Time ticks at a constant pace, yet our perception of time changes on a regular basis.
Here is a typical conversation I have with my family when I come home from work. My wife asks how was your day? I reply it was busy and flew by. My kids chime in with, their day was boring and took forever to finish.
Time is perceived differently by each person depending on their day. Some days it feels like there isn’t enough time, while other days feels like it drags on for an eternity.
To get a sense of the “real” time, I sometimes sit and watch a clock tick. Second by second, minute by minute – it’s both hypnotizing and fascinating at the same time. If you think time is flying by too quickly just sit and watch a clock and you will realize that we actually have a lot of time on our side.
Watching is clock tick is similar to meditation - your mind zeroes in on one object and ignores all the distraction. Your eyesight blurs and your body relaxes. The constant internal chatter you hear in your head begins to produce larger gaps of silence. Maybe the first time, you realize that there is more to you than your thoughts. Something deeper within you actually does exist. Is this what it means to be spiritual? I don’t know, but something unique happens when you enter a meditative state.
Meditation and mindfulness are practices that teach you how to be more present. In a present state, you become acutely aware of the things happening both around you and inside of you. Presence allows you remove yourself from your own thoughts and see the world as it exists in real-time.
When you visit the world outside of your mind, your perception of time begins to slow down.
Instead of watching a clock tick on a wall, watch the people around you move and butterflies fly. Smell the air after a rainfall and the delicious pastries cooking in an oven. Feel each footstep you take and every object you touch. Hear the wind and children’s laughter gently whispering in the background.
Mindfulness allows you to become more of who you really are and not what the world wants you to be.
It is easy to forget that we are nothing more than animals who have found our way to the top of the food chain. Strip away the economy, the buildings, the toys or anything else that is man-made, and all that is left is an animal who just wants to survive and thrive.
Survival is easy. Thriving is not.
You get one step closer to thriving when you live in the present moment.