Ever taken a nap and woken up at a point in the day
where the sun may be just covered by clouds so that it looks like it could easily be dusk or dawn? For a second, there's a moment of disbelief that washes over you when you realize you could have potentially slept anywhere between 12 to 24 hours, depending on when you actually fell asleep. When this happens, I usually rush for my nearest electronic device to see what time and day it is. Now, checking what time it is, isn't too big of a deal. There are many situations I find myself in where I've lost track of time. It's when you have no idea of the date that really jars your mind.
It's a little funny how lost we become when that invisible road isn't laid out in front of us.
I was teaching a class and didn't have my phone on me. For some reason I figured that my Ipod didn't have a clock on it. I got 5 or so poses in when I had this thought and started to panic. Not wanting to break the flow of the class to ask if anyone could lend me a time device, I (somehow) figured I'd wing it and hope it turned out ok. That lasted all of 2 min. before I started to panic. My whole rhythm was thrown off and I started to rush a bit through the poses.
First of all, why I figured there was no means of telling time on an Ipod is unknown to me even now. Eventually I did discover the clock, thankfully. Secondly, why I thought I had any reason to panic is also a mystery. It is merely time, an illusion based on where the sun is during our "day to day" lives.
I understand that people want to feel as if we mean something. We want to feel as if we are fulfilling a purpose in existing. Which, in some ways we do. We affect the world and beyond just as much as it affects us.
On my way home from teacher training, I was seated next to a man. We got to talking and he confessed that he was not the best flyer in the world. At that point, I had just been doing countless amounts of yoga every day, meditating religiously, and was eating mostly organic, home made, fresh food. Needless to say, I was feeling at peace. Somehow, the most nervous man on the plane was seated next to the girl who would have been floating if she'd sung one more mantra. I thought back to what my Mum (a nurse) would do when she was doing someone's I.V. She would distract them with having them tell her stories. Pets, family, work, interests, whatever got their minds off of the needle being shoved into them. Using her fine tactic, we talked about his dogs, yoga, and just life in general.
It worked for the most part until we hit some turbulence as we were going over the mountains. There were no clouds bu the wind was apparently quite strong and was jostling us around a bit.
I'm enjoying myself. I'm drunk with acceptance and ready to take on anything be it plane crash or a little wind.
As I'm calmly talking him out of his panic attack, I look out the window for a glimpse at the pristine mountain scape below. As I do, the plan drops. Not nose first, of course, but straight down. Everyone feels the gravity change as our weight gets pulled up, hips pressing against the seat belt and arms hovering just slightly for all of 2 seconds. We regain normality once again and I think to myself. I just plummeted in a plane over top of mountains, thousands of feet in the air. I could have died in the blink of an eye. It could have all been over, just like that.
I am so small.
As much as we would like to think we are the center of everything, we also need to understand that we are despensable. Very much so. It takes very little to be able to wipe out a human life. Life in itself is fragile. Yet we cling to things like time and materials to try and shape our lives into a very detailed illusion.
My challenge to myself and the people around me is to pause, the next time you see or hear a clock. Think. Every time that little line moves, a moment of your life has passed. The "future" hasn't come yet and never will. The "past" no longer exists except for the imprint it has left in your mind. Every time that hand, attached to a gear, powered by a battery, moves a little more, your life is happening. You are the only thing that matters right at that second and yet, you matter very little at all. Enjoy the vast scape of opposites that are pulling at you and take advantage of each ticktock you hear. What are you doing with those seconds? Where is your mind in this moment?
Maybe you'd like to take that challenge and run with it. Maybe you care to push it a bit further. If so, take even just 5 min (also the time it takes for 2 commercial breaks) and be in the moment. Don't allow your mind to wander from past to future and back again. Observe what is happening now. Allow yourself to be fully aware of this current state.
See what happens.
*All yoga classes and frightened men mentioned turned out just fine.