Time is relative. It flows slower or it flows faster for every single one of us. It never flows at the same rate for everybody. Einstein proved that. Which means a better question you can ask your partner or friend at the end of the day shouldn’t be “How was your day?”, but rather “How long was your day?”
Determining how long was your day can actually tell you a lot about your level of wellbeing. This idea of how fast you feel like the day has passed for you came to me on a Thursday night. Which just happened to be the last day of January 2019. It was a busy day for me. Phone calls, booking flights and hotels, writing content upon content. Translations, lunch, commute, more work. Treadmill, shower, another 30 minutes of calls. Dinner, reading and then suddenly realising the entire month had gone by.
My day should be seen as a long one by many of you. It probably is that way. But for me, it passed in a blink of an eye. This happens to your mind just when the mind, even if not always rested, has an overall sense of calm and ease. When your mind is troubled by thoughts and emotions, you’ll notice time will start to slow down around you. That’s the first sign of a troublesome mind. Minutes start feeling like hours. Hours feel like whole days. A day feels as long as three. And so on.
A long day, a restless mind
When the mind is pleasant, or again, when you consciously work towards a peaceful mind, time flows at a greater rate. Even a full day might just seem like an hour or so. This is how this Thursday was for me. It’s 7 in the afternoon and I’m like “How is it not just 1 or 2 at noon?” This is because I am constantly working with my mind, with my thoughts and ideas, towards them being at ease with myself. It’s hard to explain. It’s like you’re on a shore and you see dozens upon dozens of ships passing by. Imagine swimming into the water and trying to stop those ships. You’d die in a few minutes.
If you instead do the opposite, just sit there and observe those ships, you’ll never have to worry for a minute about them. Ships are ships, just like thoughts are thoughts. They can’t hurt you on water if you don’t sit in front of them. Just like thoughts can’t do any harm to you if you don’t stand in their way. Let them come, and then go. Thoughts don’t last forever. Sure, it might seem like a thought refuses to exit your mind. But that’s just because, just like with an achy tooth you’re constantly touching with your tongue, you keep interacting with it.
The right way of dealing with these types of thoughts, that make days feel like months, is by accepting them entirely. Without judgement. No good thoughts. No bad thoughts. No depressing thoughts. No recurring thoughts. Just thoughts. Your thoughts. Expand your acceptance, and see how your days will fix themselves.
Don’t mingle with thoughts
It’s the most uninspired thing you can do. Just like ships floating on water, so are thoughts floating through the mind, endlessly. You can’t stop them. Trying to stop them is futile. Would you stop a beating heart because you don’t like the sound it makes? Sure you wouldn’t. So is the with the mind and its thoughts.
The problem is, people believe every single thought as being real. Believing every thought is this or that, trying to fix and mingle with each of them, that’s not practical. That’s insane. How long was my day today? It passed like if it were an hour long. I hope I haven’t got you bored with this long post of mine…