SomaNews – May 2010

Time — How Do You Use It?

One of the most perplexing situations people speak about is “not having enough time.” I feel it is not about having enough time; it is what you do with your time.

I wrote the following while struggling with time and wanting to be able to control the sweeping hands of the clock that ticks away my life.


The watchtower of my soul rings out with giant clangs as a reminder of the precious commodity of time. When I THINK of time it speeds up; when I FEEL time it slows down. It is a going-away and a coming-to, and life is made up of those seconds that become minutes that become hours that become...

Right now I have a pocketful of time, and yet I sit and let the coins run through the holes in my pockets. I commit and recommit and time keeps moving toward me like the headlights of an oncoming car. I see it coming in the distance and then it gets very bright, and the next second it is gone, with just the tinge of red lights glowing in the rear-view mirror of my life.

I pick up my time shovel and scoop up the minutes and try to hold on to them by putting them away tightly in the small round piece I wear on my wrist. That doesn’t work. They keep disappearing like a magic trick, and I have lost them again. Another day goes by trying to figure out how to hold on to them.

So I decide I will swim in the ocean of my time — all the millions of minutes left and more. I will backstroke my way through the waves. I will dive into the foam and revel in the minutes of my life.


Time has been human-made by watches, by calendars. Many years ago, time was judged by the light and dark, just that. Seasons were seen as warm, hot, cold or wet. We make time what it is. Look at what are your priorities and decide how you want to “spend” your time, looking at your watch or gazing into the heavens.

Are you willing to take time now to try this practice?

Quick Somatic Practice

Sit comfortably and look at a clock with a second hand. Take a deep breath and sense what is happening with your body as the hands of the clock move, slicing another day into minutes and hours. Do you automatically move into your head and begin to wonder how you could be spending this time differently? Does your chest tighten, or your breath get shallow?

Imagine the hand of the clock slowing down. Let your body slow down and drop deeper into the chair. Feel your “sit” bones in the chair — those deep bones in your body that allow you just to sit. Take another deep breath and draw upon your length — connecting with the sky and the earth — remembering when time was not held so tightly in that small little device on your wrist. Open your chest and connect with the present moment — just this moment, no other one.

We all have the same amount of time. How do you spend yours? Do you take time for yourself? Do you give all your time away to others?

Now come back into this moment. How will you spend the rest of today?

Thank you for spending this time with me.

"But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day."

— Benjamin Disraeli