WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?
“Consciousness is beyond time, consciousness is timelessness.” – Osho
Over these next three weeks, we will explore that state of awareness in which every moment matters. The pressures of our family, jobs, and relationships can make us feel that we don’t have enough time to do the things that are important to us, sometimes leading to a sense of being unfulfilled.
Together we will discover that we don’t get true fulfillment through time management, but rather by living in the here and now. Wisdom traditions tell us that the present moment is outside of clock time; it is the eternal now. This Meditation Experience will show you how to thrive in the world of time when you live from your timeless self. In the following weeks, we will learn how to embrace time as the realm of self-awareness, self-unfolding, and total inner fulfillment.
In today’s meditation, we learn that time is really about fulfillment. Using your time well comes down to how fulfilled you are in the present moment. When we feel content and centered inside, everything we do is more effective, efficient, and satisfying. On our meditation journey together, we will experience and understand that when we manage the time demands of our life from our timeless self, then every moment of life matters.
Right here, right now, is perfect. I sit listening to this meditation. Typing it really solidifies it for me. And then I get to share it. I feel content. I feel light. The to-do list of my day pops in and out of my head, but this is what is in front of me right here, right now. Taking some time for Dee will make a Dee a better person today.
Deepak and I welcome you to our 21-Day Meditation Experience…Making Every Moment Matter. Like so many of you I, too, have struggled with time management. How to honor my own time as well as the time that belongs to the people in my life.
In the coming weeks we’ll look beyond how we perceive the limitations of time. We’ll learn how to release the power of the almighty “to do” list, reframe the constant state of “busy”, and replace those stress points with life-changing lessons in how to make every moment count.
In week one we will gain a new understanding of the principles of time in order to relieve the all too familiar anxiety of racing against the clock. In week two we’ll explore how our perception of time is deeply affected by the wounds of our past. By learning to let go of that angst we’ll experience how living in the moment can bring an entirely new meaning to the hours, minutes, and seconds of the day.
And finally in week three time is expanded as we understand how breathing in the depth of each moment sharpens our experience until the pressure of time is lifted all while our productivity increases.
Welcome to Day 1, “Where Does the Time Go?” Let’s begin our first day answering the age-old question, “Where does the time go?”. I’ve come to believe that busyness is the catch phrase, in fact a trap for all of us in these times. Some people are so weighed down by the pressure to finish tasks, to meet goals, and check off the box that they’re folding into themselves. Others wear their overwhelming schedule like a beleaguered badge of honor, and still more allow resentment to take hold until all those “to do’s” start to feel like “have to’s” and life quickly, as we know, spins out of control.
I remember talking with Tina Turner after she retired from her legendary music career. She was newly married to her long time love and living in Switzerland. She told me that despite all of the rock star attention, the awards and accolades her life onstage brought her, it also could be depleting. Tina told me her last tour took every ounce of energy out of her but she stayed focused on the greater purpose; she knew eventually that life on the road would lead her home. Not just to her house, but the place where she decided she wanted to be.
This was a great lesson for me. At the time I was traveling over two-hundred days out of the year for interviews, a movie I was filming, for meetings to support the O Network. And, like Tina, I was exhausted. But I had not yet decided for myself what was worthy of my time. Instead of listening to the signs along the way I started to feel overwhelmed and frustrated until finally I was no longer able to fully focus on all there was to do.
I made a proclamation to myself, finally, and to those around me that this was not the life I envisioned for myself. I knew I was the one who had to determine what mattered most, create a different relationship with the time in my day, and allow for space in every day to restore myself. By doing that I found freedom and maybe a few extra moments.
In 1998 I realized that this was not the life I envisioned for myself. It wasn’t about time or busyness. Is was about my alcoholism. Every moment of everyday during this part of my journey through life was focused only on the next drink. When can I have it (is right now appropriate or will I be found out)? Where can I buy it (did I buy there yesterday and what will they think)? Do I have responsibilities that will be affected if I drink now (will I be fired if a co-worker smells alcohol on my breath)?
I was forced into a proclamation to myself when I didn’t show up for work. Too drunk. I was found out. That was the life-changing moment for me, my bottom, when I finally had to ask for help. My life has continued to improve since that day…
Today I feel exactly as Tina did during our conversation. These are my glory days, this moment, this one, right now. Your journey to make peace with time also begins now. Let’s listen to Deepak and then we will meditate together.
What was the best time of your life? If you can say, “Right now is the best time of my life” you are saying something that comes naturally to everyone when their inner life is fulfilled. Fulfillment is what time is all about because fulfillment is what life is about. Without inner fulfillment time isn’t on your side.
I really can say that right now is the best time of my life. I wouldn’t go back one day, one minute. I have a contentment in recovery that I never had before. I am freer and finally comfortable in my own skin.
But that does not mean I am not going crazy right now running my own business, getting ready for the holiday selling, cleaning the house for holiday visitors, trying to get everything done so that I can enjoy my company and be my best when I’m out selling.
I’ve been working around the clock taking time only for sleep and a bit of eating. This is not how I usually fly. Taking time out to listen to this meditation series and writing this blog is exactly what I need to get me back centered before getting back to a long night of work.
This redefines time management. Instead of being about scheduling, being on time, meeting deadlines, and getting everything you want to do for yourself and with your family and friends, time management is about how you feel inside. It’s about a state of awareness that has made time an ally on your personal path to fulfillment.
When we look at the clock and say with exasperation, “Where did the time go?”, the real question should be, “Where did the opportunities go?” When you manage time from the inside opportunities aren’t missed. You are less frustrated and frantic. But when you manage time poorly every day is a race against the clock. This, too, is an inner choice, not the fault of time running out. At any time of the day you can feel stressed or relaxed. Like you’re standing still or moving forward.
Tonight when I go to bed I know I can be proud that I did the best I could. I will never be perfect, but doing the best I can is always reassuring. And being humbled and grateful for these accomplishments really gets me back in the moment. I am not in control. I have a Power Greater Than Myself to guide me and watch over me letting me know that everything is going just the way it’s supposed to.
Most people don’t recognize this choice and, therefore, let the rush of daily events dictate their mood and behavior. Of course there are external stresses and unexpected setbacks, but really the difference between a good day and a bad day is the inner world of the person who’s having it.
We must first address some basic issues about time so that you can feel on top of things instead of never knowing where time goes. We all heard the adage about taking time to stop and smell the roses. Good advice. But it would be far better to be the gardener who grows the roses and lives with them constantly.
The Worlds Wisdom Traditions have pondered and taught the mystery of time for centuries. The first teaching was presented today. Look inward. What’s important isn’t the hours and minutes of the clock, but your experience. How you relate to the passage of time makes all the difference and, ultimately, it will define how well you live in the present moment, how you age, your sense of fulfillment, and the satisfaction of a life well spent.
As we prepare to meditate together let’s take a moment to consider our centering thought, “The best time of my life is now.” “The best time of my life is now.” Now let’s prepare for our meditation. Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Begin to be aware of your breath and just breathe slowly and deeply. Within yourself allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed.
Now gently introduce the mantra, “So Hum.” “So Hum.” This mantra means “I am” and connects our awareness to the timeless simplicity of our true self. Pure awareness. Repeat it silently to yourself. “So Hum.” “So Hum.” “So Hum.” With each repetition feel your body, mind and spirit open into an expanded state of awareness.
Whenever you find yourself distracted by thoughts, noises or physical sensations, simply return your attention to silently repeating the mantra, “So Hum.” “So Hum.” “So Hum.”
The best time of my life is now.
The best time of my life is now. So Hum. I am. I am the best Dee I can be. I am not alone. I am a good person and a whole person (my affirmation I said every day in group while I was in a treatment program). I surely am a good person and a whole person which is night and day of the person who entered rehab in 1998 and hated herself. I have a purpose to share with you today that you are the best you can be right here, right now, and that is perfect!
For those interested in Inspirational and Motivational Art with a Message, please check out my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com for great affirmations and quotes. Mahalo and have a great day!
From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditation Series “Making Every Moment Matter”, from the Chopra Center.