In practice this week, I had such a strong sense of having all the time in the world, while simultaneously knowing, there’s no time to waste. Such an interesting paradox to think about being trusting enough to know I have all the space I could ever need, while at the same time holding a strong boundary in my living around not wasting one bit of it.
Is it possible to hold both?
I know for me that when I am in practice, in the woods, tending to the medicine garden, making food or medicinals, engaged in a meaningful conversation, creating content or writing, time expands, and I am gifted with all the space I need. It often feels like I have been at something for weeks or months because that is how endless it all feels. I think this kind of timelessness becomes available to us whenever we are engaged in truly heart-felt and meaningful activities. Times where we are so focused and absorbed in what we are doing, that we lose ourselves in a kind of uninterrupted, everlasting, Divine expanse that seems to go on and on and on.
The experience of time opening up in this way gets harder and harder to come by when we allow ourselves to be at the beck and call of the incessant ring tones and buzzing of the machines that never leave our side. Despite all that we have “gained” with the technologies, what has been lost is not easily apparent to us because of how hard it is to measure the value of something that can only be known and felt through intentionally creating the opportunity, distraction-free, of timelessness.
For those of us who have had that experience, perhaps we can see beyond the allure of the pinging. But what about those generations who have never experienced that feeling of open-ended time and what it has to offer. Will they even know something truly precious and life-giving has been lost to them?
Which brings me to boundaries. A clear line in the sand must be drawn so that we do not take our days and lives for granted. So that we do not forget for one moment that life is short, and that it will be over before we know it. This is a vastly different approach to life than the frenetic and stress-filled pace that many of us live by where we are cramming more into a day than can possibly fit there. This approach to time leaves us depleted, guilty and overwhelmed. It is based on scarcity on the one hand and on an over-consumptive attitude on the other; where we never have enough of the most important things and where we are mindlessly too full with too many of the wrong things.
But as the old saying goes, “There is no time like the present.” Meaning? If you sense time has gotten away from you, that you are approaching it in a profane way, it is only in this moment that you can decide to do something different. To choose to make time sacred. To make it worthy of the one life you have to live.