A Race Against Time

I experienced something very profound today and it has been inspired by Serge Benhayon’s book Time. I had started a typing job on my computer and knowing that I tend to rush these ‘uninteresting and boring’ tasks, I decided to be very conscious not to speed up but to stay present with me and in what I was doing and feeling, rather than just getting the job done, no matter what.

As I proceeded I noticed that I did not have the usual self-judgment of being slow or clumsy and also, for a change, the job did not feel tedious (I am not a good typist!). Instead, my work felt open-ended, had no hard edges or annoying streaks and was totally free of pressure and the need to perform or conform – it felt as though I had all the time in the world.

At the same time and to be fair, I was just as slow as ever and made mistakes; not as many as usual though, probably because I wasn’t rushing. What I also noticed was that my output seemed to be the same, whether I would have been rushing like in the past or staying present with me and attending to every step and nuance as I was doing now.

There was a definite lack of something to rub against, get hassled by, or even be the slightest uptight about, nothing provided friction or an issue of any definition or description. All there was – was the space to do what had to be done but I hadn’t squeezed this doing into one of my usual to-do boxes and seasoned it with haste, raciness and thoughts of being too slow and nor was I sitting at my desk with physical tension or in anticipation of a fast and speedy end result.

So let me recap – the job was the same as many others before it, I had not become a better typist, my speed and accuracy had not improved.

But something was different. What had changed?

I had not set myself a deadline (strange word that, a ‘dead line’) and thus there was nothing to measure myself against. Speed had become irrelevant and I was not competing with time, trying to outdo, outsmart, outrun or even overtake it.

When the job was finished it finished at a certain time as measured by the clock, a time that would have arrived no matter what I had been doing and how I had been doing it. After all, 4pm is 4pm, regardless of how I spend the time until that time, whether I run the show from my head, rush around and work under pressure or whether I ‘take my time’ and do what needs to be done without any rushing and expectations of how fast I should be getting through this task.

The job still took as long as it took, I still made all the mistakes I made and I still finished when I did.

Would I have finished five minutes earlier had I rushed?

Maybe – but maybe not because I then need to correct more mistakes.

But more importantly – would those potential extra five minutes have given me any joy?

Actually, that is highly unlikely.

And the reason why? Because I would have felt frazzled and on edge, under pressure, physically tight and mentally highly strung.

What had happened then?

I had not put any effort into trying to get to that end point earlier or faster and in that I got to feel the true blessing of time – the revelation of time as space. And in that space, time does not matter, it is not my enemy and I don’t have to compete with it. And to top it all off – everything that needs to get done gets done.

Or, in other words, when I don’t rush, I am not slow!

Child’s play in hindsight – literally so, because as children we live in that space, we spend all our time in it. Do you remember the endless- and spaciousness of each moment, lived and experienced from and in a little body that is present with and in itself? And it certainly didn’t give a hoot about being faster or better until we learnt to conform and take on these concepts!

Well worth getting back to and repeating frequently, like the good medicine it is; good medicine for our physical and mental wellbeing as well as for our relationships and the enjoyment of the work we do, whatever it may be.

By Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah NSW

Further Reading:
Time and Our Perception Of It
Choosing Stop Moments in My Life
Time: How I Changed my Relationship With The Invisible Tyrant

902 thoughts on “A Race Against Time

  1. Great point, 4 o clock comes regardless whether you rush and push through the day or just remain present with what you are doing, trusting that what needs doing will get done…. Trusting feels key, and I have observed the deeper I self-nourish and self-love the more I can trust and the more I can just enjoy being with the task at hand without any time pressure.

  2. What you shared is great “I had not put any effort into trying to get to that end point earlier or faster and in that I got to feel the true blessing of time – the revelation of time as space. And in that space, time does not matter, it is not my enemy and I don’t have to compete with it. And to top it all off – everything that needs to get done gets done.” It is a beautiful feeling when we don’t put an end time to something, the body is not under pressure, the flow is beautiful and like you say, you get what you get done anyway, so why do we put ourselves under that pressure?

    1. At present I feel that it is a habit, putting myself under time pressure. Possibly even an addiction, as that stress provides an artificial kind of fuel that is harming the body but that I have possibly come to rely on.

      1. This is interesting Gabriele. I used to think that addictions only applies to smoking, drinking, taking drug and gambling etc. but this addition you share feels very familiar to me too. Something I too am working on letting go.

  3. Deadline, from the US Civil War, the line around the prisoner of war compound and the tree line, anyone caught in between was shot and safe if they could reach the tree line. Today you might get sacked. Times change but deadlines still put a target on your back!

    1. Hey, thanks – I always wondered where the word came from; I definitely wouldn’t want to be seen dead with a deadline, now more than ever before!

  4. Racing against time and trying to do things fast in raciness doesn’t really support us because any form of rushing we put our body under stress and tension. Not only that we also compromise the quality of everything we do. When we rush which often leads us to making mistakes and having to redo things again which can lead to more stress and tension. Letting go of the race against time brings so much more joy to everything we do.

    1. When I stop trying to fit everything in to my own squashed time-precious boxes, there is a lightness and freedom to life and it just flows. So simple.

  5. This is gorgeous and so powerful in one. So often do we align and measure ourselves with and by time. But in taking a closer and more honest look at it, it’s rather dis-empowering for we are deemed less if we don’t reach the ‘dead line’, or we gain approval or recognition if we beat or meet it, whatever it is. Yet through our connection to our Soul there is a greater sequential order we align to, where we are not defined by the limits of time in relation to the objects and world that surround us, but rather we the quality of our relationship to our Divinity in the space we occupy at any given moment. Where in-truth there are no limits to the volume, intelligence or quality of Divinity we are, can feel and as such live through whatever we do.

    1. This is a very beautiful addition which contrasts the difference between the constraints of invented time and the timelessness of our divinity succinctly and with great ease.

  6. It is interesting the behaviours we develop with time and how we measure ourselves by our output thinking we are wasting time when we are not productive or working towards a deadline. When we let our thoughts take control of our body we lose connection to our body’s natural and harmonious rhythm that makes us start to push and drive ourselves more and more.

  7. In reference to a ‘dead line’ Gabriele, I started thinking how all the drive and rushing around that we convince ourselves we have to do to meet a deadline actually increases our chances of having a ‘dead line’ or flat line e.g. heart attack.

    1. Great point, thank you. Yes, and we deaden ourselves whilst we are pursuing a dead line and life is certainly not much fun. Temporarily we might get off on the excitement and nervous energy, but it doesn’t last and leaves us very flat and eventually exhausted.

    2. It is interesting why we call it a ‘dealine line’. I used to leave things to the last minute and then get into a panic, stress and overwhelm to meet my deadlines for work. Every time I did this I hated it, I dislike how it made me feel and the quality of my work was compromised even though often I got good results my body felt drained by it. Now, I enjoy deadlines because I have learnt how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty when I have too much work and I work steadily with less procrastination and I can naturally deliver my work with quality and care.

  8. When I go into a rushing energy to do things it feels awful. Everything seems to be squashed and narrow, my breathing becomes fast and shallow and my entire body feels tensed. So why would I choose to do things in this energy when it makes me feel so terrible? It was because I was so used to running my life this way that I didn’t know how to stop choosing this and felt I had no control over this, which I now know is not true. I realise everything that happens to me are related to all my choices, so I definitely have the power to choose to work joyfully and not rush. Rushing is the total opposite of being joyful and I can choose which energy to align to. Stopping myself from choosing to rush is difficult to start with but the more I choose to be joyful then this leaves less room for anything unloving.

    1. I have learnt to astutely observe and feel how much my body hates being rushed – my heartbeat is faster, the tissues feel contracted and my work suffers, i.e. I make mistakes and have redo and correct things all the time.

  9. That is a Great point Gabriele, whatever we do And no matter how we do thing the time comes anyway. The difference we Can make is the quality we bring into iT which Can either give us the joy of the moment and get to feel our body vital and light or an ill stressful rhythm which make our bodies ill.

  10. If I rush, which I used to do frequently to get things done more quickly, the quality of the end result would inevitable be less and I would have to redo and so end up taking longer. It is now so much more satisfying not rushing and that is because I am staying connected with my body and not going into my mind..

  11. Our focus on time is largely about how long it will take us to get something done, or when do we need to be somewhere. Instead if time was not a movement forward, but a responsiveness to the stillness that we hold within, and how that is then expressed to the world, everything would change.

    1. When we stop misinterpreting time as a movement and instead regard it as space, everything changes and rhythm and order take precedence. And further, everything that needs to be done gets done.

      1. Our concept of time, when you look at it, is actually pretty warped: we have the same amount of time, every single day, yet most of us still struggle to fit everything that we need or want to fit into one day into that day, because we’re racing against time and not connecting to the space of it.

  12. It’s amazing the difference our approach to a job or situation can make – how we can set ourselves up with preconceptions about how it is going to be or take a fresh approach. I love how you say we can ‘season’ what we do with judgements on ourself or the task at hand or stay present with the whole self as we do what is needed…

  13. You highlight a great point Gabriele – 4pm is still 4pm but how you arrive at this time and the quality of energy and flow you feel throughout your body will be different depending on the choices you make.

    1. This is of course inspire by Serge Benhayon and his book ‘Time’ – this small book is a treasure trove and each time I open it, I discover more and can go that little bit deeper. Serge Benhayon is a master of time and when humanity finally discovers this book, we will be able to free ourselves from the self-imposed shackles that our misconception of time burdens us with.

  14. There is so much for us to pause and ponder on here Gabriele. Now that you mention it, I clearly remember what it felt like as a child to live in the expansiveness of space (God’s body) with the absolute knowing of the vastness we belong to and the love we are held in and not only that, it was no big deal, just really, really normal. That is until I learnt to ‘quicken up’ and thus shrink space by doing so! As a mum to two young girls now, I can feel how I contribute to creating such a disturbance and it is making me cringe somewhat. A good moment to appreciate that while we do all need to get out the door on time to make it to work, school and daycare, I do not need to go into a rush and hurry everyone up thereby shrinking space and losing connection with myself, my children and thus with God/the Universe (the space we are held within), in order for us to ‘get there’.

    1. Shrinking space through rushing around and trying to get things done is a great way to describe what happens and how unpleasant it feels in the body.

  15. This idea we have of getting some where faster, rushing , making up for time lost continually puts us in a tension that is not supportive. I have spent many a day driving, working etc thinking I needed to hurry to do it. As soon as I do that I am out of my natural rhythm, I am learning to get on with it and work but not delay or rush in this I am finding harmony.

  16. I loved that feeling ‘of having all the time in the world’ like love it so does my body, I feel much more joyful that way. Time also opens up, as in there is a lot more space.

  17. What if we’re not actually going anywhere at all, just moving around from a to b, and it’s life that comes towards us, based on the choices we make from moment to moment? This is a completely different way of looking at life, from chasing after it, trying to make it fit the picture of how we want it to be, to understanding that we are part of a much greater and grander flow of the universe. It then becomes a much simpler choice: are we aligned to the flow of the bigger picture, with all of our movements in harmony with that, or battling against it?

  18. When there is surrender to what is in front of us in life, what we have carried as a picture in our mind as of how things have to happen gets thrown out the window. It may feel unnerving if pictures are what we have held onto as comfort, but when we actually feel what is going on within us, it may be a different story. There is a sense of steadiness, which does not play ball with what the world has made normal, it is expressing a movement which comes from within my being rather than with what life has said I have to be. There is also a slight unease to feel this, as this only means there is so much more potential to fully live out in what we call life, but I am willing to go there.

  19. ‘when I don’t rush, I am not slow!’ I was called ‘slow’ as a child and teenager and now and then this pops up in my mind and creates an anxiousness and rush in my body but what you say is true don’t rushing means quality in movements and gives a complete different perspective to what needs to be done.

    1. That must have been a compliment then, being slow as a child. It’s the adults who seem to have a problem with that, never the children.

  20. Whilst reading your blog this morning Gabrielle I was struck by the times I self criticised and self judged; thus not allowing the natural rhythm and flow of life to just be, without rush or complication. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

    1. Self judgement and self criticism can be such a habitual undercurrent that it takes utter awareness and considerable self love to turn it around and leave the struggle behind.

  21. Reading this reminds me that if I’m struggling or feeling like I’m pushing through something with a hardness to come back to my whole body and be fully present with what I’m doing – it’s amazing how much struggle and seeming hardness we can create for ourselves when there is another way we can flow in life…

    1. And interesting how ‘normal’, widely accepted and laudable the hardness and rushing are deemed to be – there is no sense that it can be otherwise.

  22. The more present and nurturing I am with myself the more in sync I am with my natural rhythm that has its own flow and harmony and time as we know it becomes irrelevant. It is only when I disconnect from my body and go into my mind that thoughts come in that lets me think I am pressured by time.

  23. When we watch or race against time we are measuring and judging ourselves on the pace and time we take to complete things which sets our bodies into a frazzle and our natural rhythm is thrown out the door. Surrendering to our bodies own pace and the way it likes to move brings a great deal of ease and freedom to our days and the anxiety we once had dissipates completely. Connecting to our movements connects us to space and this is so very expanding and time simply fades away.

  24. I just love what you have so beautifully expressed here Gabrielle, a powerful lesson for us all;
    “When we stop misinterpreting time as a movement and instead regard it as space, everything changes and rhythm and order take precedence. And further, everything that needs to be done gets done”.

  25. I like your offering here Gabriele. After all we do what we do but as you show it does not have to be done under this constant pressure, rushing or stress that is so common nowadays. We are allowed to enjoy every moment and things still get done – on time.

  26. As I type these words, I have a choice, to rush ahead, or let each letter that I type reverberate in my life. When I take the second route, I find, there’s not so much I need to say as there’s no need to fill up things, but just an enjoyment and appreciation of space. Thank you Gabriele for helping join the dots and helping to reconnect us all with the spacious way we were as a child.

    1. That suggests that we are trying to fill spaces, an emptiness in other words, when we are rushing by doing more than is needed in an instance – possibly another reason why we are drained and exhausted?

  27. We seem to be obsessed with this race and getting jet pack fuelled in many different ways to be faster than before. Just recently I have been struggling myself with how to ‘fit everything in’. But nowhere in this debate did I consider the possibility of quality. What you present Gabriele offers us the chance to see that what we call time is just a result of energy. And so if we chose Love so too does our sense of space change.

  28. Us vs them, me against you, teams fighting teams, against all of the odds – our world is full of ways we describe life as a big battle. Is it any wonder that whilst we may not being bombed, we still feel like we are at war in the end? For when we proceed with this habit of seeing life as a race, we fight against our natural grace. We keep thinking of clever ways we can compete better when none of it is actually needed at all. As you show Gabriele, when we accept the true order of how time actually works – we start to understand the true flow of our world.

  29. The more I try to control how much I get done, going into a rush or stress around it, the less efficient I become. Some days I am amazed at how much space I feel stretch out in front of me, and how much I can get done when I stay in what feels like the rhythm and flow of the day.

      1. Yes and the difference between feeling yourself running to ‘time’ (as a constraint and pressure) or ‘space’ (as an open-ended connection with everything)

      2. An ex-pert is a drip under pressure, an astro-naught has no-space and creating time comes about by starting with at-least being gentle as is taught by the Gentle Breath Meditation, which could be described as a feeling-of-space within the body!

  30. It feels like it is how we use the concept of time to change how we are with ourselves in our movement. I can totally relate to this example you share here, but also there are other times when I think the task I am engaged with is too tedious and perhaps more time consuming than what I perceive is worth and I can literally fall asleep doing that, and that feels like I am just withdrawing myself from the task in hand. So, in this instance I may not be rushing against time, but still resisting the flow and removing myself from my own movement just in a different way.

    1. There are myriad ways in which we can deny the true movement our body is attuned to – we can do it via raciness and we can do it through apathy and boredom. Both are very draining and counter our vitality and zest for life.

    2. I agree that dragging my feet over a task is also very draining, and it’s clearly my attitude to the task that creates the lag.

      1. With a certain attitude, all doors shut and the work is twice as hard, if not many times harder.

    1. The body lives in moments is what Serge Benhayon has taught and I have found that to be true. Our bodies absolutely hate being rushed.

  31. We feel the imbalance and disharmony in our body from pushing ourselves through things becoming very impatient and often harshly judgemental and critical of ourselves especially when our body does not keep up with the speed our mind wants to go with and there is no consideration or quality in our movements just the end goal to finish as quickly as possible. When we move with and from the connection of our body, we
    naturally have our own rhythm with no need or impulse to race against time.

  32. When we make life about quality first we find that time comes to us instead of us chasing it, this creates space around our bodies where more of what is needed can be achieved with an imprint of truth and harmony within.

  33. I know when I am feeling overwhelmed with what I have to get done I feel I am racing against time or I am running out of time, when I stay present with myself and with the task at hand there is plenty of time and space for what needs to be done.

    1. It is magical what happens when we stay with ourselves and in our body and don’t get ‘carried away’, i.e. carried onward and ahead of ourselves and into the imagined future by way of rushing and cramming.

  34. Finding our own rhythm in life has always allowed a flow that I have always appreciated! It is almost like time stands still and we get the space to do what ever is necessary with no restraints.

  35. “Speed had become irrelevant and I was not competing with time, trying to outdo, outsmart, outrun or even overtake it.” And as you say the job took as long as it did. I have been experimenting with being much more purposeful – and not rushing- when I find myself running a little late. Staying present with myself somehow allows time to seemingly slow down – and I’m not late! Space has opened up on account of me being present with me.

  36. Interestingly enough when I am more connected and living more from my stillness time seems to expand as I am able to get more done whilst still doing the same things and giving it more attention and quality to detail. Amazing! Time expands when you are with you!

  37. A lovely blog to read, and interesting comments of how living in space feels as opposed to living under time, and the effect this has in our lives. Very inspiring.

  38. Being willing to look outside the square of life and time offers new insights into the socially accepted understandings of time.

  39. What strikes me reading this today is how we can create unnecessary struggle, strife and distraction by seemingly fighting or racing against time and the simplicity and space that can open up if we instead bring all of ourselves to the task at hand…

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