Photo by Harry Sandhu on Unsplash
Our time is so precious.
Surviving a life-threatening illness taught me this with crystal clarity.
Surprisingly, having cancer brought me one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received – an awareness of how precious life is, leading to a more satisfying and authentic life (read the story in my new book: Angel Kisses, No More Cancer)!
But you do not need to get cancer in order to “raise the bar” of your own life.
In order to make the most of your time and live authentically and purposefully, here are some concepts and techniques to try.
Experiment, have fun! If you find something that works for you and continue with it, you may find your entire life slowing down and feeling more “spacious”– sooner than later!
1) Recognize the difference between “clock time” and “perceived time”
For many people, time seems to speed up as we get older.
Scientists have a variety of explanations for this phenomenon.
In a recent Harvard article No, It’s Not Just You: Why Time “Speeds Up” as we get older, physics Professor Adrian Bejan proposes that as we age, the rate at which we process visual information gets slower, and that “slower processing times result in us perceiving fewer ‘frames-per-second’ – more actual time passes between the perception of each new mental image. This is what leads to time passing more rapidly.”
Although we can’t control clock time, there are many ways we can make the most of our precious perceived time.
Perceived time is your subjective experience of time – and it’s this experience that we are working on improving!
Recognizing the difference between them is the first step.
2) Give up Being “Busy”
Making the decision to give up busy can be extremely powerful and “time expanding.”
There’s no “one-way fits all” way to do this, but you can start by recognizing that feeling too busy sabotages your ability to appreciate the present moment. Feeling too busy contributes to a constricted sense of “there’s just not enough hours in a day.”
Take an inventory of your daily life.
Can you “unsubscribe” from some of your email lists, simplifying your digital life?
Can you start a new habit of saying “no” to activities that don’t support your well being?
Can you stop talking and thinking about how busy you are?
Tim Krieder says it best in his New York Times piece The Busy Trap:
“life is too short to be busy.”
Go easy on yourself here. Try to enjoy the process of un-busying yourself, one step at a time.
Simply put, meditation trains your brain to notice more of your own thoughts and sensations (mental and physical), including the unpleasant idea of “lack of time.”
Identifying the thoughts and feelings around “lack of time” more gives you more options, including learning to compassionately acknowledge/release this unpleasant idea until (by default) you feel more spacious and present!
The more you’re able to connect with whatever is happening in the present moment, the more options you’ll have.
Try it now! If you’re alone, take 5 deep breaths, smile, and set a timer for 1 minute. Enjoy this minute – it may be the longest and most enjoyable minute you’ve experienced in a long time!
If you try this, please comment below! I really want to hear from you what you thought.
If you enjoy this easy exercise, try scheduling it into your day – everyone can spare 1 minute to breathe deeply and appreciate the moment!
4) Einstein Time
In his book The Big Leap, psychologist and teacher Gay Hendricks describes what he calls Einstein Time.
The idea is simple – and experiential: whenever you feel like you’re rushing, just tell yourself that you “own” time.
Instead of being at the mercy of time, claim it and own it. It’s an empowering idea: “I OWN TIME.”
Dr. Hendricks gives an example from his own life: he catches himself rushing to catch a flight. By deliberately changing his approach and thinking to himself “I own time,” he is able to calm himself down and connect with the present moment.
Soon enough events unfold around him that are much different – and infinitely better – than the worst case scenario he could have anticipated.
This technique is much better tried than just read about!
5) Ask Yourself The Hard Question
In my coaching program, I ask my clients to journal this question: if you only had days left to live, what would you do?
Contemplating this question has the potential to dramatically clarify and prioritize your life for the better.
As Robert Glazer points out in his article Want Clarity in Life? Start with These Three Questions:
“It’s quite easy and comfortable to keep pushing our true desires back because we think we’ll have the time to eventually realize them… In many cases, people don’t evaluate what they want until there is a galvanizing event.”
It’s true. Confronted with harsh and shocking realities, we can’t help but re-evaluate our priorities, and be changed.
I invite you to spend some time with the question. Note: please be kind to yourself if you decide to try this – and don’t lose sight of the reality that you are an infinite being.
Perceived time is malleable. It’s up to each of us to recognize this, and prioritize our lives such that we don’t waste time.
This is the journey! THIS our purpose – to see and work with our challenges and limitations!
By working intentionally with our perception of time, we can gain access to a bigger Truth of who we are.
Try these 5 techniques to find out what is possible, and comment below!
- Recognize the difference between “clock time” and “perceived time.”
- Give. Up. Being. Busy.
- Meditate yourself to greater spaciousness.
- Own time! This is “Einstein Time”
- Acknowledge your own mortality and find out what would change if you only had a short time to live. Mixing into this the truth that we are infinite Spiritual beings could potentially super-charge your life!
? Are you ready to explore how Your Great Assignment coaching program can catalyze your transformation? If so, please apply for a complimentary Discovery Call with me, Stacie Overman!