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

1,023 thoughts on “A Race Against Time

  1. I recall when I was little time seemed to go on for ages. It was never like time flew buy and then as I got older with the pressures of life time seemed to change. But that is not possible because time itself is constant. Its how we are in that time that changes. Yes we have more to do as adults, but its how we are in that time that creates the perception that time has changed.

    1. The same length of time can seem long for one and short for another; and yes, our subjective perception of time depends entirely on how we have been in a particular span of what we call time.

  2. Rushing guarantees that I lose my quality and I hate that, but it is insidious and I can slip into rushing just from realising that I have allowed time to slip away from me by spending too much time on one thing, but I still have to be somewhere at the time agreed. Not always but Instead of rushing I take a pause and re-review all that needs to be done in the remaining time and then assess what can be done in the time available and make a new plan or contact my appointment and make it later.

    1. Rushing must be the effect of having squandered time somewhere else through getting distracted and not being connected, would that be so? And then the rushing engenders more of the same quality as we can’t be connected when we are in our head trying to make things happen.

  3. There are times where I have thought to get everything done I need to rush and constantly watch the clock, but naturally I feel drained and tired after pushing myself in this way, sure I tick all my boxes but at what expense to my body?

    1. It’s not worth it, in my experience. And the brief moments of elation and satisfaction do not compensate for the tiredness and lethargy that follow any drive, push and shove.

  4. I have had some experiences lately when time appears to stand still and I all the time in the world to complete things. This brings a great sense of magic into my life.

    1. When space reveals itself and we get those seemingly moments or stretches of time it leaves us in awe of what is possible and shows how much of what we are and the all is we do not tap into.

  5. “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.” ‘Trying’ has been the bane of my life – always trying to be better, to improve – which has got me nowhere – except criticising myself for not being enough. A little daily dose of appreciation is making a big difference to my life.

    1. Trying, bettering ourselves and improving are traps that try to make us believe that we are faulty or deficient in some way and that we need to get somewhere, in the future and along a linear track. The Ageless Wisdom teaches that we are already everything and that the way ahead is a return to our origins.

  6. 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”. This is gold as I am sure we can all relate to our to-do boxes and racing through them to tick the list. But what quality were we in and what tension/anxiousness is left in our bodies to deal with?

    1. What’s left in the body is a rather toxic mix and not worth it; it takes too long to come back from such tension and raciness.

    2. Agreed and I love the fact that when we don’t rush we don’t have to be slow and in fact we are often far faster when we don’t rush than when we do, provided we are there in full with what we are doing.

      1. Rushing leads to mistakes and we can easily spend twice the amount of time rectifying them rather than according each action the space and time needed.

      2. Yes, it seems a contradiction in terms that when we don’t rush we don’t have to be slow. Yet staying in the present moment – fully with what we are doing, seems to allow time to open up and life becomes a flow. I can then achieve far more in the same time as when I feel anxious about completing a task and feel tense and anxious with the need to rush.

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