I was talking with my soon to be four year old daughter the other day. She said “Dad, if I blink my eyes, then it’ s nighttime.” Out of the mouths of babes…I said “Yes sweetheart, in the blink of an eye, it’s next week, then next month, then next year..”
Now, people live from day to day
But they do not count the time you know
They don’t see their days slipping by
And neither do I
When I was a child, the days were long, and it seemed like forever until Halloween, or Christmas or my birthday. Now, one day runs into the next, one week becomes the next and on and on. I used to work with a guy, who, in the middle of summer, would say, “Christmas is almost here” He was only half kidding. What is the biggest difference between the long, slow days of childhood and the rapid fire pace of life now? I think it was that we counted the days as kids. We didn’t need to make each day count, it just did. And then one day, all of a sudden, there was “stuff that needed to get done.” And only so much time to do it in.
I start each hypnosis session with a client by having having them breathe. In and out. I have them notice each breath, and this creates relaxation. Counting the breath, like counting the days, slow things down.
The most powerful practice I have in my life is to take time to myself to be with my life. What does this have to do with hypnosis? Well, it is possible to become hypnotized by the routine. Like a hamster on a wheel, it’s just what many of us do. Get up, work, come home, go to sleep, get up, work, come home, go to sleep, a seemingly endless cycle of activity. Throw in a few vacations here and there.
To break out of that hypnosis we must step out of the stream of our life. For me, that looks like getting up a little earlier in the morning when it is quiet. For you, it may be going to bed a little bit later. Why? What for?
To read, maybe. Not the paper, or a novel, but something that inspires you or challenges you. Or to meditate, just sitting, counting the breath. Maybe to just sit and welcome another morning, or at night, to say goodbye to another day. Perhaps to examine your life, your goals, what is it that is meaningful to you. To just drink some tea, or a cup of coffee. To consider: Who are you really? A job? A role? An activity? No, you are something much more. Take time to get to know what that is, or to re-mind yourself. Pray.
You may say that you hate to get up early. OK. But you have to get up sooner or later, yes? Get up a little sooner. Or go to bed a little later. If I don’t do this, then I really don’t have a life, I have a schedule, mostly. But it’s not easy to do. It feels like slacking. But it’s not. It is one of the most important things you can ever do. Is to be. With. You.
Did you know that many people cannot be alone because they don’t like being with themselves? If that is the case, wouldn’t you want to know that? Could you handle that insight?
How can I explain or relate the power of being present to your life by just stopping the continuous activity? I can’t. What I can do is suggest: take time to be with yourself. Alone. When it is quiet, before the day takes off, like a ball from a cannon. Or in the evening, after the tv’s are off and computers shut down and kids are in bed. Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Take time to look, listen, and feel. What comes up? You may be surprised.