By Colin Easton
Many people will have to manage the time it takes to read this post.
In our fast-paced world of ready meals, quick check-out, express bus, train, lanes, drop-off, pick-up windows, high-speed, 30 minute workouts, news highlights, 140 character attention span - everything is about now. Faster, easier, cram it all into the day.
Are we giving up less to do more? What about the balance? Preventative versus reactionary, finding time versus making time? Lists of to-do's versus time to relax? Do we stop to consider the all-round balance for ourselves? Not just the "how do I manage my life more efficiently and effectively," but the what am I doing that is for me, myself, my own personal and intimate well-being? My wellness.
For my own meditation practise, which I work at as often as I remember to make time, it can still be just that. Work. I have to focus on shutting out the distraction to calm my mind, to slow down. I’m nowhere close to the ability level to switch off, consciously. By focusing on my breath and breathing as in yoga, I am able to slow the thoughts. By thinking of fewer things, letting the distractions float in and giving myself permission to then allow them to float out again. Breath and breathing.
I’m better for the experience. Depression and anxiety are far more prevalent in today’s modern world than we may recognize. One doesn’t have to be under duress or living with mental illness to look after one’s mental health. We spend time at the gym working out, running or doing yoga. We're mindful to eating well, spend time socializing, and working at demanding jobs. We take time to help others, be it volunteer work, babysitting, listening to a friend’s relationship woes or whatever the case may be.
When do we really take time to look inward? Or to just switch off? Sleep is a form of decompression, of switching off; the brain re-ordering the events of the day, the week, whatever we are thinking of. Imagine luxuriating in time dedicated just to your own well-being. If a good fairy were to grant you a really good night’s sleep, would you say no? Or would you revel in the peace, the relaxation and the anticipation of knowing how much better you’ll feel during and afterwards? I know what my answer would be. Every single time.
Floating. This is time truly for you, it’s your time. Take it.