I don’t know about you, but with the clocks going back on Saturday night it made Sunday feel quite a long day and I seemed to fit in much more than usual -even though I didn’t get up particularly early or go to bed late. Time is strange because sometimes it feels as if it is creeping slowly and at other times it is whizzing by. When you’re a child, time seems to pass slowly-the wait for Christmas seems endless and a short car journey can take an eternity, ‘Are we there yet?’ being the constant refrain. As you get older time speeds up.
I have been reading ‘Ageless body, timeless mind’ by Deepak Chopra which draws on science and ancient wisdom to show how we can control the ageing process. One interesting exercise he suggests is to sit quietly and be aware of the rise and fall of your breath (a common meditation technique). After a few minutes you open your eyes and look at your watch. Depending on how relaxed you are, the second hand will behave in different ways-for some people it will have stopped completely; for some it will seem to hesitate and then resume its normal ticking; for others it will seem to be moving at a slower pace. This proves that time is a product of our perception.
Meditation and relaxation are ways of seemingly slowing down time. In one of the classes I teach, we do a deep relaxation once a month. At the end of the relaxation people tend to look and feel refreshed and are sometimes surprised that they have been relaxing for only 20-25 minutes, as they feel they have been ‘away from it all’ for much longer.
On a similar note I sometimes feel in too much of a hurry in the morning to sit down and meditate. However if I can sit quietly for a few minutes I miraculously still have plenty of time to get on with my morning!
One further thought is that if we can focus on one thing at a time instead of doing too many things at once, time definitely seems to slow down because we are more effective and also actually start to enjoy what we’re doing. I suppose it’s a bit like meditation-enjoying being present in the moment.
Finally here is a quotation from Lauren Oliver’s novel Pandemonium, which seems very relevant:
“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you – sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.”