Playing with time

Okay, this may sound a little out there, but here goes.

I’ve been playing with time.

It all started one day a couple of years ago. I was getting worried about my coaching practice. 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?

Driven by this panic, I slipped back into my old work patterns and ignored self-care. I cut my daily meditations short or skipped them altogether. I didn’t do any yoga or exercise. I started setting up meetings with anyone I could think of, ignoring personal e-mails and losing 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. Everything was going a million miles an hour but nothing seemed to be getting done. Whatever business I was creating turned into busyness—none of it very meaningful.

I was confused. I was doing everything I’d been told to do in order to get new business. Why was everything suddenly exploding on me?

At one point, I saw in my mind’s eye a massive ball of energy that was starting to spin out of control. Every movement I made, e-mail I sent, meeting I set up, was all part of that spinning ball. The more busyness I created, the faster the ball spun and the more the external world seemed to throw itself right back at me.

For the first time, I paused and 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 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.

First I decided to speed up 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 true?

When I decided I had enough, I finally slowed down.

I got up and went to meditate for an hour. At first, it was extremely painful. I felt like I was going through a detox program—how did so much mind chatter accumulate so quickly? I cancelled unnecessary meetings and took the rest of the day off. 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.

I began to wonder: 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 adjust my inner world to create a more natural flow of experiences.

So I kept at it. I wrote out my intentions for the next six months. I canceled more meetings and only said yes to requests that felt aligned with my intentions. I took time 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 practices and exercise routines. I called everyone back who contacted me. I attended to myself and put more care into those I loved. 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.

Of course, the intensity of that flow experience 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 was and is 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?

I invite you to start playing with time and looking at this for yourself. What does it open up for you?