By Shawna Rodgers
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
In our speed-driven, results-oriented society, we want our success and we want it now! It is easy to put goals in mind and want them to be delivered to us IMMEDIATELY. We have fast food, instant Internet access, and transportation that cuts travel time down past the point of our own comprehension. We can travel across the globe in the same amount of time it took our ancestors to travel several miles.
Months go by wherein we are stuck in a routine, thinking that we are making “progress” for the sake of progress. Once given a minute to sit and really be in the moment, however, we are baffled by the amount of time that we lost, in such a hurried state of affairs. We are almost uncomfortable with this quiet time, it gives many of us anxiety. We’ve forgotten how to function without forward movement. We reminisce with our loved ones and friends, “Where has the time gone?” The time hasn’t gone anywhere, rather, you have.
You ultimately sleepwalked through several months, even years in some cases, allowing your thoughts and plans and frontal lobes to distract you from the moment to grow. You expended all your energy into “moving forward,” but the problem is that you were never actually in a moment from which to move! We wonder why things don’t happen they way we’ve planned. We complain that our life isn’t progressing according to our calendars and clocks.
Allow me to remind you of a sobering fact. “Time” wasn’t even really invented or had any widespread use until the Industrial Revolution, when the train and the assembly line rearranged the human brain into a much more hyperactive and results-driven organism. We became slaves to the system, literally. Our brains were rewired and every so often, we found ourselves sad or tired or lost, looking back on our lives and asking, “Is this it?”
There is so much more to life than the daily “to-do” lists we make. There is more than the miles you have to drive to work or the hours you have to be on your feet whilst there. Stop measuring things. Stop thinking, only for a moment. Allow yourself to just be there, in that moment, because that is all that exists. That is how life unfolds to us, in moments. But what about the future? It isn’t real. If you can’t take a picture of it, it is all imaginary, made up inside your head.
I sit here on the couch next to my dog, acutely aware of my upcoming shift at work and how many minutes I have left to write what I need to write. Those thoughts distract me from the moment. They take me away from just being here, listening to the wind roar through the trees of my backward, hearing the sound of the water running through the old pipes that line the hardwood floors of my house. They take me away from my breathing, my living. They attempt to distract me from the hummingbird I can see outside my window, whose spirit reminds me to only take in the sweet nectar of life and leave the rest for the crows. They stop me from being one with the world around me, and that is the most dangerous thing I could ever fathom.
Imagine a population of humanoids that were living and acting and moving, and allowing their minds to be completely distracted by something else during the activity (health, finances, numbers, time). They would be like a bunch of robots on autopilot. What if, in such a fragile place, somebody who was much more powerful and aware of their vulnerability took advantage of them, and force-fed their minds ideas that weren’t even theirs to begin with? Every so often, the humanoids would pause and think that something was inherently wrong, but they would go about their daily business as usual, brushing off their TRUE thoughts as trivial. What if this is happening to you right now?
This is why people stress the importance of disconnecting, going out into nature, because it allows us time away from any sort of brain-distraction. It gives us the freedom that our ancestors had in abundance before any sort of “advancement” was put into societal play.
If you’ve got goals and you’re wondering why they haven’t come to fruition yet, cut yourself some slack. Life will play out exactly as it’s meant to if you are living with an honest heart, and time is what prevents all those beautiful moments from happening at once.
Let’s talk transcendentalism!
Updated October 2014
About the author:
Shawna Marie Rodgers is a Northern California native with an eagerness to unearth the truth in a world wrought with misinformation. She developed a keen interest in physiology while studying Literature in college, and has been spirituality influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, 19th-century Transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the philosopher Alan Watts. These works and writers have laid the foundation for her exploration of the discipline of yoga, the science of nutrition, and the metaphysical human experience. Shawna is extremely grateful for any exposure her writing receives.