“Do you remember when we…?” I love being able to start a sentence—a question—like this with someone important to me. Because, how we spend our time is valuable.
Memories bring reflection on who we were then, to who we are now. Reminding us of our impermanence. And how much things can change, with time.
Memories of the past, are stories we tell ourselves. And these stories are important. Sometimes we long for certain places and moments, reminding us of a certain naiveté. And the certain mental snapshots we took, that we hoped would last forever.
Memories tell us of how we use time. In this article, I want to focus on time. Why is time the most valuable commodity? How do we make time on “our side”?
And what can you do today, to live your life more timelessly.
I’ll begin by stating, time is the most valuable gift you can give to another…as well as yourself.
What do I mean by this? Compared to money, you can always make money back. But time is something you cannot buy, nor can you ask for a refund or exchange.
How you spend your time—on what and on who—will be incredibly important for you to always be mindful of.
But What Does Spending Time Look Like?
Being fully present. You’ll hear me say this a lot, but being present is how we fully commit to time spent.
How many of you spend time with others, who at every opportunity, look at their phones? Casually browsing through social media and not really present? Their body is with you, but their mind is far elsewhere. Some of you know them as family members, significant others, etc.
While it may seem like common happenstance and everyone does it, remember: just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right.
We don’t remember moments simply for catching pictures or videos on our phones. In fact, some of our most significant and memorable moments happen when a camera/smartphone isn’t in our hands.
We remember moments because of our senses being hyper-aware of the present. Memories are deeply imprinted, because of the feelings we have associated to that memory.
Why Does This Matter?
To live a fulfilled life, you need fulfillment…which is a very deep feeling. Therefore, re-read the last sentence in the paragraph above.
You know those moments where we are talking to our closest friend until 3 AM in the morning? Or the moments where we feel deeply heard and validated?
A picture or video captured on a smartphone could not capture the deep complexities of that.
It matters because, when you reach the end of your life, you owe it to yourself to feel fulfilled. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.
Give Yourself Time
Are you able to be with yourself? Especially, alone with how your individual mind works?
All of our minds work differently. And you find, all of us have varying degrees of negative self-talk—some stronger than others.
Many times, this is a result of what others have placed in our minds, from a past long ago.
It’s easy to find people who were taught to feel specific ways about themselves through someone else’s judgment and opinion. And build an entire life based on this conditioning.
I’m willing to bet you know someone personally who has. It could even be you. And if so, I want to say this: It’s okay. You. Are. Not. Alone.
Give yourself time. To have moments alone to work on yourself. To honor yourself, and make changes in habits or patterned choices that don’t serve you.
Be patient with yourself. Patience = every second spent is worth it.
Give Your Time to Others
I mentioned at the beginning of this article, that your time given, is the greatest gift you can give to another.
But it’s not about physically showing up…then allowing your attention to wander (usually to one’s phone). It’s about spending time with someone and forgetting to check your phone.
I’m willing to bet, it feels really good when you are listened to and heard right? Well, others appreciate it too. In your arsenal should always be active listening, having patience, and gratitude for another sharing their time and themselves with you.
It could be on a hike. It could be shopping. It could be doing any activity, and it’s not about the length of time spent, but qualitative. How much you could allow another to open themselves up, and be free in the moment, with you.
“You die twice in life, the first is physically. The second is when the last person who knows you, passes.”
I obsess over this quote. It speaks to the fact, that our memories are a lasting impression of us. Maybe this is why ancient civilizations, like the Ancient Egyptians, were so fascinated with preparation for the afterlife. And erecting ornate statues, temples, and pyramids that would last the test of time.
To be, remembered. Because things lose their effect and power when forgotten.
I like to use this quote to be mindful of how I am remembered, especially with my closest people. It reminds me to give myself fully to the present moment. To give my attention fully, trying to grasp every detail of the moment.
People do come and go in our lives—some stay longer than others. But they all leave with a memory of us. Be empowered to leave behind excellent, authentic, and sincere memories. We can only do so, by being mindfully present.
I think sometimes this can be very scary for some. Because being present, is also being vulnerable. Allowing ourselves to be open, to whatever might be said, and done with another. And courageously facing who we are: as a friend, as a partner, as a family member, as a confidant, etc.
I want to know, how do you want to be remembered?
I’ve once heard time is a construct of the mind, to help our perception organize the unfolding of events. And that humans are the only beings in the universe who can construct the concept of time.
We split up and categorize time as past, present, and future. You may be aware of the iconic book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle (https://amzn.to/35AVu2D)*.
If you haven’t read it, please do. One interesting concept I love is that the only thing which exists is “now”. “Now” is where we pull in the anxieties of the past, and worries of the future. But rarely are able people to fully be present and appreciate the magic of, now.
This is why practices like meditation are so useful—it helps you go deeper into the present.
We Can’t Live Forever, But We Can Live Forever In the Moment
Being present achieves our ability to free ourselves from the past and the future. Every time we exhale, we exhale a moment into the past. Forever, that past will remain there.
You will never be as young, as you are today. And while we cannot do anything to escape the inevitable, we have the extreme power to really find gratitude in the present moment.
One day, your hair may grey. Your skin may one day show weathered patterns and wrinkles. But instead of being afraid, and avoiding this, embrace who you are and where you are—now—it’s how you will find your inner peace.
Or as the Buddha had once explained, your nirvana.
Because Peace & Happiness is Right Here, Right Now
All we ever need, all who we will ever become, is deep within you. Dormant. Awaiting for the conduit, which will bring forth to the surface, your experience of whatever it is you seek.
The only thing we exist as is unlocked potential and possibilities. Remember that. It’s your most timeless feature: all that which is in you.
We’ll go more into depth in future posts. I appreciate you reading until the end. Thank you for joining me today.
Stay well & with peace,
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