Making Friends with Time

Eckhart Tolle

Time is such an overwhelming thing for me. Every day, I hear myself say out loud (at least once, if not more) “I don’t have enough time.”

Yes, I’m sure those of you who know me are having a little laugh right now at the thought of how frantically and frustratedly I wrestle with the hands of the clock. Whether undertaking responsibilities at my full-time job or planning projects that involve yoga, writing and community, I take a lot on – and I take them all seriously.

Sometimes it feels like I’m a mule carrying 18,000 pounds on a never-ending road to nowhere – but it all has to get there somehow. For what reason, I’m not quite sure. If I don’t get there, I don’t think anything bad will happen. I just have to.

Sometimes, I feel like my mind is so filled with thoughts, mostly members of the ToDo Family … like a colorful caravan of hippies, awesome folks just keep coming along for the ride. At first, it’s fun. There are so many cool things to be done! But soon it’s all foggy and nothing is unfolding quite as seamlessly as planned. Lists are helpful – but only for organizing, not for actualizing.

Through personal transformation work, I’ve learned when we hear ourselves repeat a similar phrase over and over again, it can be the manifestation of a sort-of block, an obstacle, something standing in the way of our own success. While filled with gratitude for this insight, it doesn’t really ease the pain that there are more things and people that matter to me than there is time to devote to them … there’s no way around it.

The main things that weigh on me: 1. Living too far away from family to share experiences with them, and having a work schedule that really doesn’t allow for picking up and leaving frequently. 2. Having stacks of magazines I love to read sitting in random corners of my house, yet having everything else ultimately take precedence over the act of leafing through them. 3. Forgetting what it is to prepare, enjoy and savor food in a mindful way – with lovely people around, and in lovely places – rather than scarf down a sandwich at my computer or sip a strange-colored smoothie in my car.

Inside of my yoga, I have become aware of the less-than-comfortable sensations I experience around the fleeting, enigmatic passage of time … seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades. There’s so much sadness in the voids where things and people would otherwise imbue our lives with happiness. Of course, there are beautiful new experiences and fresh joy to be found – but sentiment still exists in those shadowy spaces. Thanks to my yoga practice and teaching, I breathe and get through, moment-by-moment … but it’s not without lots of tears.

Recently, however, I picked up my well-read copy of The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle before teaching a yoga class and stumbled on a gem of wisdom – a relatively simple resolution to my rocky relationship with Time: Remove It.

What!? Yes, remove time from our minds and all meaning falls away. We often have memories of time gone by. We frequently anticipate what’s to come. All the while, we are missing the very moments that are life. All the while, we are compromising the ever-present opportunities for our own peace of mind. We don’t have to search or plan anymore. We don’t have to try so hard.  Today, let’s be … and trust that is enough.

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