Choosing Presence

Monday, March 22, 2010

I actually started writing this post a week ago, but haven't found a moment to finish my thoughts on it. Now I find myself in a state where I'm struggling to choose presence or being damn frustrated with a situation out of my control. So here's to self-healing!

My latest podcast binge has on the topic of time... ranging from spiritual, theoretical, scientific perspectives to simple personal narratives (two different links there). And from spending hours listening, I can only conclude that the present is a choice, one that you need to make over and over again throughout your life. And the more you choose it, the better off you'll be. The effects of surrendering to presence varies from person to person but overall, I think we can all agree on its healing abilities.

They did a study exploring Einstein's idea that time is relative... that it speeds up or slows depending on how fast something is moving relative to another:

Atomic clocks are extremely accurate clocks that can measure tiny amounts of time—billionths of a second. In 1971, scientists used these clocks to test Einstein's ideas. One atomic clock was set up on the ground, while another was sent around the world on a jet traveling at 600 mph. At the start, both clocks showed exactly the same time.

What happened when the clock flown around the world returned to the spot where the other clock was? As Einstein had predicted in a general way, the clocks no longer showed the same time—the clock on the jet was behind by a few billionths of a second. Why such a small difference? Well, 600 mph is fast but still just the tiniest fraction of the speed of light. To see any significant differences in time, you'd have to be traveling many millions of miles an hour faster.

Isn't that crazy?! That time is relative. We try so hard to quantify and build our lives around it, while it's actually our lives that control how it passes. So science & math can explain how our bodies move through time. How do you explain & quantify the mind & the imagination? I believe the imagination can leap to other worlds and dimensions, possibilities and times, so when we find ourselves lost in thoughts about the future, I believe we lose time. The world around us is a blur and we aren't aware of how we're moving from point A to point B. We miss what’s happening around us. And when we think back to the past and dwell in regret, we stop moving, almost to a halt, and the world speeds past us. We miss it.

Choosing presence creates more space for love. It slows us down and lets us be in the here & now. It gives us the time to observe every leaf on the ground, the details of every face we pass, the delicious smell of a ben & jerry's ice cream shop (teehee). To keep up with the world and all its loveliness, we have to be present. It's the key to living and enjoying life to its fullest.

I love that moment of stillness & completeness when you give yourself the gift of presence. The other day, I paused in the middle of the street on my way to yoga to do that. I was completely aware of the sounds of cars, the cold air that tickled my skin, and how dry my mouth was. And as I closed my eyes, I could feel my third eye swell, my heart grow light and my eyes flood with light in the darkness of the backs of my eye lids. It was beautiful. It is beautiful.

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