Ok…this may sound a little out there but…here goes.
I’ve been playing with time.
It all started one day last year. I was getting worried about my business. Where would I find my next clients? Would I have to go back into the corporate world? If I did, would I feel like I lost my freedom? Would all spark of joy and passion drain from my body? Oh my God…it all comes down to getting new clients!! Dramatic, I know, but the mind can be a funky thing.
For two weeks I panicked. I slipped back into my old work patterns and my self-care was almost nonexistent. I cut my daily meditations short or skipped them altogether. I didn’t go to yoga or do any exercise. I started setting up meetings with anyone I could think of in my LinkedIn profile. I didn’t return my personal emails and almost lost touch with friends. I skipped meals and found myself going to bed at 2am. I was exhausted.
And all the while my life sped up. And not in that ‘flow’ kind of way where we lose our sense of time and it’s exhilarating, but the other kind of speeding up. The one where it feels like you’re hurling through the world and it’s hurling itself back at you, over and over again.
It all seemed to be going endlessly out of control. The more e-mails I sent out, the more appeared in my inbox - particularly spam. The more business calls I made, the more people called me out of the blue for what appeared to be random requests. The more meetings I set up, the more scheduling conflicts and cancelations I had.
I was confused. I was ‘getting out there’ and looking for new business. I was engaging in all of those marketing outreach strategies that I had always been told to employ … and that I had encouraged my clients to do! Why was everything suddenly exploding on me? Whatever business I was creating turned into busyness. Everything was going a million miles an hour but nothing was getting done.
At one point I saw in my mind’s eye a massive ball of energy that was starting to spin out of control. I was both the ball of energy and the one spinning it from the outside. Every movement I made, e-mail I sent, or meeting I set up was part of that spinning ball. The more busyness I created, the faster the ball went and the more the external world seemed to throw itself right back at me.
I paused and for the first time got curious about what was really happening. For a brief moment of what felt like total freedom, I stopped judging myself. Then it clicked. What if I was actually able to control time, or at least my experience of it? And not only that, but what if the flow of experiences that were happening to me were actually stemming from me?
Anything was better than the state I had gotten myself into. So, I started to play.
I decided to speed everything up on an energetic level for a few hours just to see. Sure enough, everything intensified. More e-mails, more calls, more cancelations. Was I going crazy? Was this really happening? And at the moment I decided I'd had enough, I consciously slowed down.
I got up and went to meditate for an hour. I canceled a bunch of meetings that didn’t feel right. I took the rest of the day off. At first, it was extremely painful. I felt like I was going through a detox program as I sat in stillness. So much mindless chatter. Wow! How did all of this accumulate so quickly after years of meditation? I felt restless and embarrassed that I had even gotten to this point. Work habits that I had spent years ‘getting rid of’ were suddenly back and as big as ever.
But I was determined to understand what was really going on. If I could create an outer world that looked as if ‘random’ events were bombarding me, and time was speeding out of control, then maybe I could create a more natural flow of experiences with an adjustment to my inner world and more attention and care to myself.
So I kept at it. I sat down and wrote out my intentions for the next six months. I canceled more meetings, said no to more requests, and said yes to the ones that I sensed were more aligned with my intentions. I took a day off from work and spent the time cleaning my place, my car, and giving away stuff I didn’t need. Very painfully I got back to my daily and weekly self-practices and exercise routines again. I cleaned out my e-mail and called everyone back who had contacted me. I finally genuinely attended to myself and my relationships. I let go of the fear of what would happen next.
After a couple days, it happened. My outer world changed. My e-mail communication returned to normal, the right people were coming into my life, and I was actually getting things done with less effort. Time no longer felt like an enemy that needed to be managed. I felt more at ease and more rested.
The intensity of that flow experience certainly didn’t last forever. It was almost as if I was allowed entrance into the experience for the sole purpose of knowing that it was there and could be accessed at any time. But the potentiality of it at any moment was very real. To this day I continue to live into the questions that came out of that experience. I continue to experiment.
Could it be that the more we attend to our self-care and act from a place of inner guidance, the more flow and synchronicity we experience in our lives? What if our natural state is really one of ease and grace? What if the invisible life force flowing through us is just waiting for us to surrender to its care and guidance?
What if, in doing the hard internal work on ourselves, we really could play with time?
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