Do you know how to slow down time?
Reflecting on 2019 people often say: ‘it went by so fast as if it was nothing’. As a child time seemed endless. The count down to every big event took ages. The anticipation was half the fun.
But nowadays we tend to look past that, thinking about future in the long term, since we have more responsibilities than blowing candles on our birthday cake and opening up presents. Our thoughts can be everywhere. Most of the time, in the past or the future. Contemplating on what happened last week, worrying about our ‘to do’-list or major decisions to make for the future.
And then on such days as birthdays, holidays, get-together’s, they are done before we even had a taste of the cake. With a bit of luck, we took a picture, so we can enjoy that later. That is, if we take the time for that and not something else comes up.
So how do we slow down time? We can learn, from our own childhood experiences and by observing children around us. Ever noticed how much more time it takes to get somewhere when you are accompanied by a child? They are not focused on getting where ever you want to go, especially not in time… They are focused on whatever attracts their attention. A blue car on the street, a bee, or simply their own body. They don’t want to go to school because they feel a tummy ache, or they don’t want to leave the house because they are so excited about a game they are playing.
What we, adults, can learn from children is to become more aware of the present. Of course children are still learning as well, like giving words to how they feel, finding solutions and fulfill responsibilities. But in learning all of that, the trick is not to lose that awareness of the present.
By becoming more aware of the present, you can really experience the present, feel the present, remember the present. Using all of your senses. No need to take that picture to bring back memories. This way you prevent ‘it went by like it was nothing’, because you made it ‘something’ to remember. And not only that, we can also become more aware of how we really feel, the good and the bad. Enabling us to enjoy the good even more, and take care of the bad even better.
Paying attention in a particular way on purpose, in the present, non-judgmentally.
Jon Kabat Zinn
This is a skill you can learn! It is called Mindfulness.
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