
Well here’s a bonk to your head: you’re wrong. Ten minutes in the morning is totally not enough for any of those things. But here’s the thing: ten minutes in the morning will alert that absolute inside you that you’re paying a little attention to it. And it will respond to the call. Ten minutes in the morning will make it possible for you to prioritize that other stuff later, if you really want to. You’ll start to see yourself pursuing those lofty goals or you’ll see that those goals aren’t even yours. You’ll find time starts to stick around because you’ve started to pay attention to it. It’ll still pass, but it won’t go so damn fast.
Have a listen to S.O.S. as you think on this more deeply.