On the Wings of Time

Stop for a moment and look back at how the past year has gone for you. Are you satisfied with how you’ve lived? Do you feel fulfilled by how you’ve engaged with life? Or do you have a different perspective — that there was never enough time, that you didn’t get enough done, or that life’s obstacles (human or otherwise) held you back?

It seems that much of our dissatisfaction with the course of our lives stems from the way we see time. With a view that “there is only so much time in a day,” we set ourselves up for an adversarial relationship, having to manage time, as if it were a battle to be won. My suggestion here is that we’ve misidentified the culprit. It’s not time that’s the problem, but our relationship with time. What we need is a new way of viewing the concept of time, a new focus for our energy. It’s not that we have only so much time, but rather that we have only so much energy. What is it that receives the focus of our energy?

It’s my experience that the reason life doesn’t go as we want is all too simple: we just don’t know what we want! And if we do know, we’re afraid to live as if it mattered. Instead, we blame our struggle on time, and then distract ourselves from our lack of knowing by managing time — staying busy, struggling to get stuff done, being overwhelmed, then feeling stressed and dissatisfied. When my clients ask for guidance in time management, I usually respond with a question: “What’s your intention? What is it that you wanted to have happen in life that didn’t happen?” The most common response is that they don’t know — a great place to start working on issues of life balance and identifying personal passions.

Life is like a breeze, blowing constantly all around us. Some days the breeze is warm, light, tropical, with a hint of plumeria blossoms, enveloping us with a warmth that makes us know we are truly alive. Some days, the breeze is a cold wind, with ice particles hammering away at our faces. This is just the way life is — out there. We can’t stop the breeze, but we can choose how we respond to it. If you truly know what matters most to you in life, right down to your deepest core, life’s breeze won’t blow you off your foundation.

Your deepest essence is what makes you the unique and gifted person you are, even if you don’t yet know who that person is. When you begin to lead your life consciously from your essence (instead of fighting the breeze), this intention becomes a filter through which all of the “stuff of life” passes, and the chaff gets dumped out on the floor long before it has the chance to screw up your day. It’s almost as if you develop laser vision for what matters most to you and the outside world just can’t mess with you so much; you bend and flow instead of fighting and breaking. When you get to this place, time is no longer a problem to be solved, but an opportunity for the fulfillment of your intention.

Many people who believe they need help in managing time are actually challenged by identifying their intention instead. If your life doesn’t fulfill you to the core, stop. Just stop. Find your center by identifying your essence. When you live each moment guided by the intention to live your essence, your sense of time will expand toward the infinite. Many years ago, my first coach suggested, “Time is the space in which your intention unfolds.”

In nature, a nanosecond is a long lifetime for some subatomic particles. A thousand years is a flash in the pan for a river to carve a canyon. And a million years is, well, just another day in the universe. Time is not an issue in nature; none of nature’s plans have time scales attached. Nature lives only from intention, which is the unfolding of its purpose: the process of creative expression. “Results” happen as the process does its work, not based on time or plan. When is the Grand Canyon “done?” Did the Colorado River carve enough rock today, so it can take the evening off and watch TV? Is the canyon perfect enough yet for nature to allow the world to experience the beauty of the outcome? You get the picture.

What’s your intention in life? Make it big enough to carry you for a lifetime, and time will disappear for you, too.

Bradford L. Glass is a life coach in Sagamore Beach, MA offering guidance to individuals, teams and businesses and a unique perspective on restoring human spirit to life and work. Brad can be reached at 508-454-1100 or e-mail brad@roadnottaken.com. Visit http://www.RoadNotTaken.com for more information.