Have you ever stopped long enough to really reflect on your relationship to time and what effect it has on your life? How does your time management impact your daily stress level?
The fast pace of today’s American lifestyle is a well-known fact, as is the profound effect nonstop hurrying has on your health. Think about the way you go through your daily activities. Do you allot plenty of time to get them all done? Do you do them with ease and enjoy what you are doing? OR do you rush with clenched jaw and fists throughout the day, mono-focused on your to do list, totally stressed, fearing there is not enough time?
One important question to decode the time crunch mystery is what is your personal relationship to time? Are you always late? Always early? (Both are really different sides of the same coin, as they both cause stress.) Do you see time as your enemy? As something that happens to you? That you have no control over?
Let’s first discuss how your relationship to time determined. A plethora of psychological and environmental factors combine to create your specific time dynamic. The good news is that none of that matters if you really want to change it. Awareness is the first step. Desire for a different experience is the next.
Part of what I want you to explore is MINDFULNESS: clear moment-to-moment awareness of what is actually happening. When you are thinking about what’s next, you are robbed of the current moment. Living in the future, immediate or long-term, can be a trap for inaction.
Let me share my time transformation story. In January 2007, I saw the documentary The Secret. While watching the film I had a shocking epiphany about my relationship to time. I was always proud about never being late and had very little tolerance for tardiness. I left restaurants, fought with people, and self-righteously judged latecomers. My friends fell into two categories – the ones I could count on and the flaky ones (a.k.a. time challenged). I rushed everywhere, all the time, even when there was no reason. For me, rushing made me short-tempered with people. Tourists walking slow in Time Square could send me into a tizzy of anger and negativity. The sweeping generalizations would start and the rest of my day would be colored in harshness. I never thought about this dynamic until that night. The amount of self-induced stress I was creating was embarrassing once I realized what was happening. For all those years, I thought time was happening to me, only to realize it was all in my mind. My unconscious blue print about time created all of my angst around it.
The first thing I did with my newfound knowledge was to pledge, “no rushing anywhere, anymore”. When I did that, my world changed. I started affirming everyday that I had exactly the right amount of time to accomplish my goals. My husband would lovingly remind me when I forgot. Our dynamic changed completely around time. My typical “you are going to make me late” rant ended. Previously, I would expect him to make me late, and, therefore, he would not disappoint. We have a great friendship and a great marriage, yet things would really turn acrimonious around this issue. Removing that dynamic from our lives has been a blessing.
Another major change that happened for me was my ability and desire to BE HERE NOW. No matter what is happening I want to be here to experience it, mind and body. The main shift internally was the elimination of a much of my daily stress. I consciously choose not to get constricted about time even if the subway was running late, thereby making me late. The world did not end. I did not spontaneously combust into flames from being five minutes late.
How can you figure out your relationship to time? Start by honestly assessing how you behave in time-related situations. Then ask the people in your life. Does how you relate to time cause stress in your relationship with them? Are you present in your life most of the time, some of the time, or not much of the time? Once you have figured out your time style, or dysfunction as it might be, journal about how it makes your feel. Recall instances where it has created a problem in a relationship or a work situation. Now think about how you want to be. Make a list of bold statements in the present tense and then change your mind about time.
Life is too amazing to be ruled by the clock in either direction. And your relationships are to precious to be negatively impacted by time-related resentments. You can change your mind and your unconscious blue print about time.
As always, I am interested to here of your time conundrums or maybe the tips and tricks you have developed to allow time to be on your side.
Love Love Love
PS Meditation helps recalibrate your thought patterns and flex your be here now muscle, please check out my Meditation Transformation CD if you need a little help getting started ❤