Make Peace with Time

Time has been my enemy for as long as I can remember. I was always in a rush for time. More so after my kids came. There were never-ending chores to do and tasks to run. On top of that, I was at odds with myself often for hoping to work in-between and choosing an arrangement that puts my kids’ needs high in priority.

time stood still
(No time to sit still?)

Time was a precious commodity that I longed for but never quite got a fix on. I tried to accomplish as much as I could within my waking hours. Over four months, prior to my blogging break, I became a slave to time with increasing demands from work. Amazingly, my first lesson was about time when I started my blogging break.

A Canvas Of Crawling Ants, Greedy Mosquitoes and Slithering Lizards

It was my first day of going to the park. I spotted a part of the ground that would like perfect for meditating. I had brought a mat with me and sat down to meditate. However, the more I tried to be still, the harder it was for me.

My imagination went on an overdrive even as I closed my eyes. My toes, arms and legs itched repeatedly at the thought of crawling ants, mosquitoes taking lusty bites off me and approaching slithering monitor lizards from the nearby tree. I opened my eyes constantly to check that I was not under some kind of attack.


(Can you spot the lizard at the side of the tree?)

Satisfied that not one of my imagined thoughts was real, I closed my eyes again. Even then, my mind refused to be still. It was in a state of flux. All too soon, I sensed a rush. I was feeling impatient. I was caught in a stream of thoughts. Was I too hasty in deciding to take a blogging break? What if I did not manage to gain any form of clarity or insight? Would I be wasting my time? My thoughts went on and on for a good length of time.

After a while, I found myself tuning into another perspective. I became aware that I would be doing myself in if I continued letting these thoughts rule. It was an “aha” moment. I saw the trappings of my ego. I had attached myself to the belief that I need to derive some benefit from taking a long break. Was it so important to score, I wondered. What race was I hoping to win? Who was I trying to beat?

My thoughts had me worrying. I was worrying about some future event that might or might not happen. I considered probable possibilities; recalling that once upon a time, I aced in further math. Surely chances of a favorable outcome happening was just as many as that of an unfavorable outcome? I concluded that worrying would not do no more than add stress to my situation.

I laughed aloud at myself with the realization! How ridiculous my thoughts had become when left unchecked! I was never ever going to be able to keep still until I have made peace with spending the time in the now.

In an instant, everything fell silence. My mind became quiet. Peace.

Nature Tapestry Notes

Green Nature

Only with the existence of time can we experience an unfolding. It is how we evolve moment-to-moment. We cannot expect to experience a renewal when our fears about time keep us stuck. Very importantly, we cannot hope to have happy relationships with time if we make it our enemy. On the contrary, we can only make friends by giving it attention. It is the quality of the attention that is important.

At peace with time, we open ourselves to the fullness of our being. We experience our wholeness. We are in eternity in the moment of now. In the gap, we tune into abundance.

Abundance is to be found in the present. Our thoughts of lack often center on worries about the future. We feel stuck because our thought patterns are about β€œI can only be happy when _______”. We hinge our happiness only upon the successful outcome of a future event. We find it so difficult to stay in the present because our minds are so conditioned to think this way. Our mind seldom keeps us contented with our current situation. Meditation provides the doorway for a consistent practice of keeping our mind centered in the now.

Quiet time spent in the surroundings of nature can be helpful in the understanding of self and universal consciousness. I would like to think that enlightenment is not necessarily acquired through long stays at ashrams in India nor by joining expensive sweat lodge retreats. Simply by expanding my awareness – right here, right now – there can be much that my surrounding environment can teach me.


(Orchids – Our National Flower)

Tip of the Day: Be at peace with the now. Let nature be your guide. Allow miracles to unfold by bring presence into each moment spent in the embrace of nature.

As I left the park that day, I experienced a lightness of being at the sense of renewal. I felt excited about the prospect of making my trips regular. What a wild adventure, with no idea what the end was going to be like! May the fun begin!

Important Annoucements

1. Nature Tapestry Notes is a series of articles that I will be putting together, from my walks and sittings at the park. I will be weaving some of the insights that I gather from nature for inspiration to share with you.

2. If you are a rss subscriber, please resubscribe to the new Abundance Tapestry feed address.

Your Comments Please

Are you a friend or an enemy of with time? Have you been paying attention to time lately?

In Abundance Always,

Facebook Comments

Evelyn

Robin - November 4, 2009

What a lovely article Evelyn – thank you.

As always, thank you for the beautiful pictures!

Watch out for those lusty mosquitoes!

love from Rob

Lance - November 4, 2009

Evelyn,
Right now, the honest answer is that I’m an enemy of time. So, reading what you’ve written is so good. I took a moment to stop and reflect..in the moment. And let everything else go.

The line that really jumped out at me was: “Was it so important to score, I wondered. ” Evelyn, that one line really had me thinking about what I view as a need to “score” on a daily basis – and in so doing am I taking away from the moment? very good for me to think about.

Nature is very connecting for me, so reading this brought a sense of peace – from your words interwoven with our natural world…

Zeenat{Positive Provocations} - November 4, 2009

HI Evelyn,
I have had the same tug o war with time since my little one was born. No time to sit still is kind of understating it..isn it πŸ™‚ I love being a mother and all the things that come with it…but I used to crave for some me time. Slowly I have found that time is actually finding me, when i least expect to find it πŸ™‚
My most precious moments of the day are early in the sunrise. Gives me clarity.
Evelyn your writing and the nature tapestry is just breathtaking. Missed you while you were on your break from blogging.
With Love

Carla - November 4, 2009

I can really relate to what you have to say. I know I can benefit from meditating at least a few minutes daily to start. It really helped me when I was working full-time. It seems like even now, I still don’t know when to slow down or just STOP!

J.D. Meier - November 4, 2009

Time is a funny thing.

I’ve found that the key with time is asking, “where do I want to spend more time?” and pushing towards that.

Mindfulmimi - November 4, 2009

Evelyn,
I am in there with Zeenat. As a mother I felt time became rare. All the time was devoted to the kids. But from the beginning I also knew that I needed to MAKE that time for ME or else hell would break loose after a while. So now I take the time to be creative, get a massage or a haircut, go running, fill up my batteries. It has changed the way I live.
It has also changed the way I look at time at work. I used to stress as soon as an item was added to my to do list. Now I just add it and continue working. I stopped seeing an elephant in everything πŸ™‚
Thanks for this.
Mimi

Vamsi Mohan Kottisa - November 4, 2009

That was a great article. To be present is to be alive; to be in future or past is to be dead. I like the idea of getting stuck in time, because it happened to me a number of times. Once i was waiting in a train-station and i saw the clock read 8:20PM. My mind carried me to places I don’t know, and the time read 8:33PM. I lost 13 mins of my life. I don’t know how many countless days/years of time i lost in thoughts.

Evelyn - November 4, 2009

@Robin, I’m glad to know that you have enjoyed the post. The lusty mosquitoes were more imagined than real. I was more afraid of the possibility of the lizard approaching.

@Lance, it’s great that something I said in this article made you stop and think. We keep hoping to score but forget that it is in the doing that brings us the greatest joy and not the ultimate prize.

Evelyn - November 4, 2009

Zeenat,

Oh yes, I certainly need a lot of “me” time! I find that when I do not get my fill, I become even more dysfunctional than before! It’s great that you managed to find a spot to experience peace and clarity.

It’s great that you like Nature Tapestry! I missed all my blogging friends, like yourself too!

With love,
Evelyn

Evelyn - November 4, 2009

@Carla, admittedly it is not easy to know when to really stop and take a break when the momentum of events keeps us in the running. Do take some quiet time daily to recharge!

@J.D., in my case, the best question to ask myself is what are my priorities? Meditation does not really need to take that long. I may spend more time with my kids or working but because I place a high importance to quiet sittings, I make sure that I allocate at least half an hour each day.

Evelyn - November 4, 2009

@Mimi, your comment “I stopped seeing an elephant in everything” got me laughing!

@Vamsi, may I quote Ajahn Brahm in his talk on the benefits to meditation: “The past is comprised of dead moments piled onto your head.” How true – whether we are in the past or the future, we are hardly alive!

Ale - November 4, 2009

I share your feels. Being a mother lear me how to be in time. All change. And the play time arrives to show me how deep is the presente…perfect.
Thank
Love from Argentina

Nadia - Happy Lotus - November 4, 2009

Hi Evelyn,

Beautiful post and pictures.

When I was 15 I had a near death experience and as a result, it hit me that time was precious so I began to live on full throttle. Meaning I made the most out of every single day. Ten years later when I began my spiritual journey in earnest, I had to learn about silence, meditation and just being still. Eventually, I was able to sit down for hours and just meditate. Then when I was done meditating, I would get back to full trottle living but with more presence.

The irony is that the more spiritual I became, the more I got done without being in a rush or whatever. When you are in the moment and really focused, you can do wonders. So time is a friend and not an enemy. Just a matter of perception which you so beautifully described.

Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul - November 4, 2009

I think time and scarcity ARE very closely linked! So much in our culture is about having enough time, making the most of our time, running out of time, not wasting our time … as if time were not a renewable resource!

And yet, every moment is followed by the next one … infinitely!

I don’t put too many restrictions on my time … if I feel like I need to work, I work. If I feel that it’s time to be lazy and unproductive, I do that, too. At the end of it all, it’s astonishing how much gets done in the moment, without any elaborate ideas of “time management.” πŸ™‚

Blessings,
Andrea

Positively Present - November 5, 2009

What a beautiful post, Evelyn! Thank you for sharing your words with us.

Tess The Bold Life - November 5, 2009

Evelyn,
This is so true. All of it. And why is it so easy to be at peace with time when things are going well? Augghhh! It’s so frustrating and I know the only thing I need to do is get in the present moment and stay there. I’m meditating 5 days of week. I’m going to extend it by 8 minutes Jan. 1.
Step by step in the now…my path.

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord - November 5, 2009

Funny, I just wrote a note over at Walter’s site (Lionslinger) about my inability to stay connected to the present moment. Like you, my mind often jets off into the future, past, or some combination of both. If I catch it doing that, I gently bring it back, and sort of laugh at myself because I know that’s just how I am. I have a habit of letting my mind grow distracted, and probably don’t meditate long enough to break that habit (I can’t imagine 15 minutes a day does the trick, but I do know it’s better than nothing!).

I absolutely loved this statement: “Abundance is to be found in the present. Our thoughts of lack often center on worries about the future.” I can pinpoint so much of my recent stress to this statement – or rather, this mode of existence. When I look around me now, I have everything I need. Yet when I project into the future, I worry there will be lack. Odd, odd, odd. Since thoughts become things, I needed to read your post today to regroup, give thanks for the abundance I have (I’m swimming in it!), and act as such. ACT from a place of NOW abundance.
Wow… Thanks, Evelyn!

Kaushik - November 5, 2009

Hi Evelyn,
A beautiful post.

Years ago I went to a meditation retreat–it was my first time, and my mind was screaming! It took some practice to be still. These days I don’t meditate. Abiding in this gentle unoccupied effortless spaciousness, which is prior to thought and time, deepens on its own.

“I would like to think that enlightenment is not necessarily acquired through long stays at ashrams in India nor by joining expensive sweat lodge retreats. Simply by expanding my awareness – right here, right now – there can be much that my surrounding environment can teach me.”

Perfectly said. When we expand awareness and let go of the clinging to assumptions, we can make discoveries on our own, about the truth of conditioning and the truth of time and truth of simply being.

I am beginning to understand that you use the word “abundance” in a different way.

Great article, I look forward to more

k

Steven Aitchison - November 5, 2009

Hi Evelyn. This is such a beautiful post, I was there with you in the park and started itching at the imaginary ants πŸ™‚ just shows you how powerful our minds really are. I am looking forward to the future nature tapestry notes.

Evelyn - November 5, 2009

@Al, welcome to my site. It’s great that you resonate well with what I’ve said.

@Positively Present, thank you for your feedback πŸ™‚

@Tess, all the best to your goals for the new year! Yeah…step by step in the now!

Evelyn - November 5, 2009

Andrea,

I don’t do any time management nor any form of strategic planning at all either. While I have some kind of vague internal guide, I pretty much do things when I come to them.

While I have come a long way from my previous state of struggle (during a period when my kids were still toddlers), I realize that I need to continue to make friends with time. More recently, I have been taking lazy breakfasts at gourmet restaurants not just once but two to three times a week. It is luxurious because it means I work less. I generally work only half a day while my kids are in school in the mornings.

With love,
Evelyn

Evelyn - November 5, 2009

Hello Megan,

Oh yes! It is exactly what you’ve said: “When I look around me now, I have everything I need.” Same for me too. I really should not be complaining. My mind comes up with all its ridiculous thoughts and worries, when it projects into the future. And then, I start to forget that I have a lovely home, two beautiful kids, and nothing major to fret over about.

I guess we need to continually remind ourselves about staying centered in the present. Let’s do that, shall we?

With love,
Evelyn

Evelyn - November 5, 2009

Kaushik,

How beautifully you have written: “Abiding in this gentle unoccupied effortless spaciousness, which is prior to thought and time, deepens on its own.” I enjoy the feeling of spaciousness when I am alone. Yes, time does not exist while I am in this realm.

You correctly point out that I am using abundance in a different way. It is funny that just this morning, I have been intending to write an article to explain what I mean. An explanation will help set the context for the blog. Do look out for it!

With love,
Evelyn

Delia - November 5, 2009

Hi Evelyn, Time is really none existence, although it’s all in the mind we sure
do so much or so little to try to catch up more of the time that we want to
spend worthy of the things we want or make our time worth of, i have learnt to enjoy the moments of now, as the only time although past and future is all important but we tend to worry to much about the time that we are not in the right dimension of, as the present time is the abundance that we live in always. I have been meditating for few months now it really opens my eyes and mind to how time a fabrication of the none existence plane, the moments in life are the most important time of my life. Thanks for a lovely article as always,
Love, Peace, and Respect,
Delia

Jon | Adventures of The Fearless - November 5, 2009

“I laughed aloud at myself with the realization!” – Everlyn being able to laugh at ourselves is the road to peace. Thanks for sharing your heart

Ellie Walsh - November 5, 2009

Evelyn… I love the new website and your insight!
“Abundance is to be found in the present” – That so eloquently says it all!! When we are in the present – we are in Abundance… When we recognize that – the pressures of old thought can not haunt us – as they have no place in the Now!

Hugs,
Ellie

Hilary - November 5, 2009

Hi Evelyn .. yes I spotted the little creature cleverly darting down the tree, no doubt in search of your sticky ants.

I love the way you’re putting your thoughts down and the pictures are just too wonderful – a wooden bench outside with some warmth now would be bliss .. but not for me for a while. The comment about being peaceful now .. “I was never ever going to be able to keep still until I have made peace with spending the time in the now. ” is so relevant for me when I’m at my mother’s bedside – there’s so much I want to be doing and I do find it so difficult to be at peace with her during those times: someting to learn.

The new abundant tapestry is great – well done!
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Pocahontas - November 5, 2009

Evelyn:
You leave me speechless each and everytime I read your writings. I am so grateful that I am experiencing this time in life with you. Your photos are so beautiful and calming. Thank you for your insights and teachings.

Pocahontas

Evelyn - November 6, 2009

@Delia, it’s wonderful that you have been meditating for months now. Bringing more presence into the present is what I hope to do each day!

@Jon, oh yes…my ego can get quite ridiculous when it gets in the way! It loves to play games with me!

@Ellie, I am glad that you are liking my new theme and insights. I am glad to have taken my blogging break. It helped me with greater clarity and crystallization of some of my thoughts. I also tried to be away from stuff that will prevent me from finding my own voice.

Evelyn - November 6, 2009

Hilary,

You got me laughing at the lizard being after the sticky ants! A possibility that I didn’t think of! I guess that it would be more likely to go after the ants that it would after me.

Hope everything works out fine with your mother. I just stopped for a moment or two of silence and sent both of you some loving thoughts.

Take care,
Evelyn

Evelyn - November 6, 2009

Pocahontas,

Thank you for your lovely comments. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know that my posts have been helpful.

Yes, do join me on the adventure of my life! It is not an easy path that I have chosen but I won’t have it any other way!

With love and blessings,
Evelyn

Eric | Eden Journal - November 6, 2009

Very nice post. We can plan for the future, we can think of the past, but we can only exist in the now. I very much agree that we can’t postpone happiness by saying “I’ll be happy when ____.” There is nothing that will bring us happiness, we have to find it within.

I also liked your experience with meditation. I have yet to make time to meditate consistently. The mind sure does tend to wander when I do. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Chris Edgar - November 7, 2009

Hi Evelyn — I liked your description of what you experienced in the park, and I think that’s a good illustration of how the mind operates — its function seems to be to make this moment into a problem, even if this moment involves sitting quietly in a field. If it doesn’t have some obvious danger in the environment to latch onto it creates imaginary bugs. I think recognizing that kind of thing is key to being at peace despite the mind’s constant activity.

Jonathan | EnlightenYourDay.com - November 8, 2009

Thanks for sharing… I took a little time away from my social media projects, but I am glad to be back. I always find something I enjoy on your blog…. Peace

Jonathan

Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice - November 8, 2009

Hey Evelyn,

Great post, something I too often now about is ‘nowness’ and you’re spot on when you say that abundance is found in the present. What an eloquent way to put it! πŸ™‚

Amit

Gerlaine - November 17, 2009

I am making peace with time. No longer will I worry about things that need to be done. It’s just time to do and also time to relax.

Today, I vow to transend time and not worry about it.

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