India Retreat

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Time.

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Time.

Time is both precious and mysterious. Time illudes us yet holds the framework of our lives, organizing events in the past, present, and future. I often hear myself and others projecting statements about time.

“I don’t have enough time.”
“Time is running out.”
“I’m squeezed with time.”
“My time with them is too short.”
“My time is too short.”

American cartoonist Bill Waterson once said, “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”

Let me tell you a story about something that happened recently. I was leading a teacher training, and on the first day, I felt anxious because of things happening at home. I felt like I needed to do something to fix the situation. I woke up early because I knew I would need more time to resolve the issues that were outside my control. I poured over the material I was about to teach, drank coffee, and then made calls to try to soothe “the problem” I felt I needed to fix. When I looked at the clock, I sensed that I was going to be late.

Being on time is an integral part of my yoga practice. It gives me a sense of Satya(truth) in keeping my word to myself and others. This morning, because of my anxiety, I felt like I didn’t have enough of it. My, what I call heart-mind, was split in two because of something outside of my control. My heart pounded as I set up the space for our session. I had a story of “I’m late” echoing in my head. A few minutes late, I calmed down with deep breathing and began teaching.

That evening I found that my worries about the outside circumstance resolved themselves. I didn’t need to be there doing or fixing anything. I was relieved.

The following day, I woke at the same time as the day before. I drank warm lemon water, oiled my body, showered, meditated, and strolled to the yoga studio. When I arrived, I lit incense, prepared the materials, and sat on a meditation cushion. I looked at the clock, and I had 20 minutes until students would arrive, so I sat some more, noticing my breath. I realized I had the same time today as I did yesterday. The only difference was that today my mind was peaceful and focused. Yesterday I was a big ball of stress and anxiety. With a calm mind and focus, I accomplished twice as much today and had time for all the self-care I needed.

A yoga saying goes, “If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour every day, meditate for two hours.”

Time hadn’t changed, but my mind had. My mind went from ruminating about a whole lot of nothing that I could control and trying to do a lot of nothing to fix it to simply being where I said I would be at the time I said I would be there.

For me, the emotion of not having enough time, yes, it is an emotion, goes along with my story of not being enough. It also can show up for me when I am clinging, controlling, or trying to DO too much.

Yoga tells us that time is infinite when we connect to our bodies, breath, and purpose in the present moment. We’ve all heard the saying, “Time heals.” Sometimes I feel that is what occurs in a yoga therapy session, a slowing down time so that healing happens.

What if, instead of changing our clocks, we changed our minds?

Imagine, for a moment, that you have all the time you need. What kind of nothing would you spend your time on?

Whether you are reading this at 11:11 am or pm, there is still time today.

Start by repeating these affirmations.

I have all the time I need.
Focusing on the next thing is all I need to do now.
What I am passionate about is already happening within me.
I can relax and enjoy the task at hand because I have all the time I need.
I am enough, and I have time.
I trust in what I am doing now.