I probably spend hours with the few close associates and friends I have to discuss the two kinds of time a topic that is very close to my heart. It is the heart of Mindfulness, healing, integration and growth. The first is Chronos, the one we call linear time and is measured using clocks, birthdays, calendars and similar tools. This the one that has a past, a future too. This is the one where we age and we can get stuck in too. My favorite time however is Kairos, the one I like to call cyclical time. Kairos is NOW and we are timeless (free from linear time). This is where we measure everything in terms of the lessons learnt….where every experience and person is a teacher and we remain students. Many years back, closer to when my father let of his physical body, he gave up working in the evening to slow down because his autoimmune condition left him very exhausted and needing time for himself. The best decision I made that time was to close down my clinic too and spend every evening often in deep conversation with him. Often, they were times he spoke about his childhood, many of his dreams that he gave up as he was growing up and the many mistakes that he made but learnt from. It was so easy to love him unconditionally through each of his experiences. This morning I remembered one beautiful conversation and felt it could be shared for reflection because it is what Kairos is about. He was particularly upset about something that day and as he spoke and I listened, he shared something so deep and so wise that I cherish it so deeply. He told me that life is about so many experiences and still the ones we love the most will hold up our mistakes and it will hurt. In their inability to forgive, make amends or move on they will often hurt us more whenever they are hurting. Remember he said, the past will hold memories both loving ones and deeply painful ones. Treat both like salt. Use it to season the NOW if you need to but never add too much of it and spoil the meal. As I reflected on our conversation because I read a blog by a famous writer using the salt analogy, I learnt how NOW often is one moment with so many levels of awareness, insight and learning. To add to the wisdom in that conversation with dad, may I add, The past is like salt….season the now but don’t spoil a meal by using too much; the future is like the dessert. Don’t allow the anticipation for the perfect dessert to ruin the meal either. Savour every aspect of the meal knowing that in chronos is impermanence and in Kairos you will have the opportunity to revisit a lesson with fresh perspectives and unravel another layer of insight, another set of resources and another moment of NOW.
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