Coach Jeannette: October 2009
Liberation from the constraints of time.
by Jeannette Maw
Our experience of time is so closely connected to our enjoyment of life that it’s worth exploring—and consciously directing—our relationship with it.
While I have nothing against time planners or organizing our schedules to daily priorities, I believe much more can be gained when we drop the scarcity mentality about time and adopt a higher perspective about how we can experience it.
Imagine living centuries ago, before modern-day science taught us the “truths” of our world as we know them now. Before we knew better, our senses would have clearly indicated to us that the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth—a limited belief which we might ridicule now that we better understand our world.
One thing we know for sure is that our understanding of the world based on sensory perceptions is extremely limited. We can’t necessarily trust our senses to reveal the truth. Most people can’t even trust their intuition to guide them well.
But we don’t have to rely on our personal perceptions or intuition to reveal the truth about how the world works regarding space and time. Decades of modern-day research, not to mention teachings from various ancient cultures, show us a picture that looks quite different from the traditional Newtonian concept of time that has led us to believe time is absolute and quantifiable. Thanks to the work of Albert Einstein and succeeding researchers willing to question old ways of thinking, and to philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, who proposed that time and space are properties of perception and thought imposed on the human mind by nature, we have new understandings about what “time” really is.
While our culture teaches that time is linear, offering us a chronological past, present and future, some cultures perceive a “circular” experience of time, in which each person is in the center of concentric time circles. Some leading edge physicists tell us time is better understood when we think of the past, present and future as all existing at the same time, rather than thinking of them as linear. Even Einstein concluded in 1952 that the past, present and future all exist simultaneously.
It may seem inconceivable or truly mind-bending to think of time differently than we traditionally have, but surely our ancestors experienced the same thing when confronted with evidence that the world is round and revolves around the sun. Perhaps it’s time for us to experience an enlightened perspective as well.
“Consciousness is currency and it can buy you all the time in the world,” writes Kim Falconer in her speculative fiction novel “Arrows of Time.” What she means is that our awareness creates our reality, and when we direct that awareness consciously, we can create whatever we want—including time. “The irony is that according to Einstein, time is an illusion. But if time is an illusion, it might explain why it’s so hard to pin down—and harder still to describe the process of time unfolding in anything but a ‘first-then-finally’ order. When we bend our perceptions of time, things get a little crazy,” she says in an online interview.
If it’s true that consciousness creates reality, and that if we can imagine it, we can have it, then why wouldn’t we use that power to step outside the time constraints most of us don’t appreciate in life?
I think it’s because we take for granted the assumptions that there are 24 hours in a day, that the past is the past and can’t be changed, and that we must make the best use of our limited time here on Planet Earth.
But what if there were plenty of time for everything? What if what was done yesterday could be altered today? What if we could choose to never run out of time?
In a letter to his deceased friend’s family, Einstein wrote that his lifelong friend’s passing was of no consequence, “for we physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.”
Becoming aware of the illusion is the first step in being able to choose differently.
In “The Big Leap,” author Gay Hendricks says we can indeed create time, simply by recognizing that we are the source of it. Instead of believing time is something “out there,” finite and limited, Hendricks suggests we recognize everything arises from “in here”—including time. With this paradigm shift we can create an entirely new relationship with and experience of time.
Hendricks offers three steps for freeing yourself from the constraints of time and living in what he calls “Einstein Time:”
Recognize that you are the source of time. Time is not a pressure from outside; we can make as much as we need.
Stop complaining about the lack of time. Cease perpetuating the myth that time is the persecutor and you are its victim.
Take ownership of time. Acknowledge that you are the source and it will stop owning you.
Hendricks says you will experience the benefits of feeling less busy while getting more done.
In a similar fashion, Kim Falconer suggests starting a new relationship with time by first noticing the story you tell about it. Pay attention to your languaging about time. (As in, “I’m out of time” or “There aren’t enough hours in the day.”) Then change your story to a more empowering version of what you prefer to experience with time. (Perhaps “There’s plenty of time” and “I’m happy to make time.”)
This much I know: Many of us seem to live in a lack mindset and scarcity mentality regarding time. The more we reinforce that lack (through our thoughts, observations and language), the more we will experience it. Since our enjoyment of life is closely tied to having an abundance of time, it seems wise to cultivate a practice of creating more time to do just that.
Shall we begin?
Jeannette Maw is a Law of Attraction coach and founder of Good Vibe Coaching in Salt Lake City. www.goodvibecoach.com