The Passage of Time

Divine Within

Life goes on moment by moment. As a habit, most of us take time for granted. I have spent a lot of my moments over the past ten years learning how to slow down. Practicing meditation, mindfulness, and self-compassion have been my main tools. It has been a slow yet fruitful process of learning how to be still, slowing down to enjoy life, unlearning patterns that are not helpful, and creating new, healthy ways to support myself.

One thing that I have been acutely aware of lately is the passage of time. I think many of us may agree on the seeming expansiveness of time as children. But the thing is… time is constant. A minute is always a minute, there are always 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year.  Although time is the same, our perception of it changes over time. As a child, I remember that days would seem open and free, and the future seemed a long time away. I remember admiring and fantasizing about how life would be when I was a teenager. Then when I was a teenager, I would fantasize about life as a young adult with a career and a family.  Then all of that happened. Now the days seem to be passing so quickly and I want to reverse time.

Perhaps it is a combination of my intentional practice of being present and the fact that I am getting older, but I am feeling all the feelings around aging. I see my kids growing up so quickly. I feel and see my body changing- lines on my face and gray in my hair. It is hard for me, at times, to accept that I am not getting any younger. But I am grateful for the wisdom I have learned in my years. I am aware of the grief that comes with aging. The grief that comes with knowing my children have a few years left at home. That my dog, although I wish could live forever, will simply not.  The grief that my body is different now. The loss of loved ones- my grandmother and two uncles over the past few years and today the death of my best friend’s mom whom I have known since I was 12. It is hard to wrap my head around how fast life changes.

The one thing I have experienced is that as I allow myself to feel the waves of grief, I also feel waves of gratitude. I never slowed down enough when I was younger to fully appreciate the moment. Now, I find myself feeling immense gratitude and appreciation for each day and I welcome in whatever feelings (“good or bad”) are present. It is freeing to allow myself to feel, and it is one of the greatest acts of self-compassion.

All I know is that time waits for no one. Life is a constant teacher, and I am forever her student.

 

Moment by moment,

 

*I have many offerings in the next few months. If you are feeling the pull to slow down and savor time, join me at my next half-day retreat on February 25th from 1-6pm at Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford, CT. I am also offering a weekend-long mindful self-compassion retreat with my colleague, Emily Willams, on March 1-3rd at Copper Beech Institute. Stay tuned for more info on the 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion course starting March 25th.

 

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Mindfulness is a limitless tool for self-discovery. It is an experiential process, meaning that you cannot just read about mindfulness to understand the process and receive its benefits. You actually have to practice and develop the skill to be present.

 

-- Amanda Votto

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