Your Own Timing

image re time waits for no oneEver notice how the world seems to be spinning faster, with time just flying by?

If you’re like me, and most people I know, you’ve probably worked hard just to try to keep pace with all the changes and demands on your time.

This can contribute to significant stress and problems with anxiety.

My Experience of Time

I should know.  When I was born, my birth was induced… So before I was ‘ready’ to be born (and the natural birth process is triggered by the baby’s ‘readiness’), there I was, thrust before my time into the world!

image of clocks with quote

For most of my life since then, I’ve raced to try to catch up, to somehow be ‘ready’ for whatever challenge I’m facing.

Always driven by the clocks, and other people’s needs.  Just like when I was born, and the doctors decided it was time.

This was so in my marriage, where I worked very hard to meet my partner’s expectations and needs….

It was so in my work, where I was expected to do wa-a-a-y too much, in way to short a time frame.

It was neither realistic, nor was it do-able.  I was always behind in one area or another… And feeling it was my fault somehow, for not being fast enough…

No matter how hard I kept running on that hamster wheel, driven by clocks and external time… It just always seemed to be moving so faster than I could.

This created a fair bit of stress and anxiety for me.  (That’s an under-statement! 🙂 )

Inner vs. Outer Time

It wasn’t until a few years ago that the light bulb finally went on for me.  I finally ‘got it’… It’s not so much about living my life by trying to keep up with external clocks and other peoples’ expectations.

image for quote - slow down, it's the journey, not the destinationRather, it’s about finding my own sense of timing.  And that’s very much an inner, rather than an outer-driven, experience.

It’s been one discovery after another… a series of baby steps that have eventually begun to help me experience life differently.

My Canal-side Walk

One such discovery occurred when I was in England last a couple of years ago.

I was walking by the canals just outside of Bath, looking at the canal boats.  I’d been dropped off by an acquaintance I’d met along the way, who’d assured me I was about an hour and a half’s walk away from Bath…

Or I could take the bus back…

Hmm… the towpaths (walkways beside the canals) are really lovely.  It was a mild winter’s day.  And about 2 in the afternoon.

I figured I’d take the walk, and be back in plenty of time for an early supper (or late tea!)

Well, either his walking pace was very different from mine.  Or, I hadn’t accounted for walking in my suede dress boots…

In any case, an hour and a half passed quickly and enjoyably.  Here’s what I was seeing…

image of canal side 2, Bath UK

image of canalside, Bath, UKBut I was nowhere near close to Bath.

And no matter how many people along the tow path I asked “what time is it, and how far to Bath”… I didn’t seem to be moving any closer at all!

The sun was getting low in the sky, my feet ached (dress boots are not made for hiking), and I had no flash light for after dark.

So, I was getting worried.  But you know, sometimes you just have to keep on keeping on…

I passed a pub that I knew was really close to Bath, and thought longingly of a hot cup of tea, or maybe a bowl of bracingly hot soup.  But I knew if I stopped, I’d not be able to start again.

And then it hit me.  My whole experience of that walk was being based on that guy’s time frame.  I thought I had to do it in an hour and a half, just like he could!

image re canal side 3 Bath, UKAs soon as I settled into my own pace, slowing down to appreciate the beauty around me… my anxiety dropped away.

My walk became more enjoyable (though my feet were still tired).

My entire experience of that walk changed, once I stepped into my own timing, rather than someone else’s.

It’s kinda like living from the inside out, as weird as that sounds.  Rather than outside in.  I feel like I’ve reclaimed something precious to me.  I feel more connected, somehow, to me again.

It’s enormously decreased my anxiety.  And simultaneously increased my pleasure and enjoyment in living.

Such a simple thing really.  But for me, it has powerfully opened a doorway into living more peacefully, within a sense of greater connectivity and wonder.

I haven’t figured out how to stop time.  But honestly, this is the next best thing.  And it feels like plenty.

Because, in discovering and honoring my own timing, what I have figured out is how to climb out of that crazy hamster wheel of living by the time-clocks and other people’s expectations.

I have time to appreciate my life more now.  And to feel grateful.  I figure that’s gotta be an important piece of living sustainably, within my own life.

image re nature's timing

How About You?

So, I’m wondering… what time do you keep?  Is it an external clock or another person’s timing that determines your experiencing of life?

Or is it your own inner clock… Just as is true in Nature, we too all have our own personal bio-rhythms (like, some people are early birds and others are night owls)…

What step can you take toward reclaiming living within your own unique timing?  And how might this change your experience of life and living?

 

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