Recently I was thinking about how time rules almost the entirety of our lives. ↟
An alarm to wake up at a particular time, taking waking temps at the same time each day for contraceptive/fertility purposes, the duration of time it takes to brew the perfect cup of tea, how long it takes to boil the perfect egg, what time you have to leave the house and how long it takes to get to work, start time, break time, lunch time, finish time, dinner time, timed runs, counted swimming laps, meditation to a timer, yoga class for an hour, making sure you get 8 hours sleep and off we go again...
In allowing time to rule our lives we can lose our ability to tune into more natural rhythms. How long might you sleep and what time might you wake without an alarm? How many laps would you swim if you weren't counting? How far would you want to run if you weren't tracking it? What would feel good and right on this day in this moment? How many meditations are cut short by a timer or longed out when really 5 minutes was enough? How many meals are eaten when they aren't really needed or hunger pangs ignored because they didn't fit with a particular meal time? If you didn't know what time it was in the evening what time would you naturally peel off to bed? If you didn't know what time it was when you woke in the night for a wee how much easier might it be to get back to sleep.
There's a tribe in the Amazon rainforest called the Pirahã who have no concept whatsoever of numbers or time and have no past or future tense in their language. There just isn't the need to count, pre-empt or recount. Their lives are lived purely in the very present moment and apparently they are some of the happiest people on earth (however you measure that?!).
Can you imagine a life where you were less ruled by time? Where days were measured in blocks of hours rather than minutes and seconds. Dawn, morning, afternoon, dusk, evening and night, there was a time when these timeframes were more than enough. Can you imagine a life where you could move through the day at the pace that naturally arose from within? A life where you could eat when you were hungry, sleep when you were tired, swim, walk or run until your body told you to stop, start work when you were awake enough and stop when you were done.
Imagine how it would feel to truly fall in synch with the rhythms of nature and your own internal rhythms.
It was exactly this kind of exploration that led to the development of our Women's Nature & Yoga Retreat. During our time in Cornwall we switch up clocks and calendars for the sun, moon and stars. For the entire duration we turn down the volume of external demands and leave time behind to make space for the sacred sound of our inner rhythms to come through. It is these rhythms that set the tempo for our time together, each woman invited to feel fully empowered to hear and respond to cyclical cues and in that to discover the power and freedom that comes from a life lived in sync.
But there's no need to wait until July to experience this kind of freedom. How might it be to let go of time wherever it is not truly needed. To take batteries out of clocks, put away phones for a while and drift through whatever free time you are able to set aside for this exploration. Taking time out to remember how it feels to live attuned to your own inner pacing away from cultural, societal and familial pressures.