Giving ourselves time

Every week I meditate to find out what I need to be writing about in my blog. Inevitably it’s never what I think it should be but this week I was really surprised by the topic: Time.  

Part of the cover for my book A Tree in Time-artwork by Harry J Davies.

‘What has Time to do with sustainability?’  I felt myself ask.  Then the ideas started to come into my head. 

View on my daily dog walk

Covid-19 has given many people space and time to think, to be with their families, to walk in nature, to appreciate nature, to connect with others in their community, to be kind and to think of others who were worse off or in more desperate situations. I’m aware that there are parts of the population who didn’t have this luxury-keyworkers, people working from home and people looking after children in all manner of circumstances. However, it has been a time for the general populous to stop.

As I rolled the idea of Time around my head, I began to realise that stopping and having time is the key to sustainable living.  When we are rushing around and short of time we tend to be more careless about the environment. At home I recycle, re-use, do what I can to think of the consequences of my actions. At work, I’m under pressure to get things done, time is precious and so corners get cut. I haven’t time to rinse out the plastic hummus container to take home and recycle, so it goes in the bin. In a rush, I press the wrong button and end up printing more than I wanted, so loads of pristine paper ends up in the recycling without even being used. The list goes on…I feel terrible but the pressure of time overrides the need to do things how I normally would. I’m sure I’m  not alone in this.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve had more time to listen to other people and properly converse rather than a quick greeting in passing. How does this contribute to sustainable living you may ask?  Well by building closer bonds of understanding with people in my community it can only be positive. If people feel more valued they have more self -respect and very often this results in them taking more care of what is around them. Making time for each other contributes to better mental health for everyone-we all need to feel valued and appreciated. This has a knock-on effect in the community. The more we give the more it grows and passes on and grows even more. Think of how a smile from a passing stranger can change your perspective on the day and encourage you to smile at someone else.

Photo by Parij Borgohain on Unsplash

It’s not just strangers, these last few months I’ve noticed we’ve all had more time for each other in our family. In normal life we’re so busy running here there and everywhere that we forget the importance of sitting and being with the people we love the most.

I’ve just read a fabulous book by Kate Humble, that my lovely sister-in -law, Heather , sent me for a lockdown read. It’s all about walking and how it calms the mind, settles the emotions and sorts all sorts of things out. It’s full of brilliant descriptions of the places she walks, picking out the tiny detail so you feel you are there with her. The book reminded me that time to walk in nature is so valuable in clarifying thoughts and giving inspiration. Whenever I’m stuck with my writing, I walk the dog and inevitably inspiration filters through.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if all politicians did that? Instead of jumping from one crisis to another and thinking on their feet, making rash decisions that affect millions of lives, why can’t they all start the day in parliament with a quiet meditative hour? It could be a walking in the park meditation or a sitting somewhere meditation. The only stipulation being they were not to be interrupted by phone or messages, they can’t talk to anyone else, they have to focus on a problem that needs solving and then see what ideas come into their head. They may come up with all sorts of wild and wonderful solutions but they will be creative and out of the box and will have had time given to them. Too many important decisions are made ‘on the back of a fag packet’ with no proper reasoning and understanding.   Combine that with listening to advice from experts in the field and the policies made by government would be very different.  

Covid has given us time to stop and to reconnect with the Source-whatever we call that. Some call it intuition, others God, Allah, Inner knowing, Great Mystery, Great Spirit.. the names are as varied and as different as the people. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we give ourselves the time for quiet reflection and to allow that deeper wisdom to emerge. If we do so then our world will become truly sustainable.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

To finish I’d like to share a beautiful vision that my lovely friend Annabelle had in our Zoom meditation this week. She has given me permission to share it. At the end she saw herself lying in an amazing field where the colours were so vibrant they were beautifully close to unbearable. It came to her that she was in the field of infinite possibilities. Lying on her back, she blew on her hands and created butterflies which went off to heal and transform the earth. She was not alone in this field-there were many others all doing the same. We are in a very special time. We can manifest  great change and it doesn’t have to happen slowly. Look around at the speed with which things have already changed this year. If we don’t like the way things are going, then create a different potential path. The decision is ours-let’s make the right choices and create the planet we all want to live in that is good for all living beings and the Earth herself.

Photo by Brian Mann on Unsplash
« Back to blog page