Bending Time

I am told time feels slow when you are young and passes too fast when you are older. 

It is a matter of belief. 

If you believe your remaining time is getting shorter, this is a false belief. None of us know the day we will take our last breath. People who live to be 100 may have expected to pass at 70 – what a waste if they lived those 30 years believing time was getting shorter. 

When we are kids, we are more likely to live in the now. The now is infinite. It is when we live in the past or the future that we get messed up. Neither exist, so they are easy to project our beliefs and fears over top. 

My days are no shorter or longer than before. I experience my days in terms of energy – intense, loving, flowing. I surrender to the moment (at least that’s the intention). 

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The Present

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“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu

It dawned on me that my anxiety is triggered by the future, by things that have not happened and in fact may never happen. The insanity of that is not lost on me.

I recognize how it happened. Some of it is historical, in that codependency is about predicting and controlling as much as possible. And in a leadership position, you build the image of a vision of the future, then try to get people to see themselves in that future too.

But there is a fine line between building a vision for the purposes of consciously creating, and not living in the now.

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and
not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much
past, and not enough presence.”
― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

I find myself having moments of old thinking invading my now. How will I achieve the financial future I want? How will I deal with technology problems when Bhikku moves out? What if the Magus moves away? How will all of this affect my daughter as she grows up? And this is just a fraction of the thoughts that can take over if I am not mindful.

I have had the perception of time come up a few times this week. People have ideas about being 45 and having a kindergarten age child. They think I will run out of energy or time to be with her in her life. People love reminding you to relish every minute with your child because they grow up so fast. My father sent me an email warning about facing the winter of your life and looking backwards with regret.

I don’t buy these limitations. My daughter is older but the soul that looked out at me the minute she was born is still there, timelessly. She just expresses more of it now. I often forget that I’m at the mid point of my life. I don’t see time as running out. I am more concerned with how I’m evolving spiritually and emotionally.

Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Tolle’s point is one I’ve read many times but don’t always master. But more and more, I realize my problems are in moving out of the Now into some future that is not real. I even use one of the premises of psychology to justify my angst – “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” Let me first tell you that our ability at predicting any human behavior is pretty weak. And that is hopefully because we learn and heal and grow into our True Self instead of being trapped in old patterns of the ego.

Osho says “To experience timelessness is to experience deathlessness. To experience timelessness is to experience that which really is. It is neither past nor present nor future; it simply is. It cannot be confined into any compartment, into any category; it cannot be categorized. You simply experience each moment with tremendous peace and silence and joy.”

I think that is one of the reasons gratitude is a powerful practice. When we are grateful, we are in the Now. If I stop and simply Be in this moment, it’s all good. I am free, I am loved. If I take time to connect with Consciousness, my awareness of perfection in the Now magnifies and expands me.

Healing the past is useful for bringing better awareness to conscious creation, as the past may give us insight into unconscious ego beliefs that are at work. Creating a vision of the future allows us to experience our divinity as co-creators with the Divine. But the Now is eternal.

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