Everybody knows we have the same amount of ‘human time’ and it is truly WHAT we do with our equal share of time that makes all the difference… but what could happen if we could STRETCH TIME?
Ever found yourself standing still and wishing, pleading or begging for time to stand still? Ever wondered “where has the time gone?” Or started reminiscing with a friend about days and years gone by and the eventual utterance of “my word how the world has changed” when we discuss that our children now use Google instead of Encyclopedia Britannica’s full version on the bookshelves at Grannys house.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”― Mother Theresa
Now you may be asking what has time to do with this blog regarding healthy living, well, if health is the new wealth, then we can safely say that time becomes pretty damn important in the equation, for without health, you have ZERO TIME. Personally, I have encountered many people who are wealthy beyond comprehension only to find them miserable and depressed, a life lived chasing a good retirement [is there such a thing?] and a little house by the sea… Only to get to 50 odd and start having health challenges that shatter firstly their retirement planned date [of course our medical profession like putting a time limit on our walk on the planet once the health challenge rears its ugly head] and secondly on doctors advice maybe settling at the coast is not a great plan for their condition having to be close to the health care services ‘just in case…‘
At around about this point of life, time kinda collapses, it implodes on us and all of a sudden we start wishing for more time. Sound familiar? I am almost certain it does. And EVERYBODY has heard this same story being told by their parents and their parent’s parents at some stage sitting around a dinner table at Christmas time. So why is it that we keep repeating the same old stories over and over again?
Ahhhhh, this is where we learn to stretch time. Where we learn to not only get healthy but live to 100 feeling bloody marvelous! I find that there is a [for me, a redundant] thought process circulating, that once you hit your 40’s or 50’s you are on the runway to take off, never to return of course [Do you realize that you still have 40 to 50 years left??!]. When and where did that happen? I realize that in my younger days I DID see my parents getting to 40 and 50 and acting old but the hardship of life was a little bit more intense then, than it is now… I mean, can you imagine what shopping was like in their day? They had to get into their car, drive to 10 different places [raising their blood pressure at the bad drivers along the way] to get their groceries and take 5 hours doing that! [leaving less time for family and work be that may]. Now with a click of my mouse button, instantly I find what I need within 30min and it gets delivered the same day or within 48 hours. We don’t even realize that we ALL HAVE A SUPERPOWER and it is getting stronger every day. It is not that we are unable to stretch time, it is that we are not consciously aware of the fact that WE CAN and ALREADY ARE STRETCHING TIME.
We have all seen the equation of a week that has 168 hours, if we spend a third sleeping [8 hours an evening for the lucky sods out there that get this right] leaving us with 112 hours for the week, of which another third is left for working and lets for good measure add at least 4 hours to the 8 hours of work – there are some brave characters who’s bosses STILL FIND IT NECESSARY for them to get into their car to go to work [yes, I know, we still need to get into cars for work, I am just having a dig at the bosses who most likely finished school in the ’80s if they still feel the need to babysit the workers] which leaves us with 28 hours to do EXACTLY what we would like to do in the form of family time, recreation, etc. Ohhhhhhweeee best you love your job if you are donating roughly 50% of your time to it and only 28 hours to living life. Now, of course, this equation can be molded and plied according to your whims but the fact is, we all have the same 168 hours.
Now a skill WE need to develop is HOW we use the 168 hours, please note that this is NOT a time management course, there is no such thing as time management unless you, like God, are able to breathe out stars and create planets of course. It is self-management that becomes evident as a skill required for stretching time. We need to add to ourselves, an awareness, a consciousness of what is happening in our world around us and embrace the fact that EVERYTHING is faster, more IMMEDIATE, instant in gratification based on the technology that exists. The minute we do that, the minute we become aware of our friend, TECHNOLOGY we claim our SUPERPOWER. With that comes a hoard of benefits. YES, YOUR HEALTH IMPROVES… if you ALLOW IT TO. You see, what technology does is it allows us NOT to get stuck in the ‘IMPOSSIBLE CLUB‘ the ‘IT CANNOT BE DONE‘ thought process, basically the negative space we find ourselves in if what we plan does not go our way. Back then, [those remember when days] we got stuck based on lack of information, lack of methodology on how to do this or that, now, we Google, and instantly the problem gets solved or eased just a little bit. Our stress levels remain intact and we go about our doings without a bat of an eyelid. This then has an impact on our health as in essence our heart beats a little easier, and our adrenal gland remains a little calmer, albeit we live a little longer. YES... We STRETCH TIME.
The second skill we need to develop as a SUPERHERO of time stretching is PRESENCE. This is a MASTERY skill and takes time to develop, you first of all need to be aware of your ability to stretch time and then implement it. This is where SELF-MANAGEMENT is key. We spend ‘time’ dwelling in the past when all we have is the present, generally, it has been shown that those that hunker in memories [basically STUCK in the past] have a higher incidence of depression. Now yes, it is fun to remember what we did as a youngster but if for some reason your current circumstances are not too flowery we have the tendency to WISH for better days as we had before, or we remember all the challenges we went through and question why we are still in the ‘same place’ [which of course we are not]. The SELF MANAGEMENT bit comes to play, we need to realize that EVERYTHING that happened before is firstly HISTORY, and secondly that by bringing it up over and over we are perpetuating your HISTORY into YOUR FUTURE by focussing on it in the present [One of the laws of mind is ‘what you focus on grows’ so chose your thoughts and memories wisely or that not so Pleasantville past comes rearing its head in your present and future…] and finally, if we realize that in effect history and life before happened FOR US to grow and develop into where we are today we can shake off the VICTIM mentality.
Life after all never happens ‘to us’ but rather ‘for us’.
In an instant, our past becomes a fantastical story where we play the character who ‘lets it GO’ to focus on their life journey ahead.
Now we get to dwelling in the possibilities of the FUTURE, either with excitement and enthusiasm or fear and dread – I am hoping it will be the aforementioned of course. Studies have shown that this focus on the future may lead to increased worry and anxiety, we all know the negative effects of anxiety on our health. So how do we stretch time in this scenario? Ever heard the statement that 99% of what we worry about never happens? If you find yourself stressing about the future, be aware of the fact that only what you do in the PRESENT will resolve the future. Running around in circles in the present stressing about tomorrows leads to you MISSING your present and that being said, possibly your family and loved ones missing your presence.
In the self-development world [yes, I think that is a world completely separate from planet earth at times] the focus is on SMART GOALS and future promises, but if our current state of affairs and presence of mind is lacking, chances are we are chasing goals disjointed from where we are CURRENTLY. We end up, as I said before, at 50 or 60 years of age, still chasing a SMART GOAL never being present for a CURRENT GOAL, and by not being present for the current goal OUR FUTURE goals are left unmet.
This becomes crucial in any weight management program, one of the factors I focus on in my course, Coach : no diet is to eliminate that magical scale goal and to rather focus on how you would feel and the improved health you will experience. For it is that goal that keeps us imprisoned in low to NO self-esteem. As human beings we need to be growing, changing, transforming, evolving, but to enable that we firstly need to be present, for only in being present and aware of where we are, can we move forward to our tomorrows.
If every minute of every day we soaked up all experiences, taste, smell, touch, hear, see, feel our way through each of those minutes, chances are we would succeed at living a prosperous, fulfilled, time-stretching life. We would with these heightened senses and experiences learn to stretch time by being and showing gratitude, by easily and effortlessly performing random acts of kindness [what goes around comes around…]. By being truly present [yes, put the phone down] we LIVE LONGER. We experience more because we are present to experience MORE.
So, next ‘time’ you find your thoughts careening into your tomorrows as you sit with your family at dinner time today, PAUSE, redirect your focus to your family and a good meal and STRETCH TIME.