When we retell the stories of ideal, transcendent, meaningful moments in life– those moments when we felt alive, connected, whole and present with joy– we often say that we lost track of time.
We spent an entire weekend laughing and sunbathing with our girlfriends on the dock, never once checking our watches. Our two mile hike under budding trees turned into two hours on the trail and a languid picnic in the grass, not noticing the day was ending until the sun set. We got lost wandering around the art museum and stayed past closing. We went to lunch with a dear friend and talked for hours.
Our memory reminds us that in times of great presence, we were immersed in an unfolding of time that was outside linear constraints.
As I reflect on the disruption of my daily routine as a result of the compassionate community response to the COVID-19 crisis in which many of us are staying at home, I think about my relationship to time.
(In my household, the two activities that transcended time during the Coronavirus shelter-at-home mandate were eating leaves on the back porch and watching music videos on YouTube. Potentially less-than-ideal Parenting Choices, but … no whining for the win.)
Actual hours of my day have been handed back to me. And yet I am often restless and disconnected– owl-eye watching the clock until my IronMan takes over baby duty and I can go accomplish something.
The stay-at-home mandate reveals a conditioning that bases the worth of one hour on its accomplishment and production. And while that conditioning is comfortable and often lucrative, I’m discovering that a less restrained interpretation of an hour reveals greater depth… and great deal less anxiety.
Previously, the question asked of time was this: how much can I get done in this hour?
This pandemic experience, for many of us who are sheltering-at-home, has changed that question to: how can I experience this hour in presence?
Yes, many of the structures and boundaries that organized our time have been altered and removed. This restructuring is disorienting and sometimes frustrating and sometimes boring and sometimes excruciating.
And also, this restructuring is an invitation to see time differently.
Because, in times of great connection and deepest joy, time unfolds in a cyclical, silky, unhurried manner.
There’s nowhere to be but right here, allowing the hour to recline and recede, appreciated not for its productivity, but for its presence.
Enjoy these teachings that help re-think time and engage in presence.
Guided Meditation: Open to Timelessness
Mindfulness Meditation: Core Breathing Technique
Guided Meditation Teachings
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much love and gratitude-