At the beginning of 2018 I embarked on an experiment.
It all began when I started to take notice of how often myself and others referred to the pace of time;
‘This term has flown by SO quickly!’
‘Happy 7th birthday Jake – where has the time gone?!’
‘I can’t believe it’s already Thursday!’
‘Didn’t we just have Christmas yesterday?’
Along with these constant references to time flying by, I also noticed that there was a distinctly negative connotation in almost every comment. I sensed unease, fear and sometimes even panic about the fact that time was passing by much too quickly.
What was this fear about?
Why was TIME and it’s passing so important that it needed commenting on constantly?
I came to the conclusion that perhaps I, and those around me, were indeed afraid that we weren’t making the most of our time. That somehow it was slipping though our fingers and that we would wake up one day and wonder where our lives had gone.
For one whole year, I would refrain from speaking about how quickly time passes. In fact, if anyone spoke to me about time flying, I would not agree, I would simply listen and then continue on with our conversation.
At first this was quite difficult as I’d find myself agreeing with others if not mentioning it myself. But I stuck to the experiment and it became easier.
I caught myself when I felt it coming into conversation and diverted to another topic.
Now that I was aware of it, I noticed more and more just how often it came up.
And something magical started to happen…
A few months into the experiment I began to feel lighter, calmer and more in control. It was a slight shift but a significant one.
I began to operate more often in the present moment as opposed to thinking about the past or the future.
I didn’t hold onto the length of a week, month or year any more. I simply let time do its thing.
After my year was up I didn’t want it to end. So I kept going and began to deepen my understanding of what it meant to live in the present moment.
My research brought be to a truly wonderful book, ‘The Power of Now,’ by Eckhart Tolle. Let me tell you, practising being in the present at all times is not easy! I still find my thoughts jumping into the past and for me, particularly the future, often. But what did start to happen was that I became more involved in my own life.
Driving the kids to school became an event in itself, not a means to an end.
Going for a walk, my mind wasn’t completely consumed by what we were having for dinner or nutting out a lesson plan for my business. I noticed nature and structures and people as I passed.
I listened to my family and friends more attentively.
The days grew longer. Yes, that’s what it felt like. At the end of each day I felt as though it had been so much more full and alive even if the events of the day were purely routine and usual.
So I will continue to live in the present moment as often as I possibly can because not only did it slow down my days, weeks and months but it has given me a true appreciation of the little, precious things in life that deserve attention – right now in this moment.
This very moment in Time.
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