Tick, tock: The pressure of time

A typical Deutsche Bahn railway station clock

After writing the last post, I began to feel a bit of internal pressure… perhaps you sometimes feel it, too? If this is the only time that I’ve got, what am I doing? Cue feelings of intense pressure, which showed up in my hunched shoulders, in my shallow breathing, and in the racing thoughts I couldn’t lasso for the life of me. Cue reminders of practice: find the breath, good posture, shoulders are not really carrying the weight of the world on them.

Sometimes, I am insanely motivated by the “NOW IS THE ONLY TIME WE’VE GOT!” mantra. Other times, it makes me want to curl under my bed and hide from the world.

This is where compassion comes in. This is where remembering that each day is different. (I hear this a lot in yoga classes.) Some days, I’m feeling flexible and creative and like what I do matters. Other days, I am in a deep funk and just want to sip tea all day and drown myself in sugar. (Your ostrich motivations may look different.) This is when I am reminded that the point of practice is not to become a better meditator, but to become a better person.

Like muscle memory, we reach for something where we expect it to be. When we’re bleary and tired and full of don’t-wanna in the mornings, we know where to reach for our toothbrush and toothpaste. When we wake in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, we know where to reach for toilet paper. (A month after moving, I still sometimes reach in the direction of where it was from our last apartment.)

We know these things because we’ve practiced them. We’ve become familiar with them. We reach for them, because we know what to do. And for me, when I remember, that’s what I try to think about when I get freaked out about now being the time we have, the time that matters.

What do I want to reach for that I will continue to want to cultivate in the future? Nowness, i’m finding, isn’t about just forgetting that there is qutie possibly a future-now. It’s about really being where I am, now, and looking forward to create a world that helps, supports, and nourishes.

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2 thoughts on “Tick, tock: The pressure of time

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