December 22nd, 2009 Archive

The Essence of Time

December 22nd, 2009 by Liz in Lifestyle

Time — such a short word that means a lot. It’s a concept often taken for granted, but without it, we’d all be lost. It’s both measurable and immeasurable at the same time, depending on how we see it at that particular moment. It can be the hour struck by the clock or the moments we spend with our loved ones. The one sure thing about it is it’s constantly moving. Thus, causing us to either race against it, ride with it or try to manipulate it. However much we try though, time doesn’t wait for us. It doesn’t follow us, but rather, we try to move around it, with it or for some hopefuls, through it.

An article by Tal Shai entitled The Art of Stretching Time recently got published by one of our online magazines, HealthyWealthynWise. In it, she gave two classifications of time and a few tips on how to flow with it.
Chronos and kairos

According to Tal, there are two kinds of time as classified by the Greeks. One is chronos or the linear time measured by the clock that we use throughout the day. The other is kairos which is the immeasurable period or moment where something meaningful takes place. As individuals, we constantly deal with both kinds. The former we either follow or race against, and the latter we try to recognize and achieve.

I myself am surprised at how I’m able to manage both. Balancing time between a husband (Ric), two active growing boys (Chandler and Stefan), the various online marketing businesses we have and of course, myself isn’t easy — I tell you! <g> I have to give myself a little credit though, because with everything going on and the juggling I have to do, I believe I’m still able to live a well-balanced life. I work on our businesses with my husband every day and yet, we get to enjoy bonding moments with our sons too. It’s part of the privileges of owning our own business and having financial freedom. But of course, credit also has to be given to my wonderful family and colleagues — it’s their time too. <g>

Four tips leading to the path of kairos

1) Set a clear intention

This is the first tip for stretching time. For me, it’s very similar to planning — either your day or your life. You envision what you want to do and cut a clear path towards accomplishing it. This intention acts as our compass. It guides us as we move through the activities of the day or the motions of life.

You could use a mantra or a saying set to inspire you in your goal setting, much like Tal did, or you can be practical and use a daily planner <g>. Either way, you’ll need something to guide you in order to make ample use of time.

Others just go with the flow and deal with wherever time takes them. Works for them, but if you’re like me who decided to take control of my life <g>, then intention setting is for you.

2) Focus on your breath

We are so dependent on time that we sometimes tend to get overrun by it. I don’t know about you, but there are days when I just feel like hyperventilating! Without meaning to, I do let time catch up with me sometimes <g>. When it does, I feel overwhelmed for a little while. Let me tell you, there are just moments when there’s just too much to do with so little time. Taking a step back and focusing on my breath helps a great deal in stopping me from cracking up — and not the fun, laugh ‘til I pull my stitches cracking up either. <g>

Taking a breather and zoning out all the distractions around you helps focus your mind. It helps remove the panic and clear your vision. Better yet, you don’t even have to wait for panic to strike. Doing a few breathing exercises every day would keep you on your toes and ready for whatever comes your way for sure. <g>

3) Find your passion

Have you ever noticed that time flies when you’re doing what you love? Well, it flies too when you’re too busy to even take a short breath — but that’s beside the point and it’s more fun the other way. <g>

When we do something we love or spend time answering the call of whatever passion we have, time loses its physical grip on us and we just savor each moment without keeping track of it. For me, it could be speaking in front of a crowd and sharing a new product we just launched, or eating at our favorite restaurants with Ric, or helping Chandler out with his homework, or reading a bedtime story for Stefan, or having a productive day at work and sitting down for a wonderful dinner with our family at the end of the day.

Whatever your passion is, it’s wonderful when you can cater to it and just experience time disappear for a while.

4) Move your body

When we’ve been focused on one thing for a long time, we tend to get lost in it and often fail to see what’s beyond it. Whether it’s a problem or a simple chore or activity, we have to take ourselves out of it for a while in order to see another perspective or explore another level of consciousness. One option to take is to physically move our bodies to shake out whatever remnants of stress there might be.

Exercising or moving to the beat of our favorite song for a few minutes would help the blood circulate better through our bodies and refresh our minds.

When we learn to plan and balance the chronos with the kairos, we’ll be able to make more. Then, we are left with plenty of opportunities to live more — with our loved ones or even sparing time for ourselves. When we feel at ease and are uplifted by our enjoyment of kairos, there’s more room for us to give more as well. It’s all a question of how we use and perceive time.

Whether things happen as planned or they surprise us out of nowhere, they’re still part of time. It is not always of the essence, but I believe there is a time for everything. We don’t always have to race against it. Sometimes, it’s more precious when we flow with time or even lose track of it, and become aware instead of the precious little moments in our everyday lives. Not to forget that balancing physical time is important too. Where would we all be if we didn’t also take care of the practicalities of living. <g> We just have to remember to balance time, so we could leave room for personal growth, self improvement and yes, even success and happiness.