The other day it really struck me, as I rushed to gobble my lunch during my precious 30-minute break, how much we're slaves to the clock. Wake up when the clock says this, leave the house when the clock says that, exercise until the clock reads this, get to bed by the time the clock says that. It's exhausting!
We have extremely intelligent internal rhythms that know exactly what to do and when to do it. But we exist in a modern time that's pretty impressively dedicated to shutting off the need for those internal rhythms. I mean, we have iPhone apps for sleep and fertility now!
Did you know that back before electricity and the heavy reliance on light and time spent indoors, women's cycles were naturally synced to the moon? Many people's still are. Time spent in nature, away from the need to be tied to the clock (or phone, for that matter, since so many of us use ours as a watch), in a clear and free mental space is absolutely medicinal and necessary. And it's something most of us have very little, if any, time for in the lives we lead.
So how do we dissociate from the clock when we exist in a society that's utterly dependent on it?
1. Connect with the breath.
My yoga, meditation and pranayama practices do this for me. They help me to disconnect from time and society and get deeply in touch with my own body. I think coming into the body, the breath and the senses is the best antidote for time-related stress.
2. Boycott the clock when you can.
Leave your phone at home when you go for a walk. Choose to not "clock watch" if you don't need to. Just be present doing whatever it is you're doing, even if it's a boring task – be there. Boycott timepieces when on vacation; if you're in an environment where you can rise, eat, play and sleep according to your divine body clock, do it. Choose to eat, sleep and exercise based on how you feel rather than what time it is (as often as you can).
3. Engage in childlike activity.
For me, that's hoop dance. Hula hooping, if you will. Activity that I spend so immersed in joy that the time on a clock is the furthest thing from my mind. Find activities that make you feel this way and try to incorporate at least one a day, even if only for a short burst of time. If you're trying this out, you won't know how long it was anyway.
Sometimes clocks and alarms are necessary, and sometimes they're not. They play a huge role in how intelligently our society is able to operate.
But they're also a huge burden on mankind because we're creatures of habit who have a very difficult time stepping away from technology and time managing when we actually have the opportunity. Be conscious of it; tap into your body's natural ability to keep time. Do a little less clock watching and a little more breathing with your eyes closed. Worry a little less about time and watch a lot more space free up for intuitive behavior. Take away the power of the timepiece on the wall, which was set by human hands, and strengthen the natural rhythms of your beautiful body's articulate internal clock.