Joy Ignites Success

Are You Really Running Out of Time?

By - Saturday, October 26, 2013

Philosophers and physicists have debated about the concept of time since Socrates was alive. Carl Sagan believed it might be possible to travel into the future. Einstein said time is an illusion. But tell that to your boss? Or your publisher? Or your five year old? Whether time is real or not, most of us are still stuck with the clock and the calendar. We have deadlines to meet and schedules to keep. What good is it knowing that time doesn’t exist? That’s just another concept.
Concepts can be constraining or useful depending on our response to them. Allowing myself to play with time as an illusion conjures up many images. I think of the White Rabbit (I’m Late, I’m Late), the movie Back to the Future and Salvadore Dali’s  painting of melting clocks . When I think about running out of time in the context of ‘there is no time’, it takes the steam out of the worry engine. Think about it; if time doesn’t exist, how can I run out of it? I never had any to begin with. If there is no such thing as time, it’s pretty silly for me to be trying to manage it. And I notice that my body lets go of the contraction that seems to correlate to time itself contracting.

Call it magic, but I have noticed on more than one occasion, that when I stop rushing and remind myself that outside of my limited reality, there is no such thing as time, that more gets done in a shorter period and sometimes it even it feels like time is expanding.
In my therapy practice and my groups, time is a very common theme. Clients often complain about not having enough time to get all the things done that they feel they need to get done in a day. Of course, I can relate. But there’s another aspect to the time issue, having to do with time frames. We set goals and plan our lives with specific dates in mind, and sometimes (okay, more than sometimes) life doesn’t go according to our plan. I hear so often comments such as ‘I thought I’d be married by now’, ‘I was supposed to be further along at this time of my life’ (further along where?), or even ‘I’m not progressing as fast as I should be’. All of these comments are based on the premise that we are working with a timeline and ‘whoever gets there the fastest wins’. How can we stop and smell the roses when we are rushing to catch the bus?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pretend for an hour (though of course you won’t know how long that is) that there are no clocks, no deadlines, no time constraints. Notice how your body responds and what happens or doesn’t happen for you.
Please share what you observe.



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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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