Time is a precious thing; a priceless aspect of life that is rarely thought of, in terms of its awesome gifts, unless there’s a little or a lot of drama or deep transformative circumstances around it – like needing to heal from a broken love relationship (where then it’s said that time mends a broken heart). When a lack of ease (dis-ease) or injury affects the body, it’s said that time heals all wounds. When an amazing, fun and exciting time is over too quickly, it’s said that time flies. When it’s important to get somewhere fast, or when there’s a danger that something will be missed, it’s said that time is of the essence. In those surreal dreamy moments – holding a new-born baby, floating in the ocean, laying on the beach on a picture perfect day or being deep in contemplation or meditation – it is said that time stands still. When someone has to get important documents or information, it’s often referred to as being “time sensitive.” What comes to mind and heart when you read the words “tender loving time”? Time is an incredibly loving gift that’s been given to us all. There’s time to live a lifetime of discovering what it’s like, what it means, and how to navigate being a “spiritual being” having a human experience – no small thing for sure. I’ve been feeling the gentle pull of how tender time is in the flood of stories I listen to from my children, as they co-create their lives in far away places. The gratitude lives inside the incredible feelings of joy, that bubble up and spill over into blissful youthful expressions of movements, now that I’m back in ballet class. The understanding of loving time is in the overwhelming moments that have been happening almost every day lately – where I come home and sit on the porch, and am soon surrounded by our dogs, cats, a few very pretty butterflies fluttering very close to my body, a chipmunk scurrying back and forth along the long deck, a hummingbird right in front of me on the now flowerless magnolia tree and the sounds of other birds as they clearly and brightly sing. I’m aware of how long these moments stretch before me, because I’m completely and totally inside of these moments of time. I kid you not, it’s like a switch has been turned on inside of me; tuning me into the secrets of time and their immeasurable gifts. You can also tap into this secret world. When moments of sadness, over missing my mom, come to set awhile, I’m offered a precious connection with time in how it leans me into a place of vulnerability – where only tender loving time can allow this heart call to take shape. Time is fleeting. Time is never ending. What we do with our time is the stuff of interesting, enlightening and enlivening conversation. How do you value, think of, love and appreciate time? It comes and it goes. It offers the chance for do-overs. It offers second chances. It offers tender moments of, and connection to, memories shared. It’s the one thing that there’s never enough of. It’s the one thing that we sometimes wish would hurry up and pass, because there’s too much of it. It’s the thing that is the same for everyone. We all get it. All seven billion of us get it. Different amounts of it… but we all get it. And then we all have it taken away. Taking a few minutes every day to sit quietly, in your special place, and reflect on time is a very good way to increase its gifts in your life. It enhances your appreciation and gratitude for it, and that’s always a good thing. No journaling necessary. All that’s necessary is literally five to ten minutes of solid good old fashion sitting or standing still. Lean up against a tree with a blade of grass between your teeth and chill out. During a lunch break, sit on a bench outside the office and, without a thought in your head, pleasantly notice the people around you – just be. Sit on the subway, bus or train with no active mind thoughts at all: no reading books or flipping through paperwork; no thinking or concentrating at all. Just quietly feel the rumble of the train tracks beneath you, or the hum of the buses engine, and feel the wind moving swiftly by the open windows on your drive home. As you lie on the massage table or sit in the salon chair, ask the masseuse or stylist to join you in being quiet together and enjoy your time without the chitter chatter, so you can both be witness to the passage of time. Five ways to reclaim the essential nature of tender loving time:
- Catch yourself being aware of each moment that moves you. Stop and really take them in, rather than just move through them. Feel the extension of time by really noticing stillness and relish these moments.
- Feel the joy in spending time differently from the ways you’re used to, in order to get a new spin on the essence of time. Meet new people, talk to a stranger, read new kinds of material, visit places you wouldn’t ordinarily go to and see how time affects your choices.
- Set a goal for the day: work to accomplish tasks in half hour increments, so that you can know how efficiently and effectively you’re really using your time. Do you fill in time or make use of the minutes in the best way possible?
- Make a gentle, easy effort to enjoy the empty moments in a day; the moments where you are waiting in line, traffic or for the copier to print; moments where you are either waiting for something to cook or for someone to pick up the phone; moments when you are thinking about the next thing that needs to be done. Pause, lean into the moment and use these seconds to take three long slow deep breaths. Return to your center. Feel the spaciousness inside your heart and mind, and appreciate the time you have for a time-out.
- When you first wake up in the morning, say a few simple words: “thank you tender loving time for this day.” Then, when you lay your head on the pillow to sleep at night, say: “thank you tender loving time for a deep and relaxing sleep tonight.” Do this for 21 days, without skipping a day, and see if these simple words shift your feelings about time. Next time you’re confronted with father time, in a way that makes you sit up and take notice, give a little nod and smile at your new found awareness, alertness and appreciation for this thing called tender loving time.
Holistic Life Coach Cynthia De Pecol is a Reiki Master, KRI Certified Kundalini and Hatha Yoga Teacher. Her 15-year business helps transform hundreds of lives through intuitive, simple, self-empowering gifts of perception and action. This allows a new paradigm for living where success, joy, vibrant health, calm mindful clarity create harmony between body, mind and spirit.