Is Time on Your Side? Take our Quiz and Find out . . .
Much of the time your mind focuses on things that have nothing to do with the present. In any given moment it may be reliving old memories, rehashing conversations, daydreaming, or telling itself stories. One of the most common stories is that there’s never enough time. Never mind finding your dharma, your soul mate, or enlightenment, the mind frets, you barely have time to meet your deadlines and buy groceries.
When you believe the story that time is running out, it has damaging effects on your body and health, including high blood pressure, elevated “stress” hormones, increased susceptibility to disease, digestive disorders, insomnia, accelerated aging, and a greater vulnerability to anxiety and depression. Fortunately, all of these symptoms can reverse themselves when you transform your relationship with time.
Remember that being present does not require effort; you can’t strive to be present because as soon as you do, you take yourself out of the moment. The key is having a willingness to discover that aspect of yourself that is timeless.
Develop a Regular Meditation Practice Meditation is a time simply to be . . . to dive below the mind’s churning surface into the still point of pure consciousness. You enter a state of awareness that is beyond thought, sensation, emotions, desire, and memory. In this timeless or transcendent awareness, you have the sensation of fullness and bliss. In meditation, you allow your mind to find its truth, and that truth is beyond time.
Let Go of the Past Holding on to painful emotions and memories prevents you from living and being happy in the present. Accumulated anger, regret, sadness, and other difficult emotions block the flow of life and contribute to fatigue, staleness, and illness. When you release pent-up memories that no longer serve you, life will flow freely again and you will be fresh and open to new experiences in the present.
How do you learn to let go? Chopra Center co-founder and medical director, David Simon, M.D. has been exploring this question for more than three decades, and he has developed a powerful five-step process that has helped thousands let go of emotional pain and negative core beliefs – freeing themselves to create a life filled with purpose and happiness. At the Free to Love workshop, he will guide you in this proven process for emotional freedom. Learn about Free to Love here.
Practice One-Pointed Awareness Choose one mundane activity that you do every day, such as brushing your teeth, making the bed, or washing the dishes. Instead of rushing, put your complete attention on this task. If your mind is impatient or prods you to move on to more “important” business, ignore it. This simple daily practice of focusing your awareness on one activity can create a powerful ripple effect that will expand your experience of present-moment awareness throughout the day.
As you become more aware, you will begin to notice many opportunities that in the past you would have overlooked in your rush and hurry. This is the phenomenon Deepak refers to as SynchroDestiny – the ability to use your attention, intention, and awareness to see all the possibilities that always surround you. Most people, however, only see these opportunities in retrospect. At the SynchroDestiny workshop, Deepak teaches participants advanced practices for harnessing the power of the mind and consciousness to recognize the opportunities in every moment and use them to manifest their dreams and desires.
Connect to your Body While the mind tends to dwell in the past or in the future, the body lives in the moment and finds the greatest joy and satisfaction there. Like many people, you may have been trained to live “from the neck up,” using your intellect and mind while ignoring, distrusting, or simply being unaware of the signals of your body.
Fortunately, no matter how long it has been neglected, the body is a faithful servant and will respond when you begin to connect. The ancient practice of yoga offers a powerful tool for connecting to your body and cultivating a state of deep body-centered restful awareness. Despite popular misconceptions, you don’t have to be flexible or athletic to practice yoga. No matter what level of fitness you have and no matter what your age, you can begin. The Chopra Center teaches a gentle, hatha-style yoga called the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, rooted in India’s 5,000-year-old Vedic tradition, focusing on awareness and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more here.
Change Your Internal Dialogue The way we talk to ourselves has a profound influence on how we perceive the world, how we feel, and ultimately how the events of our lives unfold. Instead of letting your internal dialogue bully or scare you with endless commentary about time running out, use affirmations that empower you and fill you with a sense of ease and wellbeing. You can use these affirmations or come up with your own:
I have all the time in the world. I always have plenty of time.