Outside of time

As my husband went into his diatribe about “time” this morning, I realised I had heard it all before (usually at this beautiful time of the year, when time feels so intrusive…) and yet, paradoxically, it had never felt more timely.  And where there’s paradox, there’s usually a waving hand of significance…

Perhaps there is something wanting to be noticed in our household from the fact that he feels more time-poor than ever just as I seem to be the least influenced by it of any time (ha!) in my life; or perhaps I am just noticing more because of the contrast. I contemplated this as he demanded to know why is it that, just as we reach lighter and more energised days of Springtime and are starting to feel all slotted back into place, catching up on the our sleep and firing on all cylinders, having only just survived the long-hard slog of February, we are then deliberately thrown back into disarray by the insistence of British Summer Time that it is now an hour later than it was a week ago, thus we must get up at dawn feeling exhausted again. Add to that the time-poor mentality that I watch permeating every aspect of life for those family members who still go “out” into the world and I certainly see his point. He constantly feels like he is borrowing from Peter to give to Paul in the time-management of his weeks; is constantly beset with the weariness of a man on a speeding treadmill…and the same for my school-age daughter.

We set this reality up, didn’t we, as the way to hold ourselves into the system of what was deemed important in an age now on the wane, time-marking the well trodden path from childhood to retirement. At that point (if we even make it that far…) its as though “time”, as we think we know it from all our social conditioning, is abruptly withdrawn from us, like we are no longer entitled to hold a membership card to its club, which sounds great on paper….But having been sold the idea that everything is about time all their lives, many people have come to believe, by their seniority, that they literally can’t live without time’s marching tune and don’t know who they are without its constraints. Many reach their long awaited retirement years only to flounder, like they no longer exist outside of time’s structures or in a world constructed by, and for, busy people; feeling dispossessed or even depressed. Frantically, they strive to recreate their own “terribly important” time structures as though to prove to themselves they still exist; or they just slip away through its cracks as though, without it, they have lost the very will to live, feeding statistics that tell us many people die soon after their long-awaited retirement. My father regimented more time structure into his retirement years than across all the combined years that preceeded them, when this was all done for him by life’s endless responsibilities (rise at 7, vacuum floor at 10, drink coffee at 11, lunch at 12, watch news at 1, quiz program at 4….), becoming the obsessive-compulsive inmate of his own non-negotiable time prison until the day he died. Why do we grip so tightly to it; don’t we all, at some level, realise time doesn’t really exist and that we have an infinite sea of experience waiting for us to claim it on the other side of its confines and, yes, within this lifetime?

To be fair, there are those like my husband who have woken up to that and would love to succumb to its alternate reality…only the weekends and holiday’s simply (oh irony) don’t last long enough. Bring on the gut-churn of stepping between realities come Monday morning, like all the turbulence of crash landing and the same sinking-feeling in the stomach. I am fortunate enough, and I know it, to have done so much to dissolve time structure from my world that I tend to work to Nature’s rhythms more so than to any time piece (and we are down to having just one of those left ticking in our house). Its been, oh, about 8 years since I threw away my last watch and the desire to unstrap from that thing was such a powerful impulse that overcame me long before my wake-up process began in earnest (or, perhaps throwing away the watch was a prerequisite, like unlocking a shackle from my wrist). As my recent post The Rescue Party of Myself stands testimony to, I have been having powerful experiences outside of time all my life yet its mostly been in the last half decade that I have come to notice this….and to give credence to those experiences as much, if not more so, than to those that I have within time.

Perhaps the fact that my other family members now do this too is what makes it doubly hard for them to dive back in to the so called “real” world structures of diaries and schedules; they find it irksome or even life-negating to have to kowtow to the collective madness that there is never enough time to do all we are told we need to do, that the time upon which all things apparently depend is the leaking resources that is somehow always  drizzling away faster than we can gather it for our needs.  It is this mindset that fuels an industrious workforce and has us all living like hamsters on wheels and yet realising the illusion of it does not necessarily provide us with an instant set of keys with which to unlock ourselves from its systems; that remains work in progress. And then time, of course, has speeded up dramatically since 2011; I think many of us have noticed that (and I have Dr Calleman’s work on “The Nine Waves of Creation” to thank for my new grasp of what was already such a visceral thing), which only adds to the frenetic feelings inherent in any attempt to continue pursuing a life in business or close collaboration with others on their own crazy schedules.

My schedule is the schedule of the seasons and the sun rise, the currents of my creative flow and the way synchronistic happenings conspire to direct me this way and that. I am sitting here, a rare thing at this hour, because the new family wake-up disturbance (the clocks having turned forwards) happened to coincide with the rising sun in my dining room…a perfect opportunity for me to tilt my chair to the window and enjoy those first golden rays as I type this. Once my overwrought family have dispersed, the house and my days slip into their own groove paced only by the rhythms of my creative urges or the light and weather inspiring my desire to sling my camera on shoulder and go for a walk, to paint or flip my laptop to create new designs, to write when inspiration strikes (not if it doesn’t), to do some admin, tackle the laundry, attend to my websites or my emails, to bake a loaf of bread, play the piano, do yoga, to stop everything and just read or meditate in a patch of sunlight on the patio, or whatever happens to assert in the most fluid of ways, which is as unpredictable as the winds…yet everything always finds its perfect “time”.  In fact I feel more productive, more razor-sharp, more-joined up and coherent than I ever have, ironically, for allowing this unstructured way of being to have its way and I get a vast amount “done” because I keep myself in my most creative, most inspired flow instead of forcing anything. I have dismantled all but the real necessities of structure from my world so that I can ride this wave of flux, following my muse…since it is onboard this wave that I find the most powerful currents of insight that fuel my “work”. Yet in the midst of what looks like an apparently formless soup, compared to most people’s diaries, I have had experiences that have been the most driven and inspired of  my life, telling me important things about myself across timelines that have super-accelerated my evolution and, yes, my business and personal life in ways that might otherwise have remained missed opportunities. I gave them room to express and their inspiration flickered up in me like a torch flame that would, at best, have been the pin-prick glimmer of a fleeting idea destined to be ignored if I was too busy or self-doubting to give it a hearing in a life more tightly structured.  Which is how we overlook so many of our most inspired ideas and, ironically, our greatest potential to achieve all those very things we chase after within the time-structures that, so often, shut our creativity down!

kari-shea-101978My husband sees this potential and longs to work like this too (days scheduled out of the office to work uninterrupted at home have repeatedly fuelled his greatest leaps of inspiration and progress…) however the business world isn’t well geared for this way of working at all…yet. He keeps getting reeled back into that office and a heinous timetable structure like a fish on a line and its so frustrating for him and so many other people approaching this hemispherical borderline where two realities meet and, they know, could be used in balance to make for even more productivity, more inspiration, more innovation and yet they feel tied down to a sack of heavy ballast filled with a zillion ticking clocks. This frustration (which stalls the most creative people since they rely upon stepping outside of time constraints and remaining sensitive to unexpected sources of inspiration to do what they do best) will just keep happening as long as the collective expectations of the world remain fenced into a solid time structure. To those of us who sense an alternative, this can feel like a maze of concrete walls as tangible (and prohibitive) as any block of prison cells affording no other view but the limited one of its own dreary corridors. Step outside of its structure and an array of all-new perspectives start to flow in, like that soft golden mist of the dawn that transforms everything from the night before; even the most work-a-day concerns of our lives start to look different once we soften those edges. This is the unlimited landscape that starts to present previously unnoticed solutions and a range of possibilities that far exceeds what we could ever have predicted from within the space-time reality.

The kind of powerful “a-ha” moments that transform whole realities in a single moment are like the meer cat of the mountain; they only show themselves once an insistence upon linear time has left the vicinity. Which is, ironically, when every one gets to realise we didn’t need time to have an experience; we insisted upon it to give a feeling of sides to our experiences, so that we  would have something to push against, something with which to compare and contrast one situation with another  in a sequence (I was over there, then I did that….now I am over here) but we can think of those sides as like trainer wheels which we can now do without and still not fall over. We now have, off pat, the familiar sensation of what it is to experience one thing as distinct from another, so what if we can continue doing that outside of time? We have become so afraid that we would be unable to know ourselves or even exist (what is existence if I can’t measure it?) without those structures in place that we have become like my father, micromanaging and making-busy ever more in an effort to hold our reality together inside its well-organised little box. But what if the box is preventing us from seeing what we really want to see? What if we really need no box, certainly not as a limitation upon ourselves…and would still exist without it, having our most incredible experiences beyond it; what then? What if – evolutionarily speaking – we have reached the crucial point where we have to be prepared to take that leap into the unknown, beyond the box, to where we are about to mix it all up, structure and no structure, the best of both, like a meeting of left and right hemispheres in the most harmonious and creative partnership of our so-called history? Yet we have to be prepared to prise apart our own white-knuckle grip upon linear time to get even close to this happening. Like someone hanging off the edge of a cliff, we have to know we can let go and trust that we will still be alright when that happens…try telling that to someone seeking an assurance based upon scientific trial and error, but then, our evolution relies upon taking a leap beyond such assurances. Perhaps in the space beyond linear time, we will discover other kinds of reassurance which are just as compelling…

As it happens, in the circle of my friends,  I know several people who are already listening to a wisdom beyond what can be demonstrated and who are stepping outside the confines of what is strictly sequential according to time, whether quite deliberately as they make the effort to soften the hard-structures of their lives (leaving careers and lifestyles behind in order to do this) and also those for whom non-linearity is, quite simply, happening to them whether they invite it in or not. Perhaps this is because they are at a certain stage of their evolution where their hard-grip on reality has softened more-than sufficiently but these people are finding that experiences way outside of linear time are happening to them in the most powerful, informative and, yes, transformative, ways. This happened to a friend just a couple of days ago, making coherent for her a set of experiences and interactions with another person, across a whole lifetime, in ways that have had a mind-blowing effect on the way that she is now handling what might otherwise have been a personal tragedy relating to that person. Yet she finds she can share her experience with no one but those who, like me, are prepared to entertain a non-linear perspective since, within time, the new mindset she has reached might look crazy or even insensitive to those who are experiencing the same circumstances through purely linear eyes.

Synchronicity, of course, is a key instrument of such non-linear experience, flagging up the corner posts of where such amorphous experiences cross over with each other in a non-sequencial way; and one, almost laughable, synchronicity was that I had just finished watching the movie “Arrival” when she messaged me about this situation. This film was all about what happens when a non-linear reality seeks to intersect with the  (for the moment) linear perspective of Earth; what does this make possible, what are the gifts and even, from our current perspective, the challenges, such as knowing what the future holds and having to decide whether we will go there anyway. It plays with language (a left-hemisphere invention) and all the semantics we get caught up in when we use a language-based interface as our only way of experiencing “other” without including more instinctual, non-linear modalities to know what we do; which is such a fear-driven and separation based way of experiencing one another and life itself. To me, this all flags up the child-like quality inherent in our absolute insistence upon linear time and the hard-proof version of science; this insistence is something like the little child that wants to hide beneath the bed sheets until daylight rather than own up to what else might be in the room, especially if it can’t be seen. Yet take away the hard structure of linear time and all its trimmings and, suddenly, we are forced to own up to our more-than-adept abilities to tune into past, present and future plus many things we can’t see or prove and all on an equal footing with what we think we can demonstrate. Amazing that, eh? Are we really so afraid of what we can do and what we might encounter (the “unknown” and the unfathomable) when we open up this vast skill-set? But then imagine all the gifts, the vastly broadened perspective, the infinite potential.

Its an emotive subject for some people, in proportion to how much fear there is around the concept of letting time (and everything connected to it) apparently slip, but then our next evolutionary leap relies upon it; of that I am convinced. We all play out a version of the fact we already know this, at some level, whenever we intuit that we will feel better, more inspired, more relaxed, more together, more creative, more everything that we most value about ourselves once we get that long weekend, that holiday, that gap year, more sleep, a place in the country…whatever it is that our soul seems to long for like the holy grail of our very existence. We all promise ourselves we will let ourselves off the time hook one day. Is that because we long for nothingness, for a sort of empty void in which we get to dissolve away or cease to exist in order to recover from life’s busy onslaught? No, I don’t think so; its because we long for the infinitely vaster, more soul-connected expression of self through experience that awaits us beyond the constraints of linear time. We just know our best self lies there (and fear that he or she might remain there, unclaimed, if we don’t find the space in which to realise them). Within the constraints of time, we all feel somewhat wing-clipped, so what happens when we allow those wings to unfurl? What if we don’t have to get to the end of this lifetime and count all our many regrets over the things we didn’t get to experience, not because we didn’t schedule them onto some sort of bucket list or that we lacked the time but because (of course, we see this so clearly now, even as we take our last gulp of breath) we kept insisting that time was everything, that nothing ever happened without a well-planned schedule and that we couldn’t get beyond this hard reality, we could only ever negotiate with it…and always came off the worst.

What if we don’t have to spend that last moment realising that our biggest mistake was that we simply didn’t allow the total flux, the amorphous nothingness, the complete lack of time-managed structure in which for our most powerful experiences to simply give rise to themselves; because that whip-cracking, watch-tapping part of ourselves never got out of the way. What if all our best-selves can be found in not knowing and yet being open to everything, allowing meaningful experience to present to us instead of chasing it down. Even if we can’t succumb to this every moment of our days (even I don’t do that…nor do I want to) we can invite it in, stop making it so “wrong”. We can opt to stay a little longer in those just-woken alpha brainwaves before we  get sucked into the beta currents of our lives; can, through meditation, practice being there until we can sustain that feeling even in the very midst of unfolding circumstance, no longer conditional upon the outside world for the frequency that we operate to but, rather, determining our own frequency, which gives rise to a very different set of circumstances to those that can otherwise seem so non-negotiable like they are happening to us, victimising us (they’re really not). We can stay long enough in the easy flow, on a regular basis, that we start to trust, and not negate, its experiences just as soon as we get back into the tug-and-pull of time where (I notice) I still so-often come to doubt the easy yet quite inexplicable wisdom that was mine in that other place just a few hours earlier. This is why I write early in the morning…and keep the  opinionated left-hemispherical editor part of me out of my writing practice as much as I can; so we can all learn to value the raw wisdom that we have direct access to and quieten that part of us that is always ready to strike through our most potent experiences as though with a red pen, doubting their validity. When we stand up for our right-hemispherical experiences it has an extraordinarily powerful effect, as though unlocking more layers of access, which is a rolling process that can lead to more and more insights beyond the constricts of what is conventionally “known”.  These are some of the baby steps of a tiptoe over the hard line of linearity and, if we can avoid micro-managing the next stage, much more will follow…believe me, it always follows.


About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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1 Response to Outside of time

  1. Pingback: Ahead of time | spinning the light

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