From the moment we awake to the end of the day, we are constantly employed with the job of living. Depending on how smoothly time flows, our day might go extremely well or it might bump along until we cannot wait to end it, fall into bed!
No matter what our day contains, how we have planned or didn’t plan a given day, and what our attitude is toward the day’s events—time is passing on. We are aging minute to minute:
• heart continually beating,
• gravity pulling on the body,
• the environment exposing us to damaging elements that could affect intricate organ systems and overall health.
We don’t think about these things as we rise from sleep, make breakfast, check email or simply begin the chores and obligations of the day. They vary greatly depending on whether there’s a job to drive to, a train or bus to catch, appointments and deadlines to keep or children to care for.
But in fleeting moments when we separate from life’s busyness and just consider living, Deepak Chopra has some guidelines to help make time a friend. His rules can help soften time’s frantic pace and lessen the negative affects it has on our physical body. It can also help calm the mind that is often fraught with worry and concern. And that’s where I am right now, the news of this election cycle affecting my mood WAY TOO MUCH. I need to remember the gift of each day. Here are some guidelines:
• Rule One: Where the mind goes, the body must follow. If our minds are constantly worrying, then our bodies are constantly being placed under stress. Cortisol runs through the blood stream increasing heart rate in the flight and fight response. We become jumpy and unnerved. Our bodies are following our minds, aging every minute as we stress out, worry and fret. Lesson to Learn: whenever possible eliminate negative thoughts and relax; work to accept the bumps in the day. Breathe!
• Rule Two: Memory freezes time and makes us relive toxic experience. This is a hard rule to follow, because humans love to hold on to things. With two fists clenched and with a mind set in a firm pattern, we go back to things that are finished, things that happened days, months, years ago. We call up hurts, regrets, betrayals, things that mar the calmness of the present. It’s like taking a beautiful beach scene and wanting a tsunami to occur. All the toxic feelings associated with that event come roaring back. Where there might have been stress-free healthy living, now we are experiencing those very same illness-producing feelings from the past. Lesson to Learn: to fight aging, live in the present and let the past go. Breathe!
• Rule Three: Aging is rooted in stuckness. Linked to Rule Two, this one reminds us that bad experiences leave chemical residue in our cells. Dwelling on divorce, job-loss, a friend’s betrayal allows the flight and fight experience and the cascade of negative chemicals to reoccur, circulating through our bodies. The heart races, anger rises shutting out pleasant experience. Stop this cascade of responses. Breathe, think uplifting thoughts, cultivate relaxation. This clears negative chemicals from organ systems. We will get unstuck, our minds focussing on the good things happening in life. Lesson to Learn: breathe out tension when stuck. Embrace the present. That’s staying young.
• Rule Four: A river never ages. Like flowing rivers, embrace change. In order to stay young, mind and body must accept change. The direction of the change is our choice—are we going to move forward or backward? Are we embracing newness in life as we hear the news or deal with a bank balance; or are we dragging ourselves back into stuckness—angry about what is happening in the world when truly some things are hard to change or worrying about bills when maybe some budget changes can help. We can turn off the news; have a family meeting about spending. These are forward ways to handle concerns. It’s up to us. Lesson to Learn: Creativity brings change; be creative in daily life and let change bring exciting challenges.
• Rule Five: Beyond time, the experience of youth can be eternal. Chopra conjectures that someone once said: an ageless body depends on a timeless mind. What is timeless in you? Your soul, your consciousness, your mind freed from memory during meditation? Yes! We need to free ourselves. Immortality is that timeless part of us that we’ll find through meditation. Chopra says meditation and letting go will allow the mind to find truth. And truth is beyond the confines of time. Lesson to Learn: Stop the dirty dishwasher of thoughts. Focus on breathing and find the truth buried within.
Time is a precious commodity. Each morning I will continue to select something I truly want to do during that day–like write this post–and make sure I do it. Time can steal away life before we paint that picture, walk in that garden, tell someone we love them or that we are sorry for something we said. Make Time Your Friend every day. I know I need to truly work on this.
PS MY ERROR: For those of you looking for my piece on HEARING and HEARING AIDS, it was a guest post that I inadvertently published here. It will appear here later this season. My apologies. I would send you to the blog where is appears, but it has not been posted yet.
Photo Credit:as-the-clock-ticked-altered jpeg.