The Passage of Time
How do you spend your time? (Photo credit: ToniVC)

Do you have a long to-do list? Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to get stuff done? Do you feel like you just don’t get chance to do the things you want to because all the things you need to get in your way?

Many of us seem to live very activity-rich / time-poor lives.  We have so many demands on our time and attention that days, weeks and years zip past in a blur.

We can feel at the mercy of our intricate lives and powerless to do anything to change the nagging feeling that life is in control of us, carrying us along on a constant wave of work, childcare, travel, eating, sleeping, family demands, dealing with bills and admin. We feel lucky if we can cram in a drink with friends after work; take the dog for a walk; or fit in a quick trip to the gym.

Plus there are so many emails to reply to, so many Facebook friends to interact with, so many tweets to follow, so many TV programmes to watch…

Make a choice

Who’s got time to sit and do nothing … and relax?

We all have. It’s a matter of making that choice.

Making a choice whether to let ourselves be carried along on a wave of ingrained ways of doing or being or whether to take control by stopping and making a conscious decision to do something which is of benefit to our well-being.

How much of what fills your day do you really have to do? Do you really have to watch that two hours of television? Do you really have to sit at your desk at lunchtime or can you get out and move your body? Or if there are activities you can’t change, like the commute to work, can you change your attitude to them?

Change your focus

For example, I currently have a 20-minute walk to work. I could spend this time, head-down, rushing along and planning or thinking about the day ahead. Or, I can (and do … most times!) make the decision to notice the world around me on my walk. I notice the light through the leaves on the trees. I feel the effects of the weather – whether it’s a cold wind or the warm sun on my skin.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t go around all the time in a state of serenity and pure mindfulness!  I can get bogged down in my to-do list; planning what I need to do today, tomorrow and next week… I can start to feel anxious that I’ll fit everything in.

But then I’ll notice, and breathe.  

And I’ll be honest about where I sometimes let time run away with me on things which aren’t fruitful. Like following random links on Facebook, or flicking around on the telly to find something to watch to fill a few minutes. Or re-reading the same email instead of dealing with or actioning it straight away…

And then I’ll smile at myself.

We all have the same 24 hours a day. It’s up to us how we fill it, or how we approach the demands on our time.

Listen to Louis…

Lately, when I’ve been feeling like I’ve got so much to do and not knowing where to start, I’ve let the voice of Louis Armstrong fill my head with the words from his song “We have all the time in the world…”. It never fails to make me smile, relax and let go…

I’ve copied the lyrics below or, why not watch this video – breathe and relax and let the words wash over you…

“We have all the time in the world … Just for love … Nothing more, nothing less … Only love”

We have all the time in the world
Time enough for life
To unfold all the precious things
Love has in store

We have all the love in the world
If that’s all we have you will find
We need nothing more

Every step of the way
Will find us
With the cares of the world
Far behind us

We have all the time in the world
Just for love
Nothing more, nothing less
Only love

Every step of the way
Will find us
With the cares of the world
Far behind us, yes

We have all the time in the world
Just for love
Nothing more, nothing less
Only love

Only love

(Lyrics: Hal David)

Lessons from Louis

… for me, this song encapsulates what’s really important in life:

  1. We do have all the time in the world – because the only time that exists is the present moment. And nobody and nothing can take that away.
  2. Only love truly matters. Treating ourselves, our family and friends, our colleagues, and anyone we come across with love and compassion is the most important choice we can make or action we can take in our lives.

Only love…

Stella Tomlinson teaches Dru yoga in Southampton, UK. Dru yoga is a flowing and therapeutic style of yoga, characterised by graceful movements, directed breathing, relaxation techniques and working with affirmations and visualisations. Connect with Stella via Facebook and Twitter.

We have all the time in the world
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2 thoughts on “We have all the time in the world

  • March 14, 2013 at 10:54 am

    You’ve hit the nail on the head today Stella! I know compared to many others (eg. those with children and/or elderly folks) I do have all the time in the world…and yet there doesn’t seem to be enough time to fit in the nice things as well as those I feel I should be doing right now: taking the tiles off the old bathroom wall, finding a new gas&electric supplier, spring cleaning, and deciding what to do when I “grow up”! All thrilling things that perhaps I should combine with listening to some nice calming music like Louis… Here’s to enjoying the sunshine, spring crocuses, front-covered grass and birdsong :o)

  • Pingback:A moving experience | Living Yoga with Stella

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