"What time is it?", "Where did the time go?", "I wish I could turn back time", "I don't have enough time", "What a waste of time", "There's not enough hours in the day", "It's a race against the clock", "What was your time?", "This is taking too much time".
How do you relate to time? Does time move you closer to your deepest self or does it disconnect you into anxiety or regret? As Dr. Christiane Northrup describes in her mind-body medicine lectures and books, Western culture has an unbalanced relationship with time which adversely affects our mental and physical health. Dr. Deepak Chopra calls the consequences of this unbalanced relationship "a time sickness epidemic."
Here's what Eckhart Tolle says about time sickness:
"All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence." - Eckhart Tolle
Wisdom traditions tell us that the starting point in changing our relationship with time is to change the way we pay attention:
"Using your time well comes down to how well you are in the present moment. When we feel content & centred inside, everything we do is more effective, efficient and satisfying." - Deepak Chopra
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the now the primary focus of your life." - Eckhart Tolle
"Since death is certain, and the hour is uncertain, what matters right now?" - Martha Beck, PhD.
In class, we will continue to practice mindfulness & meditation as gateways into present moment awareness and an elevated relationship with time.
During a conversation with a yoga student who has temporarily relocated her family from France to Canada, she described her Canadian experience as living in a "culture of kindness." Merci Isabelle! Heartened to hear these words used to describe Canada, I encouraged students to cultivate an inner culture of kindness with mindful awareness of self-talk.
At the same time, I also paid tribute to the passing of Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip's lead man and Canadian music icon. As requested, you'll find the playlist posted below. The first 4 songs are all by Canadian artists (these pieces were played as students entered the space), yoga class commenced with a salutary flow to the Tragically Hip's song Wheat Kings, and our final stretches were set to Fidder's Green, Trick Rider and Downie's contribution to the aboriginal reconciliation movement "The Stranger".
Here is the TED Talk by self-compassion educator & researcher Dr. Kirsten Neff that inspired the classes this past week. Thank-you to Burnaby-based therapist Anna Cahill (M.S.W. and R.S.W.) for sending me this Ted Talk.
Here are a few self-compassion supporting quotes and mantras that were mindfully planted through-out the classes this week. Thank-you to yoga student Lesley Arnould for sharing the first mantra prayer.
"May I be grateful for what I have,
May I bravely acknowledge what I need,
May I wisely know that the path to enlightenment requires both" Canadian Living Magazine, Oct 2017
"My beloved child, break your heart no longer.
Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart." - Swami Kripalu
While sitting in a meditative posture with hands resting upon the heart centre, repeat to self
"Be still beloved heart, and know that you are safely held" - Amy Weintraub
You are the sky. The clouds are what happens, what comes and goes.
- Eckhart Tolle - Stillness Amidst The World
"You can't force a rosebud to open by beating it with a hammer."
- Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. (author of Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal")
" When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as "rootless and stemless". We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each stage, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is."
- W. Timothy Gallwey (author of The Inner Game book series)
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
- Jellaludin Rumi
We could strain for hours today for the meaning of something that may come in an instant next year.
Let it go. We can let go of our need to figure things out, to feel in control.
Now is the time to be. To feel. To go through it. To allow things to happen. To learn. To let whatever is being worked out in us take its course.
In hindsight, we will know. It will become clear. For today, being is enough. We have been told that all things shall work out for good in our life. We can trust that to happen, even if we cannot see the place today's events will hold in the larger picture.
Today, I will let things happen without trying to figure everything out. If clarity is not available to me today, I will trust it to come later, in retrospect. I will put simple trust in the truth that all is well, events are unfolding as the should, and all will work out for good in my life - better than I can imagine.
- from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
Thank-you Marie Fenwick for sharing this passage!
I love Dr. Rankin's scientifically validated wellness model The Whole Health Cairn!
Dr. Rankin posits that "the health of your relationships, your professional life, your spiritual life, your creative life, your sex life, your environment, your finances - in essence, the health of your mind - impacts your health far more than your diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, sleep habits, or how many vitamins you take" - www.LissaRankin.com
To learn more about The Whole Health Cairn, read her book "Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself" (Hay House, 2013), visit her websites at www.LissaRankin.com and www.OwningPink.com, or watch her TEDx talk below!
Radical Remission: The Nine Key Factors That Can Make A Real Difference (Surviving Cancer Against All Odds) by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D.
The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From The People Who've Lived The Longest by Dan Buettner
I find it so empowering to know that the 9 psycho-social-lifestyle factors that have been identified as being central to the radical remission cases of "terminal" cancer patients are the same factors that are lived by the "blue zone" centenarians.
In this week's classes, we focussed on one of the 9 shared factors....social support.
Here is a quote right out of Dr. Turner's book Radical Remission regarding social support as a determinant of health and healing from cancer.
"I hope this chapter has convinced you that receiving love and support from others is as essential for your health as eating a vegetable-rich diet or taking antioxidant supplements. That's because what we feel emotionally is instantly translated into chemicals and hormones that either strengthen or weaken our immune systems. And when we feel loved and cared for by others, the rush of healing hormones released by the master glands in our brains affects our bodies in such a way that our immune systems suddenly have renewed energy to repair cells, clear out toxins, and most important, remove cancer cells. So, in addition to remembering to take your vitamins each day, don't forget to ask yourself these two questions: To whom have I given love today? And, from whom did I receive love?" - pg 216
May I be at peace.
May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be free from suffering.
May all beings be at peace.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be free from suffering.
Registered Clinical Counsellor (MA)