Every time we are lost in a memory or dreaming about or dreading something in the future, we are time traveling. If you think about it, in that moment, we might be sitting in a chair in a class or at work, driving or lying in bed. Yet, our mind is miles and years away.
Much of the time when we time travel, it’s a negative experience. Although the thought process is not based in this time, we can feel just as bad as if an event is actually happening right now. We are trapped in bad memories or anxiety about possible negative outcomes.
Marie Kondo would ask, “Does it bring you joy?” It turns out that we have the key to escape to this unhappy situation. At any time, we can come back to the present.
Simply paying attention to anything that is happening in this moment brings our consciousness to the present. Closing our eyes and just noticing our breath is the most basic and always-available method. Noticing anything about our bodies in the moment or listening to anything in the environment brings us to the now.
Once in the present, we have the power to travel into the past, choosing positive memories and experiencing those feelings. We can anticipate a positive future, imagine something we really want, something that does bring us joy. Just by remembering or imagining something positive, we get to feel positive as if it is real in this moment.
Steps for a Time Trip
- Find a safe, quiet place to sit and close your eyes.
- Take a few deep breaths to get centered and present.
- Go back to the most relaxing or exciting experience you can remember.
- Make sure the experience is only positive.
- Experience all of the details and senses:
- Where are you?
- What time of day is it?
- What is the weather like?
- What are you doing?
- Who, if anyone, is with you?
- Experience all of your senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch.
- Really get into the emotional feeling that you are experiencing.
- Hold on to that feeling and bring it into the future.
- Pick a time in the future when you would like to have a similar experience.
- Go through each of the steps above and make it real.
Congratulations! You have just time traveled into the future and past with you driving. The more you practice, the easier and more powerful these techniques become. Notice how you are feeling now. If it is not what you want, you have the power to choose something else. Time travel is real. Be your own travel agent.
Happy time traveling! FBN
Don Berlyn, PT, CHT