I used to think of time as a clock that measured day and night. The devices needed to be wound each morning or they stopped measuring time, even though the sun continued to rise and set.
As a child, summer ended quickly. Working math assignments on the floor in front of the rest of the class as a reprimand for talking went on forever. When my father taught me how to make a Mobius strip from a long narrow rectangle of paper, read me articles from his Scientific American magazine, and mentioned the words bending and stretching time, my conscious fascination with time grew. Apparently time and space have a relationship.
Space existed for me in the sky. Clouds forming varying shapes as they rolled across the landscape, moved by winds I could not see. Bright twinkling lights overhead in the darkness of night, close enough to see and really so far from me I could not comprehend the distance.
Today when I take one minute to pause and consider the clouds, childhood memories surface of relaxed summer days and nights lying in the grass staring up at the sky. I live in a different place on the earth, in a different time, and yet feel the same wonder. Maybe space and place have a relationship linked by memories in my mind.
My relationship with time is complicated.
When I began to write about Minute Mentastics, one minute was the amount of time my mind would agree to be still, the amount of time my mind would step aside and allow attention to be focused on my breath. From that beginning I have recovered the ability to walk with awareness, recall the feeling of breathing through difficulty, and establish a better working relationship between my body and my mind. And I can sustain these activities for much longer than one minute.
There is nothing magical about a one-minute time for Mentastics. I encourage you to explore your own relationship with time.
- Start with one minute and notice if it might take longer for your mind to agree to step aside while you focus your attention on your physical movement, a sensation, a smell, a sound.
- Start with one minute and notice how much time it takes your body to become fully aware of tension, fatigue?
- What happens for you when you spend one minute of focused attention to your physical movement, a sensation, a smell, a sound?
- What happens, or has happened, after a week of spending one minute each day in focused awareness?
- Maybe consider writing down your observations or thoughts and see what happens after a month.