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One of our most recurring fears is not to have enough time to achieve the things we want to achieve. Quite explicitly, this fear is linked to our fear of death and, by extension, our life finiteness. This fear is accentuated today by the overabundance of information we receive live on our screens, information we humanly do not have the time to process but which shrinks up the time we devote to our daily activities.

As surprising as it can be, time doesn’t really exist in a tangible way… It’s just a unit of measurement, a tool invented by man to divide his activities, initially into 2 obvious parts: day for actions and night for rest, which also corresponds to our biological rhythm. Then, man divided the time according to seasons for his subsistence, that is to say for agricultural and hunting needs: time for seeds and harvests, animal migrations and life cycle for hunting. Thanks to astronomy, man also discovered the cycle of earth rotations around the sun on which he continued to carve out his portions of activities and rituals.

However, as beauty, time is a very subjective concept. If we look closely at our individual relationship to time, it is very different for one person to another. For starters, we do not all have the same biological rhythm and thus we do not need the same sleep time or amplitude – some need 9 hours of sleep per night to be fit, others 3 hours, some go to bed early and get up early, others, on the contrary, go to bed late and get up late and all this varies with age.

Our day divisions also varies according to our work, if we have one, to the people who live with us, especially our children, as well as to our mood and our activities: if we are in a good mood and are passionate with our activities, we will not see our day go by whereas if we are tired and our work bores us, time will seem extraordinarily long to us. In addition, sometimes, in the powerful moments of our life, time stops or slows down: the encounter with the love of our life, a car accident… Our brain perception of the time during which those actions are occurring becomes altered, proof, if necessary, that time is indeed a subjective tool.

Surfing on the fear of lack notion, our modern societies have transformed time into a new source of anxiety in our lives: The artificially ultra-fast pace of our lives induced by the arrival of the Internet and the immediate access to all information (true or false) available on our networks and screens impose an almost unsustainable frantic race upon us. Indeed, for 25 years now, like children, we have been living on an immediacy rhythm: one piece of information drives out the precedent without us having time to process it, videos and other tutorials available lead us to think that any action or learning takes 5 minutes maximum to be carried out or assimilated and, in the professional field, all tasks must be carried out quickly rather than correctly…

However, if we look closely, our biological rhythms have not changed, we still need the same length of time to sleep and to assimilate our food; our learning time has not changed either: we still need the same amount of time to learn guitar, a foreign language or the text of a play; the same goes for creative activities: it always takes us so quantity of time to lay a parquet floor, build a house, paint a picture or bake a cake.

What has really changed is the pressure we put on ourselves because of this evolved notion of time: if we can’t get things done fast enough, the supposed deadline – which origin is always a very vague notion when it does not come directly from our hierarchical superior – imposes a tremendous pressure on our shoulders and induces a feeling of permanent failure, the idea that we are never up to the tasks that are ours or to the  goals we want to reach, a feeling of constant discouragement and frustration.

If we follow the temporal patterns conveyed by our modern societies, we will run at full speed towards death, like headless chickens, without ever knowing why we run in the first place or what danger we flee. What a strange way of life, don’t you think ?

Often our bodies, thank goodness, shut us down before death, usually by getting sick from exhaustion – interestingly, “burnout” has become the new millennium disease and was almost unknown before –, trying to remind us that our biological rhythm is not in tune with our way of life.

Sometimes it’s just the events paving our lives that remind us that we are the one and only masters of our time. This is exactly what happened to me. I was at the head of a small business and, driven by what I was doing, I worked a lot with the impression that I was never doing enough… After 7 years, at almost 50 years old, I started to feel a weariness in my job mostly because of the hellish rhythm I implemented to it, but I didn’t pay attention to my inner voice that was asking me to slow down, essentially because, as I was running, I could not see how to stop without endangering my company’s well-being. At that time, I was carrying a very large, very heavy project which ended to be far too heavy for my frail shoulders. For several months, I continued my frantic race with this little voice telling me: “this is not what I want anymore”, “Stop! I’m too tired to keep running”, “I want to discover and learn new things”… I was hearing all those things but everybody was counting on me and I didn’t want to deceive them.

It was thus the universe that took on the task of stopping me; it literally made me bite the dust before the end of the race by putting a person in front of me who stopped and yelled at me in front of my whole family, screaming that I was, among other things, a very very bad person. I stopped everything dead, in shock, because I did not understand why an attack of such violence was happening to me, out of the blue and for no apparent reason. Apart from my “attacker”‘s own personal issues, it took me some time to understand the reason why this aggression had occured in my life in addition of which aftershocks of the original earthquake kept on for a few weeks with new though strongless seismic tremors: since I was not listening to the Universe when it whispered in my ear, it yelled at me to stop and “explained” to me that I was a bad person, which I later understood as not being the person I wanted to be, which was very true.

I consequently stopped everything to re-align with myself, my body, my aspirations and the kind of life I wanted to live in the years to come. I reflected on my relationship with time, the pressure I was putting on my shoulders and why I needed things to happen so quickly. I reconnected with one of the primary fears that had always marked my life and actions: The fear of running out of time, not only to accomplish everything I wanted before I died but also the time to enjoy life, have fun, because, if there’s one thing I love more than anything, it’s being alive. I’ve been aware in and out of this fear for several decades but, when I’m not paying attention, it regularly resurfaces as an emotional reflex.

After letting go of that fear, I settled down, started meditating again, took time to observe the world around me, remember who I was and engage in a dialogue with that little voice that had been trying to explain to me for several months what were my real desires in life.

I also remembered how Universe worked, that is to say with the necessary slowness of creation, the one I spoke of earlier, because all our actions are acts of creation, the creation of our life. Creating new things in our life is like growing a pretty plant, we thus need to:

• determine what exactly we want to create – what kind of a plant – so that they become our new life goal, a goal that fills us with happiness and joy when we visualize it regularly until we achieve it,

• identify and plant the seeds of actions that will allow us to achieve this goal,

• water them and watch them grow with love, that is to say give Universe the time it needs to grow them, without forcing them, just by trusting and enjoying the positive energies of life, without frustration, with the unwavering faith that everything is happening for the best and going the way we want.

Through this process, we are able, little by little, to create our dream life hand in hand with the Universe in charge of the project complete implementation and outcome, thanks to its ability to offer us the right opportunities, to create the right encounters and to provide us with all the right tools we need at the exact time we need them.

Manifesting a dream, big or small, is like flying an airplane: we program our desired destination into the on-board computer, engage the autopilot and go back to our daily tasks with love and confidence. The rest is in the Universe’s hands, as long as we follow its subtle nudges along the way, which will make us reach our destination often in a very unexpected way. And what if we die before the arrival, will you ask me? Well, we will have enjoyed the ride and the view, have had a lot of fun during the trip, what else is there to it?

For those who’d rather read long texts on paper, you can download this article in PDF.
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GClaudel4@Luc Naville BD

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