The Healing Power of Time and Space
Years ago, in the physical wilderness of anxiety and panic attacks, I remember lying down, desperately immobilized on the wooden floor boards of our house. I had pain to the sides of my chest and around my hips. On top of hardly being able to breath, it felt like I was physically dying. I brought my frightened consciousness to the pain and began to feel it, checking it out. Then the unexpected happened, it moved to another location. It was alive in itself without a direct anchorage (yet) in the physical.
This was kind of amazing, as I had been so much ensnared in thought, memory, imagination and agenda of the mental variety, that I had never thought to check out the apparent randomness of physical sensations. If someone had told me that this was the start of a whole healing journey (rather than a private, superstitious inquiry) it could have helped a lot. This is the reason for this post. Consciousness is a healer. Where we limit our consciousness in time and space, denying it access to our somatic experience, we are denying our forms the greatest gift of all – universal care – from the inside out.
Right now, tune in to any physical feeling below the head and above the legs. Stay there for a while experiencing it with all the time and all the space. Does it move? Change temperature? Change location? Does it throw you away so that suddenly you find yourself thinking urgently about something random? Yes. The body is alive, and this is an energetic phenomena or contraction responding to the healing presence of conscious awareness.
Consciousness – the harbinger of eternity, and awareness, the doorway to the infinite are in commonplace terms, the very substance of time and space.
Do you recognize the feeling of not enough time and not enough space, either internally, or in relation to a beloved? This is the experience of contraction, and sooner or later, it has to release.
Whether it is in the freeze of depression, in which energy stagnates with a solidity around the chest, or in the broken, spitting cables of nervous anxiety, something is dissonant – out of rhythm with the body and environment. Just as the stomach cramps with hunger, or the flesh seizes up around an open wound, our feelings and emotions contract when there is a difficulty processing experience in real time and in physical context. Sometimes we need to contract – such as an urge to laugh at the mother-in-law, but often we stay contracted and that’s when our very experience of life loses vitality.
Contraction – meaning a withdrawal of connection from our own bodies, from our friends and a closing of receptivity or expression into the world – involves a conditioning of time and space. Each form – even our own body – is an equation of time and space.
Stress – whose purpose is to help us survive – is the activator of contraction. The chief signature of stress is a feeling of ‘no time, no space.’
No time or space for what? No time or space to take care of what is emerging in the here and now.
Relaxation returns the sense of unlimited time and space, and when we relax, we begin to open up, as do our contractions. Even relaxing the body – really giving it permission to surrender into peace (rather than relaxing into habitual states of stress), has an energetic effect of emotions, feelings and thought.
We are programmed to live through the misconception that time is given to us from the outside: it’s in limited supply and it’s forever running out. We feel ourselves to be victims of this kind of time and experience a pressure to shrink into rationed portions of relaxation.
Feelings, emotions, grief, love, happiness, joy – this is all down-rated – as a kind of recreational indulgence stolen from this obligation of ‘time’ – which demands that you become ‘someone’ and do ‘something.’ Caught in this belief, we increasingly find ourselves ‘doing time’ as a life experience: waiting, expecting, anticipating the reward that will come – later – when time lets us go.
At the same time, this release from time is terrifying, as it can only mean death and an isolated banishment into the wilderness of all we have always been running from: the end of who we think we are. We are taught to survive life until we die, mentally programmed to run ever faster away from death, towards death (and this is ‘sanity’).
For many, a paradigm shift comes with the awakening to the nature of time. Time is non-existent in the way we have been programmed. Past and future are ideas living in the present moment: past and future are functions of memory in the here and now, and imagination in the here and now. They are inseparable from this moment.
The past is alive in the present, which means that in the present moment, we can give the past the care that it lacked – exactly in that area of contraction in feeling or body. We can give time back to the experience, where it was robbed of time. Time in its essence is better described as a living eternity.
Contractions from grief, trauma or subtle states of depression will wait forever until this kind of time sets them free – until the presence of this living eternity alive at our source allows them to transform. This means we can actually heal past situations in the present moment. Let’s say you did something nasty towards someone you love, and this causes you shame. In this present moment it is possible to touch the energy of the living memory and to give what it lacked – the regret, the acknowledgement of a mistake, the insight of how it played out, and above all the deeper connection which is always alive beyond any human entanglement. If we ourselves were injured, revisiting the pain in this present moment and touching the situation with care, has the power to unravel the web of cause and effect that led to the injury: it opens the possibility of forgiveness. In this way, we are able to liberate the contractions within ourselves, but also to transform the memory of the event to a wider, wiser understanding. Does it effect the others, whether dead or alive? If we change half of a drawing from 2d to 3d, isn’t the whole drawing altered?
In the same way, through opening the present moment, we can feel into our future, which greatly deepens and clarifies decision making process that could otherwise seem to be unconscious, vaguely intuitive and indecisive. In this moment, we can take ourselve to the same present moment in a possible future context. Either we are already there, now, or we find that, well, it’s not meant to be. 🙂
We are the masters of time. All we need to do is release the content of our consciousness and become conscious that we are conscious, each moment a miracle of perception. It’s the same one that closed her eyes to try and fall asleep as a child. No time passed. It’s the same one that will later be going to the toilet. No time passed. It’s the same one that will grow old and watch the body fall away. No time passed. Trust it.
Space is not just physical, it’s also psychological. Emotional and physical contractions are literally a shrinkage in the amount of space taken. Like a hard nut of resistence, a painful experience can become almost numb in its presence – just feeling like, well, and absence of feeling, nothing there, a blind spot. Blind spots can get us into danger. For example, if we become insentient around the theme of sexual abuse, we are far less likely to recognize danger signals, we lose our sensitivity to the real threats that could emerge and get shocked again and again by the same pattern.
The denial of space for an emotion includes the social blocking of expression (often seen in complicated grief processes, incest, or events where the individual has been the ‘bad guy’ – the abuser, or criminal). The attempt to drive the phenomena out of the social field forces a contraction. The experience is simply not allowed to express, process or transform.
Again, the concept of how much space we have in our interior universe is entirely in our control. As living entities, the only one who can contract the space is ourselves. We may feel afraid, helpless and condemned, yet the keys to open the doors of the spatial prison remain with us. Each contraction is begging for a relaxation into space. Each particle of space is at source infinite. That means when we totally allow even a tiny portion of an experience to exist, letting our awareness move into it at zero distance, a boundless infinity opens up around it. Contractions naturally unfold when we are relieved of the belief that space is limited.
Often, this can also be physically reflected as the freedom to move. To move the body, despite a state of depression, or to open the eyes and see the horizon, despite the agony of grief.
When we give space and freedom to ourselves, it becomes much easier to give it to the other. This is simply because we seem to only be able to give to others the freedom that we experience within ourselves, internally. As such, the inner blessing of space (without agenda to get rid of, or ‘fix’ anything) is the first point of call in healing. In naturalness, the infinity within us expands to include all others, including our beloved. Why wouldn’t it? There’s no ration.
In working with healing and trauma, it’s vital to remember that we are inseparable. Each moment of contraction we release within ourselves is a tremendous service to others. In this healing is possible over vast distances in space (through the infinity of zero distance) and through centuries of time.
In addition, moving in slow motion and with tiny portions of experience can be more effective than trying quickly remove the lot at once. Patience is all the time. Little pieces is all the space. Every contraction inside ourselves has a resonance that effects thousands of others. Even when we know there is an entanglement with loved ones near and far, touching the entanglement with a moment of eternity or a droplet of infinity will effect the entanglement as a whole. Remote healing, here and now, for the here and now of the past and here and now of the future.