I lay on my mat after a steamy and exhausting yoga practice on the last day of the year. The day had started with a stressful phone call ensuring that stress would follow me into the new year, and after an hour of exertion my mind had finally stopped racing. I disobeyed the teacher’s guidance to close my eyes and saw overhead one of the studio’s overhead fans turning very slowly.
Usually I see fans whir so fast you can’t see the blades, but this was moving at a measured, easy pace. I imagined how the turning of the earth is for those of us who live upon it. Slow. Perceptible only in the change of our environment. Not hurried at all.
Recent months full of holidays, birthdays and a big move into a new home added “time’s swift passage” to my list of worries. I think often of the phrase “the days are long but the years are short”. And because of my congenital moodiness, I mourn.
But the world is turning at the implacable rate it always was, regardless of my experience or perspective. When I rush the world feels rushed. When I slow down the world feels slower. Time stays the same.
What makes life slower for me? Listening to people. Releasing disordered attachments to those things which tempts me: power, money, accolades, control. Making decisions based on values rather than on popularity or ease. Giving my time to worthy efforts, large and small. Waking every morning ready committed to an authenticity which is not self-indulgent but which keeps my most important convictions at the fore. Going to bed each night exhausted from spending myself and eager to start again tomorrow.
Though I mourn time’s passage I am consoled by the fullness of my days.
Happy new year.