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Photo of a woman holding an hourglass next to her face. Text reads, “Time. March 27, 2022.”

Time

Time is this strange thing that can really stress me out! Everyone in America can probably relate to this, especially if you have or work with children. I find myself rushing, yet am almost always on time or early. The root of the stress is based on fear of something that isn’t really that scary. 

The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle talks about the illusion of time. How time really is a made-up thing that controls how we move throughout the day and takes us away from the present moment. And we train our children to be scared of time and leave the present all the time. 

We rely on time as a culture, so how do we find a balance between managing time and staying present? 

Time 

Okay, so we know that we need time to maintain order. And we also know that being present helps us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Presence helps us feel better, more connected, it supports our relationships and being able to listen to one another (Activity Kits for Resilience), it helps our nervous systems slow down. And our clocks consistently remind us to leave the present and move on to the next thing. 

Children (that was all of us at one point) are present in all that they do. We can learn from this. The benefits are clear, they are emotionally resilient, they easily connect with others, they don’t live in fear, they express joy even in stressful situations. 

A few weeks ago I learned about the negative impacts daylight savings has on our health. This is because we live in a world where time dictates how we live, rather than tuning into the environmental changes on our own.

Think about when you are on vacation and you are less in tune with the clock and more in tune with the sun and your body. We rely on these natural cues to tell us when to wake and sleep, when to eat, play, and rest. It’s wonderful! Let’s translate some of these practices into daily life and see if the wonderful feelings we get from vacation can also carry over.     

Okay, so how do we find the balance? Let’s practice noting the time pressure and see if you can prioritize connection over the clock. We can be present and connected to what we are doing, let go of the stress, and usually get to where we need to be on time and with less stress. 

This week, practice noticing the pressure of time. When you notice, think about the worst-case scenario and see if it eases the stress and helps you feel more connected to the present. 

 


 

This week’s practice: 

  1. Notice when you are stressed about time and consider the worst-case scenario if you are late. 
  2. Try to feel more connected to the present situation and what you are doing, letting go of your thoughts that are CREATING stress. 
  3. See if letting go of the time pressure and stress it causes, helps you feel better AND still be relatively on time. 
In the classroom & at home: 
  1. Prioritize connection and eye contact over the pressures of the clock. 
  2. If you are struggling to transition your students/children, make eye contact and give them 30 seconds of connection around what THEY are doing. Connect to their present moment activity. THEN give them your message and steps to make the transition. 

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