Why does time seem to speed up evermore as we get older? Do you remember the summer holidays seemingly lasting an eternity when you were a child, yet now whole years seem to be gone in the blink of an eye!?
As Einstein pointed out, time is completely subjective and appears to speed up or slow down according to the attention we pay to each of the small moments that make it up. So it makes sense that as we get older or ‘grow up’, and our personality or ego develops along with our life experience – as we are told it should – what is really happening is that we are being fooled by the ego into not paying attention to life because it tells us that we have ‘seen it all before’ and know how to automatically react to each situation that arises rather than acting freely and consciously to each new phenomenon. This means that our moments of true awareness become less and less frequent and therefore time seems to speed up as we lose our grip on the present moment.
We can attempt to reverse this process in many ways. Obviously, anything that increases awareness will improve the attention we can pay to life, slowing down the flow of time. We can consider the mind like a fly-wheel that gathers momentum with every uncontrolled thought that flies through it. It will constantly speed up unless we do something to control the flow of thoughts. This can be achieved by doing simple mindfulness techniques, such as always having a few moments of awareness whenever we finish a task, before starting the next one. That applies at the level of actions, but it also works with the mind, by observing the interval between two thought processes. These pauses allow us to apply the ‘brakes’ to our racing minds, at least for a moment. And the more moments of awareness we can inject into our days, the more control we can take over our life.
Another approach is to reawaken the sense of wonder, seeing life itself as a never-ending series of new and beautiful experiences, exactly as we did as children when life was all one big adventure. This highly transfigured view of life, which came quite naturally to us when young, is a sign of an awakened soul and is another key to preventing the automated responses of the mind from lulling us into robotic sleep and ever quickening days. This is exactly when we start to rediscover life’s hidden treasures as we properly engage our senses, become increasingly present in life, and feel our souls rejoicing in the beauty of the here and now – the taste of eternity which opens up when we begin to transcend time itself…