Time as an excuse

Time is a concept that serves as a great excuse for many people.Typically it comes up as “I don’t have time.” Yes, there is a more unconscious excuse regarding time where the past is pulled into the future. Both excuses create significant limitations and often suffering.

I remember learning about Kāla tattva during my 300-hour yoga teacher training. It is one of 36 tattvas, or elements of reality. This particular element is one of five limitations called konchukas. These fascinated me as I recognized them as the core excuses we all use in some form as self-limiting behavior. Kāla tattva limits eternity, creating the phenomenon of time, dividing all experience into past, present, and future.

Have you ever experienced something so painful that you said, “I never want to feel that way again”? That statement is like programming in the worst route possible into an internal GPS. The subconscious mind will avoid all situations that could possibly create such pain. Thus, the past is pulled into the future, by-passing the present.

Here’s a simple example that I have seen a lot over my decades in health and fitness. If your mom overcooked veggies when you were a child, you likely have an aversion to veggies as an adult. A truly unfortunate situation because veggies are nutritious and also delicious when prepared well.  No two moments are the same, though. What happened before is never guaranteed to happen again, yet we make subconscious decisions based on the fear of them happening.

When your brain is mapping every experience compared to the past, that feeling of “why is this happening again” arises, even if the situation is different. Getting stuck here is really easy to do. Distraction and numbing become a far easier choice than figuring out the answer to that feeling.

The solution is deceptively easy, though it does require awareness. You may process through several fears as you dig down to the root of the fear. Being willing to sit with the initial feeling to see what else arises allows you to see that what you may have subconsciously feared is unfounded. Making the decision that this moment is unlike any other moment you have experienced and knowing that you are a different person than you were when you were hurt allows you to be fully present and make new, more accurate decisions. It opens the field of possibilities!

There is another way time plays out as an excuse. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How we use them, what we give priority to, and our perspective can shape how we use those 24 hours.

A single parent working full time while attending college part time is an excellent example of someone who maximizes their time. Whereas someone else may watch tv, play video games, so of vacations while wishing they had more time to pursue their dreams. Both individuals have the same 24 hours.

Albert Einstein said that time is relative. Curious, I looked up his theory. Though it’s too complicated for me to fully grasp, it did motivate me to play with time a bit. I call it “bending time” because there is no rhyme or reason to me for how it actually works. I originally experimented while driving. When I was running late, caught in traffic, and knew I could not speed or get there on time, I would relax fully and commit to bending time. As I felt my anxiety rise about being late, I’d take a deep breath, relax and say, “I am bending time. Everything will be okay.” In every incident I have done this, it has always worked. I always arrive on time. Always. I have used it when I have a full to-do list. It works there, too.

There is always time for what is important. Always. Getting courageously honest with yourself about how you want to feel in your life, making that a priority and taking inspired action is a game changer. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve.

Start now. Take action. Leave a comment below that you’re committed to being present and dropping time as an excuse.