Saturday, September 29, 2012

Time is My Friend

Affirmation: Time is my friend. 

Many years ago, while I was waiting in a shop for service, there was also an older gentleman waiting.  When the time came for the next customer, he motioned for me to go ahead of him.  I protested, even though I was in a hurry.  He insisted.  Then he said to me, "Time is my friend."  This was my first affirmation and I have been writing it, reading it and saying it to myself ever since I began practicing positive affirmations.  I must say, it is one of my most challenging. 

I try to live in "divine time," as my dear friend and healer, Valerie Kelly, called it.  Divine time is where I simply go through my day knowing that everything will simply fall into place, not worrying about when I leave, when I arrive or if I'm late or early, but that's a very rare event.  Most of the time, I am struggling with getting it all in.  I want more time!  I believe Valerie’s healing touch began before I ever arrived for my appointment.  My appointment was usually sometime around 2:30 in the afternoon.  Many times, I arrived and Valerie wasn’t ready to see me.  At first, I was annoyed.  This was just not how things are done in my world.  You choose a time and a place and then you arrive at that agreed time or close to it.  Truly, I have been in knots most of my life trying to be on time.  I usually begin getting tense just knowing I have a destination to which I am supposed to arrive at a particular time long before I’ve even begun the journey. 
But, Valerie didn’t get it.  She lived in her own space.  She began her massage sessions when she was ready and she never ended them until she felt you were complete, not when the clock reached a certain point.  As the years went on I found myself responding to her sense of time.  If I was going to be late, I wasn’t the least bit worried.  I’d usually text her and tell her when I thought I’d arrive and she’d let me know, without fail, that that was just fine.  If I was early, she’d sit me in her lovely living room and let me just rest or we’d chat while she finished lunch or settled the dog down.  I know she had clients that couldn’t adjust to this approach but I so valued her healing skills that I decided to make it work.  For me, I was so relaxed when I arrived that my body was completely receptive to her gifts.  And, one of her gifts to me was the gift of my not having to watch the clock and in return, my gift to her was accepting her exactly the way she was; a radiant being who wouldn’t let the world confine her.

As I get older, I am finding time goes faster and faster.  Have you had that experience?  As I write this, it is the fall of the year and I can't imagine where the year has gone.  I heard a poem once:  I woke up, turned my head and when I looked back, it was 30 years later.  After sharing this with a friend, she added, “or 40 or 50!”  There’s a very old movie called “Stop the World I Want to Get Off.”  That’s how I feel most days.  I want time to stop.  I want to savor each and every moment.  I want more time, today and forever. 

I have another friend who lost her daughter and her husband to cancer.  One day she told me she knew we all had to die; she just didn't expect life to go so fast.  We cried!  How do you make peace with that?  I know time is a manmade tool.  I know there are all kinds of theories about how it doesn't really exist; that it's supposed to be more like a layer cake, one field lying over another.  I use to tell people "Time is not my friend." 
I read once, where a man from a tribe in a foreign land told an American: "You have so many watches, but no time.  We have no watches, but plenty of time."  That's how I want to feel, like I always have plenty of time.  I want to treasure each moment.  I don't want to worry and rush about.  I don't want to think about tomorrow, when I haven't even gotten out of bed, today.  I hope that by believing time is my friend, life will be easier, richer, and more joyful. 
How do you make peace with time?  Can part of it be believing this life is not going to end; we will live on in another dimension, maybe one of those layers the physicists write about.  In the mediation book “God Calling“ the opening reading is about how God only designs humans to live one day at a time.  I wonder if God didn’t design us to live one moment at a time?  Ah, there it is again, the call to meditate.  The call to stay connected to exactly what is happening right now, not planning for the future or ruminating on the past. 

Sharon Salzberg, one of the founders of the Insight Meditation Center in Barry, Mass., tells the story about an intense training session she once underwent with a mediation master.  She was to report to him daily about her mediation practice.  She said the first time she showed up with her notes, he didn't’ let her speak before he asked her “Did you brush your teeth today?”  “Yes,” she replied.  “Did you pay attention to the experience?”  She had not.  The next time she arrived he again spoke before she could begin to share all her insights she’d learned during her meditation session.  “Did you walk here today?”  “Yes”, she answered.  “Did you pay attention to the experience?” 

Perhaps that is part of the secret; paying attention, not rushing about, not being pre-occupied with the business, many times the trivia, of life.  My dear friend Valerie knew this and she gifted me with her concept of life, time and love.  It’s a good thing she knew how to stay in the moment and live each day to the fullest because she lost her life at the age of 53.  I have many emotions attached to her memory, but one that makes me smile is thinking about my arrival at her home for my appointment; calm, centered and knowing that whatever time I arrived was the perfect time.  What about you?  Is time your friend or your enemy?  May you too discover the gift of living (at least occasionally) in divine time.  May you discover the gift of joyfully living in perfect time. 

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