We are going to explore our relationship with time and how this affects self love, acts of kindness.
I felt that during lockdown some people definitely had a different perception of time and this changed what they were doing. New and different habits were started and yet a lot of these have stopped because we are busy again, trying to fit everything in.
The truth is, most of us have a pretty opposing relationship to time.
There’s never enough. We’re always behind. It goes by too fast. We can’t do important things because we don’t have enough time.
None of it is helpful.
Let’s have a little look at the first one: there’s never enough time. This is powerful because there’s some truth to it: time is limited and precious. While none of us know how much time we have left in this life, we do know that it’s limited. It’s helpful to remember that we must make the most of our limited time!
But time is also abundant. Think of the past few years — it might seem like they passed really quickly, but actually we had so many hours we can’t count them. We had a huge abundance of hours. Maybe we didn’t spend them wisely but we had plenty of time. We still do, today and this month and this year.
and with joy.
That’s true of time. We have more than enough for our needs. We can do amazing things with the time we have. It’s not about how much time we have, but how we use it, how we experience it.
I’d like to propose a handful of ways we can shift so that we can master our relationship with time.
See the gift in the time that we have. Every day that we have is a huge gift. We get to have this time! We get to use it to make something, to love, to feel joy and laughter, to listen to music, to see nature, to move, to read, to feel. Instead of looking at how little time we have, we can appreciate the time we have as an incredible, powerful gift. Every hour is a tremendous gift. Every moment. Can we see the gift in the time that we have, and appreciate it fully? How would this shift how you feel about your day?
Use the time intentionally & joyfully. If every hour is a gift, are we going to waste it? Or can we use it intentionally, for something that is important and meaningful to us? (Btw, rest is important. Self-care is meaningful.) Can we use this gift as best we can? And can we experience it with joy, with full appreciation? How might this shift how we use our time?
Be honest about your priorities. A lot of time we use time as an excuse for why we’re not doing something, or as a reason to say no. We all do it: “Sorry, I don’t have the time.” This is a way to honour our boundaries, but it’s not fully honest. We all have the time — we just need to prioritise it, because the time isn’t unlimited. We choose to spend our time based on what is important to us. If we’re not out helping the homeless or saving orphans … it’s not because we don’t have the time. It’s because we’ve chosen to prioritise earning money, taking care of our family, taking care of ourselves, or doing something else meaningful. If we’re honest to ourselves about our priorities, then we don’t need to use time as an excuse. We can just say it’s not my priority right now, and then see the things we’ve chosen as priorities as the way we’d like to spend our time.
Create space in your day. If you have some clear priorities, why not create the time to make them happen? We often feel that we want to prioritise something, but don’t have the time. Then we need to make the time. If we can’t, then we just have to admit that it’s not a priority right now. If it is a priority, let’s see if we can create the space.
Don’t let things get familiar. Most of us have experienced the feeling that time is flying by faster and faster every year. This is likely because of a phenomenon where we don’t notice things when they get really familiar. It’s like driving through your neighbourhood on the way home, without seeing any of it. It’s all familiar and you’re on autopilot. That’s how we experience much of our days — things get really familiar and we don’t notice it. What if we stop letting things get too familiar? What if we look at everything as if it were the first time we were seeing it? Time would all of a sudden become less blurry, and we’d be fully in the moment.
Be more intentional. Be intentional about slowing down — time becomes vivid, slower, real.
Savour & be fully present to slow down time. If we think of time as a treat to be savoured, we can become fully present with it. Think of the hours of your day as a delicious drink, waiting to be sipped and fully tasted. Time isn’t just sands slipping through our fingers, but pleasure being sipped into our mouths.
Change your language to ‘I have enough time’, there is always enough time’. If we keep saying I don’t have enough time, your focus is on no time rather than there is plenty or enough.
Try each of these, and practice them by fully inhabiting each practice. Give yourself fully to the practice, and see what shifts. Your relationship to time might never be the same.
Remember we do have a choice over how things go for us. We can choose to see time differently and when you do you will have a different experience.
What is really important to me about this show and my work is to help people feel supported, connected and empowered to make any changes they want. I hope that is useful information for those who do struggle. I believe that if we understand a bit of the why and the how we do things, then you have a great chance of changing it.
Memory also has an impact on how we perceive time. An exciting holiday will seem to fly by. A week at work, trawling through emails, can drag on and on. However, when you look back on these different periods several months later, your memory will tell you otherwise.
Time perception is a fundamental element of human awareness. Our consciousness, our ability to perceive the world around us and, ultimately, our very sense of self are shaped upon our perception of time in a loop connecting memories of the past, present sensations and expectations about the future. Yet, the way we perceive time is widely debated. Our perception of time changes with age, but it also depends on our emotional state. Research is steadily improving our understanding of the brain circuits that control this sense
Time is an integral part of our daily life, regardless of whether we are in a hurry, relaxed, gripped by an emotion or bored stiff. We may be walking, driving, listening to music, hearing the phone ring, taking part in a conversation or doing a sport, but time is always there, immaterial. Whereas all our senses – sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste – bring into play specialised sensory receptors, there is no specific receptor for time.
Yet it is present in us, our brain being a real timing machine. It can distort time, the stimulus being perceived as longer than it really was,”. Fear prompts a state of arousal that speeded up the rate of the internal clock. This state also involved dilated pupils, higher pulse rate, increased blood pressure and muscular contraction. It reflects a defensive mechanism triggered by a threatening situation, as the body prepares to act either by attacking or running away.
One of the most important tricks to get into your toolkit is to be able to work on managing the fear centre. Obviously for so many reasons, but when we are talking about perception of time – the mind can and will catastrophize a situation and have you believe that you are running out of time because the fear centre has been activated. I know that if I allow this to take over and I feel overwhelmed, I can blow up in my mind that buying a pint of milk will take me 2 hours! When I focus on settling myself, of course buying a pint of mind won’t take that long and my rational brain steps in. All these situations affect our view on time. I have chosen to focus on this during this show as I feel that unless you think about how you perceive time, a lot of the self-care, fun times and all the extras in life which help to balance us get missed, cancelled or neglected.