11 Jun Eternity in a Gust of Wind
WHAT IF IT’S SENTIENT — this Earth — every wave, every stone, every tree and every cloud?
Perhaps these forces aren’t like us.
But they’re alive — they feel what we feel and acknowledge what we do. To them, night and day mean nothing but a change in perspective. To them, time is not linear.
These forces of nature spend their time observing, watching, waiting in love. They want to feel our connection, play more, and see ourselves in one another and all things. They want us to realize that we’re here for a reason.
They may send a message telling us so in a gentle gust of wind.
A sign of something more, the potential energy we may tap into — energy yet explored. Perhaps time isn’t what we think it is. The natural energy of the world wants us to live, truly live.
To live doesn’t always mean to do.
Perhaps to live means enjoying the motions of life, non-linear, like them. They want us to experience the joy of a sunny day that gives way to rain. Not as an unwanted change in the weather, but a change in perspective where everything looks different.As our perspective changes, so does our reality.
They want us to experience eternity, transcendence, life — unlike we know it now.
Without the ticking of time, without the belief that there is an end, that we must fill our time with things instead of what can’t be grasped, we may experience transcendent life on Earth.
Eternity exists in the subtlest connections and the moments of stillness. Listen for the sound of silence. Watch for it in a falling leaf; experience eternity in a gentle gust of wind.
The way is calm and wide,
Not easy, not difficult.
But small minds get lost.
Hurrying, they fall behind.
— Seng Can
When our perspective of time changes, so does our reality. Yet, to slow down and take a moment to reflect goes against our current paradigm, where we’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next without a moment to stop and look around.
I fall into this mentality often — there’s only so many minutes in the day, and it feels like every second must be productive.
I believe there’s a better way to do what we need to do while actually enjoying every day without merely going through the motions.
Are we on this Earth to get things done, or are we here to enjoy our time?
Last week on a trip to the American Southwest, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I’m interacting with people, my environment, and the planet.
I thought a lot about how I’m spending my time.
There’s something mystical about the Southwest. Early mornings wandering the pine forests nourished my spirit; afternoons gazing out upon the vast red desert set against the cobalt blue sky provided an inspiring place to think.
I felt time fade away while watching clouds form in the distance over the multicolored peaks, their colors emanating, shining, as the spirit of the Earth.
In the forming clouds, the sailing birds, and the light piercing through cracks of the forest, the world was telling me something:
Slow down and bring awareness to your environment. Recognize how it makes you feel. This time is important.
In these moments of not-doing, in these serene hours of stillness, we’re able to reflect. No distractions but the life within us stirring, trying to break free. No distractions but the sounds of the world speaking.
In constant doing, we seldom have the time to evaluate if we’re living the life we’re born to live. In stopping to listen to ourselves, we consider what time means to us: every breath we take has a purpose.
I realize we can’t spend every waking hour gazing out across a peaceful desert. So how do we bring this stillness into our everyday lives? We must evaluate if we need more time away from what we know.
We have a weekly routine. If we’re merely going through the motions, we’ll act the way we’ve always acted, producing the same results, the same way of thinking, the same anxiety, worry, and stress if that’s what we feel.
If we’re feeling anxious, then doing the same things and distracting ourselves won’t produce any change.
Try varying your environment by finding a place and a time to be still throughout the day, free from distractions. Ask yourself what you’re truly feeling. In our modern-culture, we feel that we’re wasting time if we’re not doing anything.
This season, as we shift from one story and turn the page into a new one, is an opportunity to ask ourselves what “wasting time” really means. I still tangle with the idea that if I go on a walk without listening to something, be it a podcast or audiobook, I’m not using that time effectively.
But then one day I realized that spending the early morning walking and listening to the birds chirping and the subtle sounds of the Earth moving actually allowed me to think.
The sounds of silence calmed me, inspired me, and eased feelings of anxiety or worry I may have felt. What I previously considered wasting time, with a change of perspective, became the most useful part of the day.
We’re constantly trying to move, accomplish, and move onto the next thing — if we’re not filling every moment then it’s a second wasted. Perhaps it’s the opposite.
Maybe wasting time is filling every second with doing just to do, when all we need is space and a moment to breathe to have a real breakthrough.
All we need is a moment to breathe to enjoy this gift we’ve been given, our breath.
There will always be more to do, yet by constantly doing just to fill the void, we lose sight of why we’re here in the first place. I believe we’re here to experience the joys, the love, the peace of our existence.
There’s certainly joy and meaning to be found in doing — but it’s from doing what’s worthwhile. I believe we’re here to learn about ourselves and one another, not by constantly looking to the next thing, but by taking a step back to look around.
When we stop, we’re taking a chance, a chance to ask what would make our existence truly worth it.
What would your ideal life look like if you could start living it right now? Would you spend more time with the people you love? Would you spend more time laughing, reading, creating the art you were born to create, or just looking up at the stars?
We distract ourselves because if we’re busy enough, we won’t have to face these questions. We let ourselves off the hook from ever starting on a dream because we’re “too busy.”
There’s more to life than simply enduring. In the silence, there’s no sound to drown out our inner voice nor the spirit of the planet which nudges us towards our true destiny.
Each of us has been put on this planet to share a gift. Right now the world is in between stories; it’s a mysterious time, as nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow or next month, and definitely not in a year.
Instead of filling the mysterious void with doing, with noise, with the longing to get back to “normal,” let’s step into the mysterious stillness.
Let’s look within and to the stars for the answers. It’s okay if they don’t come at first. But the more we ask, the clearer our purpose will become. The universe notices when we ask, when we question, when we look to it for answers.
This world is sentient — it wants to help us. It wants us to connect, to grow, to find joy again. When we do, days will move slow, yet every second will fall away not as a second wasted, but as a second fully lived.
And when the wind blows to make us feel alive, we’ll see that perhaps we had time wrong all along. We’ve always had the time to do what matters — we just have to decide what that is.