I’ve had time on my mind (though not on my hands!) lately. The tyranny and elasticity of it, the rigidity and malleability of it. All the ways we bend and twist and shape ourselves to fit into its constraints.
When you’re tearing your hair out because your to-do list has turned tyrannical, time becomes a cage, fixed, rigid, inescapable. After all, there are just twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week, fifty-two weeks in the year. And the span of a lifetime seems barely longer than the blink of an eye.
Yet there are cultures that don’t measure time with the exactitude of a metronome. Many traditional societies mark time by the waxing and waning of the moon, the movements of the tides and the turning of the seasons. Or by the traverse of our planet in its orbit around the sun.
The Gregorian calendar adds an extra day in February every leap year to account for the day that doesn’t quite fit into an otherwise neat little template of annual time. The Zoroastrian calendar handles this anomaly of measured time by moving the entire calendar up a day, once every four years.
What this meant for me, as a kid, was that I had two birthdays each year — one on my regular birthday, and one on my Zoroastrian birthday! Which seemed like a perfectly sensible thing, since I firmly believe that your birthday is the most important day of your life. And two of them are twice as magnificent as one.
But I’m meandering, which tells you something about my relationship with time… :-)
Some cultures use time as a measure of distance. In Nepal, the distance between one village and the next is measured by the number of days it takes to walk there. Not by miles or kilometers.
Time is a way of mapping how we live.
Our relationship with time is shaped by our environment, and our body’s tidal rhythms, which are acutely sensitive to the movements of everything from winds to barometric pressure. A sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, where I live, can fly by with the swiftness of a hunting eagle, while a day heavy with clouds and unrelenting rain can last as long as that party guest who stays and stays, long after everyone else has gone home.
Time is also shaped by our culture’s way of being in the world.
In India, people are astonished by the impatience of Western visitors, by the way they push against time. Time in India is dilatory…slowly, slowly, my Indian compatriots say, waggling their heads from side to side. What’s the hurry? Everything will happen in its own time.
In our society, time is a commodity. Limited, precious, never enough. This creates urgency, a pressure to pack in more and more into every breathless corner of every tumbling-head-over-heels day.
And yet, time is much more elastic than we believe it to be — its nature more fluid than fixed. It’s an element we must come into right relationship with, in order to create anything in the physical world, but it doesn’t function in the same measured, sequential way in the realms of subtle energy and soul.
Imagination — which is a quality of soul and energy that’s readily available to us — invites us play with time in a variety of ways.
My imagination carries me instantly across this beautiful bay in front of my window, and lands me gently on top of that sunlit mountain glowing on the far edge of the horizon.
And my imagination brings me back to my study, back to the chair in which I’m sitting. Simply. Instantly. No time involved, no effort.
If I wanted to make that journey physically, I’d have to cancel my day’s appointments, drive to the ferry dock, buy a ticket, get on the ferry, and spend most of the day getting to the other side of the strait. I’d have to find a place to stay overnight because I’d be too exhausted to make the journey back the same day.
Two intersecting realities — two very different relationships to time.
Because time as we understand functions very differently in the realm of energy and spirit, what we think of as past, present, and future all happen more-or-less simultaneously — or at least, they happen in intersecting dimensions of subtle energy.
This means that we can change a pattern, heal a broken heart, or transform a family story almost instantly. Not only will the changes we make alter the course of our own lives, but they’ll affect our entire lineage. Energetically, our ancestral heritage will be transformed, as will the potential lives of our children and the generations that follow us.
Our history and our future can change in an instant, when we engage with time in this way.
To integrate this change into the physical world, however, we must relate to linear time, or time as we know it.
This means you can change a pattern profoundly in a single hour. And the effects of that change will begin to unfold in your life almost immediately.
But you’ll still have to become the person who embodies that change. And because you live in physical reality, this may take some linear, clock time.
For instance, this morning I spent an hour or so of clock time, energetically and spiritually creating a new offering in my business that I plan to unveil later this year.
While some of the work involved will necessarily take place in the physical world — outlining the new program, reviewing and revising curriculum, creating a sales page, developing a project plan, hashing out a marketing plan and so on — much of the work I’m doing right now takes place outside of time as we commonly think of it.
To create something new, I must first bring into physical form those aspects of my Self that carry the qualities of what I want to create. And, I consult with my friends and advisers in the subtle energy realms so we’re creating something that embraces all of our desires and wishes for our world.
So this morning, I first attuned to my Business Deva — the soul of my business — and mapped out the broad dimensions of the offering I wish to create. Next, I invoked the Deva of Education, and attuned to my inner educator, who carries decades of experience and skill in teaching, program planning, curriculum development and so on. It is a partner in the activity of the Deva of Education — the subtle energy being who holds the pattern for education as a universal quality of wholeness and divinity.
I asked the Deva of Education for its help, inspiration, support and guidance in shaping this new offering, in developing a program that will bless and benefit my community, and the ecology of my world.
And, I asked both the Deva of my business and the Deva of Education specific questions: What do my clients and students need? How does our present environment shape the way that they learn, and what structure and form does this new program need to take, to serve them most effectively?
What does my community need right now? What does my world need? What do I need? How do I shape this program to meet those needs in the most elegant, efficient, healthful way?
Then I walked myself — quite literally — through an energy alchemy process to inhabit my future self, the one who teaches this particular program. I’ll share my process with you, so you can play with it too, if you wish. You can apply it to whatever you’re creating right now.
Attune to the energy field of the Self that you are incarnating — the You who is writing, or painting, or speaking to an audience eager for your story, or teaching in a flourishing, collaborative learning community.
Place this energy field about four feet out in front of you. Close your eyes, ground, and center. Once you’re fully present, stand up and walk into the energy field of your newly incarnated self.
Stand in this energy field and experience it. How does your body feel? How are you standing, holding yourself? How do your muscles feel, your bones, your breath, pulse, heartbeat? How is the weight distributed across the soles of your feet?
Constriction? Spaciousness? Where? In your chest? Shoulders?
You’re not trying to change anything — just experiencing what is, as you step into this new version of yourself.
Continue to experience yourself creating, writing, dancing, moving, teaching, coaching, speaking — whatever your particular jam is, right now.
What are you feeling? Delight. Joy. Creative enthusiasm. Spaciousness. Playful curiosity…
What is the quality of your mind? Clear, precise. Wide open awareness embracing the whole ecology in which your being is embedded…
How do you experience your soul? Flow. Radiant. Whole…
Who are your allies? Invite your allies — those who love and support you in this new incarnation of yourself — to gather with you in a circle. Feel them holding the space of your new incarnation so it is grounded, sturdy and strong. Feel their support and love for you in your new incarnation. Feel the ways in which your emerging self loves and supports them and their being too.
Now expand your awareness so you’re a bird flying high in the sky, looking over the whole earth. Expand further, so you have a clear view of the galaxy, the universe, the cosmos. What is the relationship between your new incarnation and this expanded ecology?
Notice how your newly incarnated self folds into and shapes everything, from your immediate environment to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. Who and what is blessed, transformed, or changed by your being? How?
How do those effects ripple into the world around you?
How is your newly incarnated being shaped and moulded by the world, by the cosmos? What are the reciprocal effects of inter-being, on you, on all-that-is?
Continue to stand in the energy field of your new incarnation. Invite emerging You to transform the You that you are right now. Do this with love, honour and respect for your present self. Don’t force anything — let your present self absorb as much transformation as s/he is willing to undertake.
Invite those aspects of your present self that are ready to be drawn into this new incarnation to flow into its pattern and form now.
Experience what’s happening within you as you do this…
Now ask your soul to create a direct, clear sunlit path from your present incarnation to your emerging self. A path of golden light, leading from where you were sitting, to where you’re standing now.
Ask your allies to hold this path with you, to hold it steady, to help you walk it in strength, faith, trust and confidence.
Still standing in your new incarnation, ask your soul for a gift that will help you move with the greatest of ease from your present self, to your emerging self.
Receive the gift with both hands, and with a grateful heart. How do you feel, as you hold this gift in your hands?
When you’re ready, walk backwards along the sunlit path from your emerging self back into your present self, carrying your soul’s gift with you.
Step back into your present incarnation. Return to where you were sitting at the beginning of this exercise. Experience how you feel in your body now.
Let the gift you’ve brought back with you find its rightful home in your body. Where does it belong? Let it flow and settle in there. Experience how you feel, with this gift embodied in your cells.
Now invite a circle of your inner selves — all the different aspects of you, at every age you’ve ever been or ever will be — to gather in your heart, and introduce them to the gift you’ve been given https://blairsupplyusa.com/. Invite them to touch the gift, to smell and taste and hear it, to ask it questions, to get to know it, to become intimate with it. It is part of their ecology too.
Do any of your inner selves have something they want to say about their experience with this gift, and with the changes it brings into your world?
Invite the gift to expand and transform each cell in your body and your energy body — to bring you closer to your emerging incarnate self.
Thank and bless the Sacred, your allies, your inner selves, your soul, your new incarnation, the earth and cosmos, and the Wholeness that embraces all.
Take a few minutes to jot down brief notes in your journal, to remind you of the journey you’ve just taken. Notice how your life unfolds, over the next few weeks, as you settle into this emerging selfhood.
I hope you’ve enjoyed playing with time in this way, to meet and embrace your evolving self.
Use your imagination to explore other ways of playing with time. Stretch it like silly putty. Condense and expand it, roll it around in a great circle until you meet yourself, arriving.