“Don’t wish time away”. I heard this phrase many times growing up.
But we do that very thing every time we unconsciously use languaging like “I can’t wait!”, “I wish it was already the weekend.”, or “Is it 5 o’clock yet?”
More subtly, we do it whenever we rush. We scurry from one activity to the other without lingering because we’ve got so much life to live and so little time in which to do it. A full day of the flurry of hurry finds us slumping into our easy chair with an exhausted sigh at the end of it. A long week of this and no wonder we’re all waiting for the weekend.
But seriously, what’s the rush?
I was recently on my way to meet a friend and I found myself rushing significantly. It was to the point that my body began giving clear signals that this was not okay. My mind was so distracted and scattered that I couldn’t find my keys that were right in front of me. My heart was racing to keep up with my manic multi-tasking and my abdomen felt like it bound was in a vice-grip with no sense of softness or room for breath. So I stopped. I took a few deep belly breaths and asked myself why I was rushing. The following inner scripts came quickly to light:
1. Being late is morally wrong and is a sign of disrespect
2. The person waiting for you will think poorly of you, if you are late
3. Time is running out
Some of these underlying beliefs may sound familiar to the perfectionists in the crowd. Or maybe you have your own stories.
Clearly it was time for a script re-write!
!. Being late is not a sign of immorality or disrespect. It is a sign that you planned too much and didn’t realistically balance with how long things would take you. It is merely a sign of poor time management, not of your value as a person.
2. The person waiting for me will think “She’s late. She’s usually on time so something unexpected must have held her up. No big deal.” (And why does concern about what others will think take precedent over genuinely enjoying this moment? Another inner script begging for a re-write?)
3. Time doesn’t run out, it simply is what it is. It is one moment after the next. This moment isn’t running anywhere but you are rushing to get to the next and the next and the next moment based on falsehoods and fantasies. All the while you’re missing this amazing moment right now.
I once had a yoga teacher who implored his students to be authentically present and aware in the pose he was teaching wherever they were that day. A simple yoga pose is multi-leveled and our openness on any given day allows us to explore the depths or stay at the surface and learn there. His experience led him to say “I’ve been to the end of this pose and there’s nothing there.” Perfecting the pose, taking it as deep as possible doesn’t get us to any promised land or to ultimate answers. It’s the process that matters. The journey of each step is where the abundance lies.
What will you do with it?