CLOCK WATCHING – A Race with Time

As long as I can remember I have always been a clock-watcher, constantly checking the time or racing with it, my wristwatch firmly placed on my bedside table and an alarm clock ready to start my day. This was my safety net that I thought would give me a good night’s sleep, but often left me worrying whether I would get up on time or get to work on time.

I would often feel like I never had enough time to get everything done in the day and was clock watching at every opportunity. To others I was known as the punctual, hardworking and reliable one that could be counted on to get to work on time. I was prepared and would wait ahead of time for others. As a result, I often found it hard to unwind at the end of the day and this would lead to my collapsing into bed feeling exhausted.

This merry-go-round continued for a great part of my adult life and left me feeling a constant nervous tension in my body of where to be next. I was under the impression that this was the way life was and that I just had to keep my head down and keep going. The results were leaving the feelings of stress and exhaustion that were taking their toll on my body.

The race with time was evident in the quality of my interactions with others. They were fleeting exchanges rather than moments of quality connection, as I was constantly thinking of what needed to be done next and never enjoying the moment.

That was until I watched a Unimed Living Presentation in Sydney 2015 by Serge Benhayon on Time, Space and all of us.

As Serge presented, there was a key sentence that stood out for me that I began to understand not only in my head, but it also made sense in my body…

I discovered that I was racing with time rather than being with time.

This sounded a bit odd at first and it took me a few days to get my head around this thought. How could I be racing with time when the clock was controlling how long I had to get from A to B?

Was it possible that I was controlling and rushing the time rather than staying with time?

After a few days of experimenting I came to the realisation that time stayed the same and I was the one pushing and driving all the tension. A big ‘ouch’ and that ‘I get it’ light bulb moment rang true.

As a practical person I decided to put this key sentence into action and started to use a clock or watch to . . .

 . . . read the time rather than worrying about staying on time.

At first it took a while as I was so driven by a fast pace of living that would see me filling in more ‘things to do lists’ when I noticed I had more time up my sleeve. I could feel that I still had a need to be ‘doing stuff’ in this extra time rather than connecting to the opportunity that became available for me to appreciate and confirm that I was starting to feel an ease in my body that I never felt before. I could feel what was true in my body but the levels of drive and momentum I had built up over my life were still very strong and overrode my ability to stay settled. I was looking for a way to find a marker that felt true in my body. My only experience that connected me to this was an Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy session I had a few months prior.

The decision to delve deeper into understanding what I was resisting led to regular sessions of this modality with a local practitioner. I was able to feel the natural pace in which my body moved. There was an ease that didn’t have me rushing ahead but still felt that I was moving with the movements that supported me to work with vitality and a steady flow.

After a number of weeks I had noticed gradual changes in how I was working. These included:

  • Less tension in my body and trusting that the pace I was working with supported me and was within time
  • Letting go of the alarm clock and working on a nightly routine where I made sure I wound down before placing myself in bed
  • Ability to work longer periods of time without feeling exhausted
  • Appreciating the changes daily that build a foundational support level to connect to.

A year later, I have started to truly feel what my priorities are in each day. My day starts with a connection to me first and then where I need to go next to support others. The tension in my body has led to physical changes where I am more settled in my walk and have an increased sense of self-certainty. Physical changes have occurred in my face, arms and legs due to the release of tension, and the clock is just that – a clock that tells the time – nothing more!

I am deeply thankful to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for offering the opportunity to truly understand my relationship with time and the support that is provided by the Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy modality. What was offered was paramount in supporting me to return to my natural rhythm that funnily enough has nothing to do with time! I am now living my life, rather than rushing through life, and I can feel that my body thanks me each and every day.

By Anonymous

Further Reading:
A Race Against Time
Time and our perception of it
So Long Sciatica – Thanks to Universal Medicine and Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy

1,040 thoughts on “CLOCK WATCHING – A Race with Time

  1. Since reading your timely article Anonymous, I have come to realise that just being on time is not a harmonious way to live as this does not support connection with myself or with others. I live a thirty minute walk from my train station and I would leave exactly this amount of time to catch my train but I had noticed that if I met any of my neighbours I could just say hello and rush by with my total focus on catching my train. Now I have introduced allowing forty minutes for the same journey, which allows me ample time to connect with those I meet and also with my surroundings and as a result my walk is much more enjoyable.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, I can really relate to this. I have mostly allowed just enough time to get to appointments etc, and I recently realised that this doesn’t have to be a rule, that I can allow more time to enjoy the travel and all that comes with the journey. It’s a different way to experience life because by cutting it so fine time wise all the time there is a drive, tension and pressure, instead of the ease and enjoyment a little extra time affords.

  2. This is a great blog to return to as I can still feel tension in my body when it comes to time, and what I have to do in my day. The thing is I am observing and catching it quicker!

    1. Yes johannebrown and this nervous tension is what feeds one of the major plagues of our current times -anxiety and stress. How often do we stop to register that the nervous tension may not be as obvious as mentioned in this blog but could include the simple movement of rolling in the shoulders or tensing the back and neck when speaking?

  3. Late night clock watching is always an interesting one – where your pushing how much longer you can watch something or do something before you need to go to sleep, or calculating how much sleep you’ll get, rather than following your bodies own rhythm 

      1. I agree – and we place far greater worth on those ‘5 more minuets’ which in my experience become more like an hour and suddenly all my good intentions of an early night are gone because I didn’t place myself are the most important in the equation.

  4. I’m writing this from a train and it was amazing to observe the speed in which people from all around the station stood up and rushed to get seats when the platform was announced.. the train wasn’t even going anywhere for another 15 minutes! People were standing on toes, banging into each other and swerving in and out of the crowd, and it was interesting to notice how (myself included) we all had our own missions and races happening with time, wanted good seats or to sit down, get on as fast as possible and that many people totally lost their sense of community or respecting others because of this.

  5. Connection to our bodies is the key as I find when this connection is lost all hell breaks loose with time. I have to leave the house in the morning at a certain time to avoid getting stuck in traffic, I have never used an alarm clock as I always wake up naturally but if I sleep a little too late and try and speed things up and break my routine things can go quite wrong and I can feel the unnecessary tension build which effects the way I drive and everything. Sometimes it’s a while before I can pull myself back from that and reconnect.

  6. I was an avid clock watcher for most of my life, but much prefer to stay connected to my body and my movements as much as possible. From this connection to my body time melts away and the space to get what is needed to be done in that day simply unfolds as it needs too. It is always a forever expanding and enjoyable process and one that I continue to learn more from everyday.

  7. Time is something I am also changing my relationship with. it is funny how we can set time up to be against us – but if we allow ourselves the space, then it changes how we are in our day.

  8. Just at the weekend I observed how easily time can distract me and create tension in my body and then how I go into worry mode because I start thinking I do not have enough time…..this is such an old and ingrained pattern, but I am catching it quicker these days.

  9. Speeding up time is a clever trick on our behalf to afford us an excuse to rush through life skipping bits and therefore seemingly not be accountable for the gaps we create by not living true to who we are.

  10. Appreciation is the key to making changes, when we don’t appreciate we slip into self criticism and giving up. When we deeply appreciate even the little changes we make we inspire ourselves to build on our choices.

  11. When we introduced time it feels like we introduced something that effectively takes us away from feeling the all, the everything around us. It’s like the mobile phones we have these days. We check them all of the time and we are not very aware of what is actually happening around us. It’s possible though to have a relationship both with time and the modern gadgets. If we stay with ourselves – and yes there is a true self, contrary to what many social psychologists theorize about. There is a true self to connect to and in connection it’s easy to walk through life.

  12. I sometimes think I don’t have enough time to complete everything I need to do. What I am finding is that when I stay steady and do one thing at a time, not allowing myself to get into my usual anxious state, everything gets done and I have plenty of time.

  13. Looking at my watch every five minutes is a sign that I am anxious and trying to race time. I now purposefully don’t wear a watch and don’t keep checking the time. Its amazing how slowly time goes when I am not checking it as often.

  14. The time, or date is a great marker for checking in with ourselves and seeing how we are. often I find if writing the date and I am rushing, I think hmm what’s going on?

  15. Living life instead of letting life live you takes away any time related pressure. This is so simple when it is felt from the body and it is as if we are blessing our-self to create space, which takes away any rushing to complete things.

  16. This week I’ve had a few extra curve balls at work which is the nature of the job. But I’ve remembered that the quality I hold myself in is more important than getting derailed by my need to control and have x done by x time just because I want to avert feeling overwhelmed and feel all is in hand and comfortable. What has come in has needed to take priority. Normally I would hit Friday afternoon a broken woman after doing a part of my job that is very unpredictable but necessary. But what I’m appreciating is that no one area in my life is any less important, no-one person deserves anything less than love.

    But this is exactly what’s happened when I’ve got irritated by someone needing support and my schedule of what I need to do by x has been disrupted. It’s not an ideal set-up with not enough workers dealing with the issues that present themselves, but to be irritated, judge or go into protection and with-hold, saying no to what is presenting itself- then I’ve got to just work my case load because I am held directly accountable for it – only harms- greatly! So I’m just learning how to work differently and Monday I have many tasks. But it’s not reacting and staying connected when tasks come in that is key to quality of what I bring and others’ can receive if they choose to.

  17. My relationship with time is linear. It reflects the relationship I have with the world – all my insecurities, hurts (e.g. being asked to do more things than I can within a certain time upsets me), defenses – control, needing things to be a certain way, upset when they’re not, etc. What I’m starting to focus on instead is my relationship with space, with God, just through how I breathe, keeping it simple and noticing what gets in the way.

  18. I have worked through a lot of ideals and beliefs about Time and have got to a place that even where I am working late nights I don’t rush or cut things off and do them by halves. No matter what the quality I work in is the priority then Time becomes a lot more spacious.

  19. There is so much here to digest and I can feel how much I race with time trying to pack as much in as possible and always anxious and scared I’ve missed something (and yes it is exhausting). There is a huge drive in all of this and I feel how in fact there’s no settlement in me with this and no allowing of space to even consider it – so to prioritise yourself first and then feel the world and what is needed is absolutely huge, so thank you for this blog, it’s hugely supportive as I consider how and where I spend my time.

  20. I really like this line –”I discovered that I was racing with time rather than being with time.” I find that it is easy to slip into that pattern when we have a lot to do. The thing that is helping me the most to not do that is to deliberately be with everything that I am doing moment by moment which then creates space for me.

  21. There are so many things that we can choose to hold onto that create underlying stress and tension in our bodies Living like that every day has a very real physical impact on our bodies and our hormone levels.
    Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy has been so supportive in helping me to reconnect and feel where and when I carrying tension.

  22. This is a great reminder to stay with our body’s natural pace and not compromise this to fit in with what we think the world requires of us. When I stay in the flow everything feels more spacious and a lot more gets done!

  23. When we watch the clock and base our entire lives by it, we are really making time our enemy instead of seeing it as a marker in space that shows us how much space we have to work with.

  24. Anonymous, this is really interesting to read ‘I am now living my life, rather than rushing through life’, in the last week I have discovered that I was anxious about time, that I was trying to do certain things at certain times and that I would get anxious if these did not happen at the ‘right’ time, since letting go of this control and of constant clock watching I feel much more relaxed and at ease and life feels much more fun and flowing, interesting how I was caught up in rushing against the clock and was not aware of this until it was pointed out to me.

  25. When I started to read the book “Time” by Serge Benhayon it was amazing to realise just how much I took racing against time for granted, as in how much it was just a normal part of how I lived my life and through recognising this it’s helped me to be more aware of the quality in the way I am living, how I am approaching tasks and everyday life, the kind of presence that I bring to whatever I am doing…

  26. I’ve discovered clock watching is a futile and anxious-making activity. With always lots to be attended to I’m shifting my focus to deepen my presence and quality instead of focusing on how much I can get done.

  27. It has become so ‘normal’ today to live in constant nervous tension that in my experience it’s barely even talked about as it is just tolerated. Great to raise awareness about how to address a way of living that clearly doesn’t agree with our bodies…

  28. I wonder if our dis-ease that we experience with time partly stems from the fact we literally waste so much time. So when we rush we’re trying to put this right but essentially just changing our dis-ease with time from stagnation to excess – but still not truly using our time for what it’s made for.

  29. Clock watching is such a game – it’s the antithesis of connection with ourselves – it wipes us out at the first hurdle, which is why it is made into such an important part of our lives, over and above our well-being. It matters not if we are getting sick by the moment as long as we clock – watch we are considered ‘okay’, which exposes the insanity of such an ideal. People come first not clocks.

  30. Every now and then one reads an article and the first thought is gosh this should be everywhere… Woman’s Weekly… Hello etc – we can see all around us the results of time running us… this refreshing and revelatory perspective is definitely what is needed now.

  31. ‘The race with time was evident in the quality of my interactions with others. They were fleeting exchanges rather than moments of quality connection.’ This is how we get caught up in life, which can alter our perspective on what we give value to.

  32. My relationship with time is an ongoing journey. I have a small baby now and I am starting to observe how before I leave the house I prefer to complete things. If I don’t then I can be as early as I want but I’ll be there in tension. So for me it about allowing the space to get things completed and in doing this it has changed my relationship with time and how I am with it – knowing that space really supports me.

  33. This is beautiful – learning how to live life rather than pushing / rushing through it – is a necessary skill for all to develop. To not be ruled by time but live in its flow and impuse.

  34. Having spent most of this life ruled by time and the pressures, anxiousness and nervous, that come with deadlines for work, study and projects. I realise now just how much it robs us a) of our own vitality, health and freedom to live truly ourselves, and b) the quality of connection with all others and with ourselves. Every interaction is diminished if we do not bring our whole true selves fully present with the other person or situation.

  35. We have created a world of deadlines and pressure in so many areas, and are now slaves to that tyranny, at enormous cost to our health and relationships and quality of life. I am learning that it is possible to live differently, in a way that allows greater space rather than the confining demands of time – beginning steps as yet but I can see that there is indeed a different way to live that restores a greater dimension, depth and quality to life and to the world that has been so profoundly missed before now.

  36. I think it’s really interesting how you describe that as your relationship with time has changed that you’re able to work for longer periods without getting exhausted – it makes me think how when we’re racing against time that it makes us want to find ‘time-off’ because that way of being is just not sustainable or harmonious…

  37. We have become very good at managing life and not feel what is there to be dealt with and have used time as an excuse to distract ourselves from focusing on our connection to our quality within and live from our bodies in a natural flow to the universe.

  38. “. . . read the time rather than worrying about staying on time.” This is so very true, I know that I get caught up in time ‘all the time’, Reading time, what a wonderful concept, to not be a slave to it. We are constantly or can be constantly chasing time. But if we choose to read it, that we can detach from it more and not be attached to what is presenting in life.

  39. I reckon clock watching and using time as a pressure is a way we can occupy ourselves and not feel everything we don’t want to, or attend to all that is before us. If we also consider the rhythms and cycles of life and the greater rhythms and cycles of the universe, all of which we are a part of, then occupying ourselves with time keeps us reduced and out of the expanded state we could live in as part of the greater cycles.

  40. I work as a flight attendant on international flights so I am often work shift work and very long hours on flights. Years ago I stopped wearing a watch because I was constantly looking at it and I noticed how this affected me from just being in the moment and I would feel tired just knowing that it was say midnight and I was up working. I now just allow myself to let my work shift unfold without being too aware of the time and it has been very freeing and also allowed me to stay with my body instead of reacting to the time.

  41. What I really love about this is that nothing changed except you. Time stayed the same, doing exactly what it does/always did, but what you changed, is your relationship with it and look at the miracles that occurred.

    It feels like this example could be utilised by many all over the world, as quite often we blame the outside, i.e. like your time example – there is never enough hours in the day etc… You have shown us that we can change how we are with the world, by looking at our relationship with it.

  42. It is actually very liberating to not be governed by time, and when we let go of constantly checking the clock it is amazing how much can be done without the stress of ‘not having enough time’. I also find that I ‘know’ the time, when I have not checked it for a few hours. This tells me that our bodies are constantly in a natural flow and rhythym with the world around us and if we trust that, everything will be taken care of at the ‘correct time’.

  43. This is brilliant how you have adjusted to being ready to work with time in a different way. Given that the body is the marker of all truth, it makes sense that you look and feel so much better as a result of it. Totally awesome and obviously you are worth it!

  44. I can relate to making myself struggle and fight with time, not realising the true impact the tension and anxiety I carried round with me had on my body and the way I was living. In not allowing true rest and settlement the body works in overdrive exhausting itself and not getting a true quality of sleep in order to regenerate and nourish itself.

  45. The energy we use racing around trying to do things is deeply felt by everyone around us, dulling our awareness so that we are unable to connect to everything that is there to read and those we are interacting with feel we are not fully present or really listening.

  46. “The race with time was evident in the quality of my interactions with others. They were fleeting exchanges rather than moments of quality connection, as I was constantly thinking of what needed to be done next and never enjoying the moment.” I too experienced this for much of my life and now see how much I was holding back from myself not only in how lovely it feels to be connected to my body in every moment but also to be able to stop and appreciate every connection we have during our days too. How much magic can occur even in the simple daily passing’s we have whether that be with the shop attendant at the grocery store or the postman. When we are present in every move we make we can register and observe life with a greater sense of joy and honesty and that is a pretty cool gift we all can enjoy everyday.

  47. Anonymous, ‘The race with time was evident in the quality of my interactions with others. They were fleeting exchanges rather than moments of quality connection, as I was constantly thinking of what needed to be done next and never enjoying the moment.’ I had this experience recently, I got very caught up in time and everything felt like a rush, things felt squeezed and the focus felt like it was the clock rather than connecting with the children I was with and so I did not feel quality connections only exhaustion at the end of the day and a sadness that I had not enjoyed the day or connected with the children – a big learning for me that rushing and racing with time are not sustainable or loving ways of working.

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