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The significance of time, mindfulness, past, present, future, counselling, fate and yoga

I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of an issue with ‘Time’.

I have been researching Multicultural counselling for my course, and when I got to the section on the ‘Significance of time’ it made me stop and think… quite a lot.

My cactus flowering in 'it's own time'

My cactus flowering in ‘it’s own time’

I have quite a few issues with the huge significance of time in this Western World of ours:

  • I do not like to see clocks and I do not wear a watch
  • I hate to hear a clock tick tock (ing) my life away
  • I have an issue with the future death of significant others, so knowing a person’s age (despite loving to celebrate birthdays; yep contradiction there), each year getting a year older, increases my fear.
  • I feel like ‘time is running out’ – to have babies, to be the person I want to be etc.
  • I have to check my diary to see what I am doing this week, today etc
  • Time adds pressure to my life, I feel. I am sure I would enjoy life more without having the constraints of time. I would drop in and see friends without an appointment, I would feel more free…

In traditional cultures, the focus is on the ‘here and now’ and the ‘past’. In Western cultures, the focus is on the ‘future’. It is no wonder, then, that I take from the Buddhist culture (mindfulness) and the Hindu culture (yoga) to help me to focus on the present and enjoy it before it is made history!

I didn’t even realise it until I began my research, but I am quite spiritual and take from other cultures in that way (plus ‘Fate’ from the Hindu ‘Karma’ idea and a desire to do things at my own pace without making appointments/living my life by time constraints) in order to find some balance in this crazy, fast paced Western World. It’s a contradiction, though, as we counsel clients to help them take control of their lives, moods, behaviours etc, which is the western way, yet ‘fate’ is all about things happening without our input as an individual… (something for another blog post perhaps…)

Although I am involved in it, materialism is something I dislike, as well as our excessive need for fast progress, tainting our history very quickly with the terms ‘old fashioned’ etc.

Of course, knowing the time and date is a bonus sometimes:

  • I love shopping (yep materialist, but I look far more than I buy… and drink coffee and have lunch while I’m doing it) so it’s handy to know when the shops are open and closing J
  • Things get done in an orderly fashion when combined with time (and I do like to get things done!)
  • I can look forward to things like holidays, days out, going to college or seeing someone I like
  • I make progress with my life.
  • Of course, counselling, and most jobs, require time restraints, so I just have to deal with it, like everyone else.

We can get appointments for doctors/hospitals and get our health looked after. Of course, if we lived in a traditional culture – a village in the middle of Africa for example – we may well not live by time, but the downfall is that, although we could just ‘drop in’ to our local doctor type person, we would not have the progress of having fully equipped hospitals and highly trained doctors to keep us alive or fix us when we are ill. Lot’s more to think about here, but I won’t go on and on at this stage…

What are your thoughts on time?

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6 comments to The significance of time, mindfulness, past, present, future, counselling, fate and yoga

  • Gayle Nykerk-Jones

    I made a wool cord out of Dorothys hair last night. I am determined to make something out of it, once I have enough. The process involved grooming and special care time with my dog, best time is ‘in the moment’. No thought of clocks. I agree with all you have said, except, I really dislike shops and shopping. I do like my car though and one day I want an electric powered one as soon as I can scrape some pennies together 😉

    • amandagreenauthor

      Ah Gayle, yes time grooming my Titus is special time too. What type is Dorothy? I love my car too, but only driving when I haven’t got a specific time to get somewhere – driving just for the sake of it is great driving time 🙂

  • emma paslawska

    I loved reading this blog.im a bit spiritual myself.i enjoy pilates.and my mums talking to me about mindfulness.as being a yoga teacher herself she at the moment is learning about mindfullness and meditation.its very interesting.

    • amandagreenauthor

      Aw thanks for reading Emma! Yes your Pilates is great and keeps you ‘in the moment’. I didn’t know your mum was a yoga teacher – how lovely. My next thing will hopefully be meditation now that I am more settled 🙂

  • anita garside

    Hey Amanda,

    Time used to drag for me when I was unhappy and insomniac. Now I don’t have enough, it goes so quickly.
    I hate watches too and clocks ticking but thats because I misophonia.
    I used to think, when I was with my ex that my life stretched on and on in front of me and it depressed me to think of all the years of boredom I have ahead of me. Now I am scared it’ll all go too fast and my new partner and I don’t have enough time together.
    Also my days used to drag and i used to watch a lot of mindless tv or sleep most of the day, now my days whizz by and weeks roll by so quickly.
    Someone once said to me that time seems to get quicker as we get older because it’s a unit compared to how long we’ve been alive. A year to a 4 year old is sooo long because it’s a quarter of their lives, yet as a 40 year old a year is a fraction of that time. Makes sense.
    I am very fortunate now to not live by a clock and I sleep well as I use tablets so i get a full 8 hours most of the time. Our western bodies get used to be forced awake in the dark for work and to stay up late watching a good film. And watching the clock at work used to be so painful.
    I feel like i’m hurtling towards old age rapidly now but I’m so happy now. I do want to put the brakes on a bit as I’m enjoying life so much.
    Time can be both an enemy and I gift. Some say it’s an illusion?
    One thing I know the time I have left will be fantastic and the time i hated my life were not wasted years as it was leading me to be here, right where i need to be.

    • amandagreenauthor

      Oh yes Anita, time does seem to drag when we are unhappy – I remember boring days at work constantly looking at the clock – probably another reason I have an issue with the concept of time! I am soooo happy you are so happy; it’s wonderful to hear. The best things are worth waiting for is a cliche, but it makes sense because if we have to wait and be unhappy in the process then the mere fact that something great comes along is going to be even sweeter than if we were just handed it without any misery in between… I’ve gone off the topic LOL! Oh yes the waking in the dark, finishing work in the dark, all ruled by time and the silly clock changes every six months!I have never thought about time passing more quickly as we get older… I mean it certainly does for me and everyone seems to say it, but I had never thought of that reasoning. It makes total sense looking it as a unit of time and the fractions – I like that! Thanks for your reply and for reading xxx

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