the ticking clock

Today we ask that you look at your relationship with time.

Most humans have an unhealthy relationship with time.

Time is the enemy.  You never have enough of it.  You are always in a rush, running late, fighting against the “ticking clock.”

Or else you are bored, and the ticking clock is ticking too slowly.  You are stuck somewhere, impatient.   You keep checking the clock, and this only increases your frustration.  The more you look at it, the more upset you get.

Or else you are angry at the aging process.  You believe you are too old.  Time is corroding your health, your body.  Women live in fear of their biological clocks.  You do not have enough time left.

Of course, children and teenagers are angry at time, too, because they cannot wait to be adults.  

Nothing frustrates people like delays, cancellations, and the sense that whatever is happening should be happening much faster.

And yet in a modern world where everything does appear to happen faster — packages delivered overnight, information and messages delivered instantaneously — there is a sense of awful, oppressive “overwhelm.”  Too much is happening all at once!

So you can see, people really do have a poor relationship with time.

People feel like victims of time.  They’re in a “no-win” situation with time.  

Yet what is time?

Yes, it can be quantified, broken down into units and measured.  But what is it?

The length of a minute, an hour, a day, a month, a year — these things can seem to go by in the blink of an eye, or they can seem to be interminable and take forever.  

Why?

Because of your perception.

Time moves quickly or slowly according to your perception of it.  

And the human perception of time is extremely unreliable.

Without a clock to measure it, you would really have a much vaguer sense of time.  You could perceive the passage of day and night, track the movement of the sun.  You could follow the seasons and the cycle of the year.  You would notice that children grow into adults and that adults age — although some people age much faster than others.

But without that ticking clock constantly in view, your conception of time would be much fuzzier.  

The truth is, it is your perception of time that determines your experience of time.  

And although you may think your perception of time is based on external markers, like clocks, in fact your perception of time is internal.  It is based on your beliefs.

If you believe that “There is never enough time,” this will be your experience of time.  You will always feel behind no matter how much you rush about and do.  No matter how much you get done, it isn’t enough.

If you believe that you are “Wasting your time,” that will be your experience of time.  You will feel chronically frustrated in your days.  

If you believe that you are “Too old,” everything will remind you that you are too old.  Time will always seem to be slipping through your aging fingers.

If you believe that “I should be further along in life by now!” then this will be your constant experience.  Wherever you are, you should be further along.  You can never catch up.   You hate the clock, because it always reminds you of this.

But it is possible to have an altogether different relationship with time.

Time and space are one, you see.  Physicists understand this, and refer to it as “space-time.”

Here is a simple thing:

When you create space in your life, you also create time. 

This will seem totally counterintuitive.

But the more you slow down, relax, and let yourself breathe, the more time you will have.

If you are someone who simply believes that there is always plenty of time, this will in fact become your experience of time.

This will appear, at first, to go against all the evidence of your senses.  It will go against what everyone else is always telling you about time.

But it is absolutely true.

If you start repeating to yourself that you always have plenty of time, this will eventually become your experience of time.

It may not happen overnight, but if you make it a consistent practice, it will happen.

Also, whenever possible, minimize the checking of clocks.

Of course when you are scheduled to do something or be somewhere at a particular time, you must consult a clock.

But you probably do not need to check the clock nearly as much as you do.

Chronic clock-checking just makes people tense about time.

When you are feeling impatient about something, checking the clock is the worst thing you can do.  It’s like pouring lighter fluid on the flame of your irritation.

If you have a healthy relationship with time, clocks are no problem.  They are just a useful tool.

But if you have an unhealthy relationship with time, clocks will work against you.

The point of this is:

How you feel about time is not arbitrary.  You are not a helpless victim of the ticking clock.

Your experience of time is almost entirely based on your perception of time, which is in turn influenced by your beliefs about time.

Change your beliefs about time, and you change your perception of time.

Believe it or not, you really do have plenty of time.

If you desire more time, give yourself more space.

Time can actually be a good friend.  If you approach time as a friend, time will begin to seem friendly.

And what you will discover, sooner or later, is that everything in this reality happens in perfect timing.

It’s okay if you do not believe this.  It’s just something to play with.

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