It’s interesting to note that before the coming of white settlers, some Native American tribes had no word for time – at least not time as we understand it today.
The concepts of time and time stress are central to our ability to be in the present moment. Of course we have to have some sense of time in our modern culture, how else would we be able to pick up our kids on time? keep an appointment? make a deadline? However, we can be learn to let go of time ruling our lives by living “off the clock” for short periods each day. A really helpful tool to use when you are overwhelmed by time stress is to ask yourself “what is the best thing to do in this moment.”
Here’s today’s Letting go exercise: Let go of time stress.
1. Contradiction alert! Soften your relationship with time today by setting a timer before you take a mindful time-out. This sounds contradictory, but it is a good strategy for beginners. Knowing a timer is set will free you from watching the clock. There are many great inexpensive apps for your smart phone, the peace alarm clock, that can help you keep track of your meditation time.
2. Today while you practice letting go use the mantra, “there is plenty of time.”
3. Another really helpful tool to use when you are overwhelmed by time stress is to ask yourself “what is the best thing to do in this moment.” This magic phrase will help you move forward when you become overwhelmed by too many choices.
4. Have a schedule but be flexible. Using tip number three above will help you to determine when you need to flex your plans.
Make time your friend by taking time every day to be nowhere else but in the present moment.
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Full Catastrophe living has a great chapter on time stress.
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