Category Archives: mental health

Time: Friend or Foe?

Time swoops into focus, nudging us with a ticking noise, ‘keep moving’ it says, ‘my survival depends on motion’. The mind, wired like a ticking clock, swings between right and wrong, swayed by excitement and an avalanche of opinions. One day, it’s taking sides in a political debate, the next it’s swallowing every story of the digital age. Pierce through the stories about fractious nations, warring families and rising inflation, climb down from the pendulous left to right motion that is stealing your valuable life.

Solitude is the enemy of time sitting still among the swirling edifice and finding the eye of the storm where sanity prevails. Seek nature, walk in the forest, climb a hill for the views, in ten years, even twenty, these are the shining moments of joy that decorate our lives. Daily news stories that readership devours will be assigned to the scrapheap of our minds. Every step we take in nature reduces this mind-fill and allows us to live life on our terms rather than become fodder for the beast.  In fifty or even a hundred year’s time no one will remember the irrelevance of commentary on insignificant stories, only facts will remain. Put down the phone, turn off the TV, step outside and take a deep breath. This is truth. We need air. We don’t need a constant drip feed from media outlets. Breath connects us with something greater than the news channels and apps that decorate our phone screen, it provides us with life. No one, ever, reached to check the latest news story when they were choking or in cardiac arrest. Breath is all important.

Every country has their headlines, every social network drowns in opinion swaying from left to right, we want free speech but only on our terms shouting down those who disagree. The online platform allows us to hide behind its shield and let our fingers do the talking. If we enter the slipstream of time and motion caused by outer phenomena we are in a state of reaction, positive action comes when we act from a place of stillness within.

Time moves at a speed corresponding to our mental activity. Slow the mind and time expands, fill the mind with news threads and we find ourselves swinging mercilessly upon the pendulum of time. If we wonder where the year has disappeared to, then we have consigned much of it to the scrapheap of our minds. If we can look back on the year and pick out several cherished moments, we have brought some balance to our lives. If, however, we sit in this moment neither looking backward or forward, we have achieved the magic moment that always exists, taking us beyond the boundaries of time into the very existence that pervades all life on earth and the universe.

Collette O’Mahony

January 2023