Change Your Perspective By Playing With Time
Recently, I’ve developed a different approach to managing my own expectations and feelings of attachment & anticipation. I’ve looked at other related & supporting techniques, like belief in abundance & self-worth and I continue to receive great value from these approaches. This new approach is more of an attempt to look at things from a different perspective. I’ve found it quite handy and it honestly feels like play the more that I practice it.
As kids, we often couldn’t wait for our birthdays or Christmas or other big events. We would wait in anticipation and then dive deep into the experience to make the most of the event. When we realized our time was coming to an end, we would sometimes fight tooth & nail to avoid having the wonderful experience come to an end. It’s funny how these behaviors sometimes don’t change as we grow older.
There are times in my past where the anticipation of an event would preoccupy my thoughts to the point where it would overshadow my enjoyment of the experience and would then cause me to feel as though I needed to cling & hold onto the experience to avoid feeling loss once it was over. Taking a step back, I’ve noticed how my anticipation and experience of the event showed me how fluid the concept of “time” can be.
So my new “play practice” to help me be present and “in the moment” involves consciously looking at Time at different scales when I know that I have an upcoming experience. If I know that I will be enjoying a lovely tea conversation with my teacher & mentor later in the week, my new frame becomes the understanding that I will be seeing her “this week” instead of “in 4 days”. This reframing helps me to collapse the scale of the “future” into something that feels more connected to my present experience. I do this on other time scales as well. Knowing that I’ll be traveling “this month”, “this spring” or “this year” helps me reduce my feelings of anticipation, enjoy my present moment and not be distracted by events that are not imminent or under any conception of “control”.
This also works for events that I have experienced in my past to avoid that feeling of nostalgia that can keep us from moving forward. Knowing that I had that wonderful experience “this year” keeps it close to my present experience so that I can still learn from it, but not hold onto it in a way that prevents me from growing.
I also use this technique with events that trigger me or those that I might not be looking forward to. I will still dig down into those triggers in order to understand my motivation & needs. I will also understand that it is not a fear of the event or the people involved; it’s likely a fear that I can’t handle the outcome. Playing with my time perspective also helps me avoid the overgeneralization or overemphasizing of the event – making “a mountain out of a molehill”. It helps me to be more objective and reflect on all the changes that happen in other people’s lives, in the world, in the galaxy & beyond in that same time period. That gives me some humility & perspective on the perception of my own experiences. It refocuses me into a mindset that no matter what, this will be an experience that I will learn & grow from.
In a sense, this kind of playing with time is really about being present and acknowledging that the current moment is what is real instead of focusing on the past or future. It’s become a way of exercising some mental agility and to help me reframe my experiences. It has also reduced my sense of expectation and anticipation into something that feels more balanced – I don’t over-amplify my expectations where they would distract me from my present, and I don’t hold on to past events so that I can continue to grow. It has also made me feel more connected to the existence around me which operates on time-scales that can boggle the mind. In a way, it has given me small opportunities to experience timelessness in a world we’ve made that’s ruled by time.
Thank you for the time you’ve taken to read this article. I hope that it helps you in some way.
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