There is never enough time. You and I have more to do than we could ever actually get done. And if we pause to catch a breath, there is even more that has piled up undone….
Let’s jump into thinking about time and see if we can take some of the pressure off. Everyone that has known me for a long time knows that understanding physics is not my strength. In spite of that, I have been bravely digging into physics in the hopes of getting a handle on the “never enough time” issue.
As I struggle to “get” physics, the big picture of what I have learned is that the symmetrical, quantifiable and mechanical world in which you find yourself is not all there is. Thank goodness for that.
I am a true lover of nature and I believe that many of the answers for life’s difficult problems can be found through a connection with the natural world. When I realized that all of my clients, myself, and most of my friends are struggling with not having enough time, I instinctively turned to nature for some answers.
I was stunned to discover that chaos theory, a part of that dreaded physics subject, could contain a helpful answer. So here we go on a physics adventure…
Science has explained a great deal of the world to us by exploring and discovering the rules by which things function. We measure, analyze and predict all in the name of science in an effort to not only understand, but to control our environment.
But in spite scientist’s tendency to put the world into orderly categories, they have discovered a deeper level of randomness or chaos that underlies even the most orderly parts of our world.
By looking more closely, physicists have found that the world is more of a flow of patterns and turns, surprising relationships and subtle connections than one of predictable, linear reactions. I think of looking at a pencil line under a microscope and finding that what looks straight, connected and whole is instead jagged and broken and entirely more complex than I imagined. So is our world.
Let’s apply this idea to time. Many, many years ago, before people invented clocks and calendars, everyone more easily understood the flow of time. You fit your life into the rhythm and flow of the days and the seasons.
Time was fluid.
It changed based upon activity, situation and thought processes.
You can still experience the true, changing nature of time in several ways. For example, when you are totally engaged in what you are doing, time seems to fly.
At the other extreme, during situations like the car accident I had several years ago, time slows down to a crawl; I experienced that car hitting mine in excruciating detail.
Time in the realm of chaos science is not a linear system.
Chaos theory teaches you that no matter what you do to try to control and contain your world, reality continues to consist of a deeper and richer experience that is less consistent and predictable.
I don’t know anyone today who does not feel time pressure from all that there is to be done and the perception that there is a limited amount of time in which to do it. This feeling is a direct result of the system we have invented to get time under our control.
You have a variety of internal, and natural, sensors of time. Your cells age, your hormones fluctuate, your brain has patterns of sleep and waking. None of these are
mechanical or completely consistent, but fluctuate and change in patterns – a good example of chaos in action.
The problem comes when you become too chained to the clock or the calendar. That is when you discover you can never keep up. You have become caught in the trap of moving further and further away from your own inner time wisdom.
Chaos theory would suggest that instead you must connect again to the fluid nature of time.
– Find ways to get into nature and experience the details you find there with their own unique pace.
– Connect with the complexity of the natural world and allow your own internal clocks to recharge.
– Allow your piece of the world to proceed at its own pace periodically without the pressure of mechanized time.
Doing these things allows you to feed the chaos of your soul. To make friends with time again.
How have you been affected by the push to keep up with time? What would it be like to experiment with going without your watch and appointment book and phone for a period of time? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.