living

Living in the fullness of time

In yoga there's a beautiful concept called kalapurnata, which means living in the fullness of time. Kala comes from Kali, who is known as the goddess of time and change, and purna, which means “fullness” or “abundance.” To live in kalapurnata means to live fully in past, present, and future all at once.  

These days, with everyone caught in the busy trap, time is a precious commodity. There seems to never be enough and it seems to slip from our fingers faster than quicksand. As a result we often feel like we're two steps behind and like there's not enough hours in the day.  

This feeling of not having enough time is one of the six veils that cloak our perception of seeing reality clearly and experiencing ourselves as connected and whole.   

Time, however, can expand and contract. Have you ever been asked to hold a yoga pose longer than you liked, one minute which felt like an eternity? Or perhaps you remember a time completely immersed in a project, in flow state, and hours passed in what felt like minutes? 

How can we live with a feeling of fullness of time – like there's enough we're on top of it, in control, and able to be present and not rushed? This post is not about time management, (which I've acquired a few tips on and will share in a later post) but on a simple habit that will literally create more time.   

Wake up early. In Ayurveda, the predawn hours (approximately between 4 and 6) is called Brahmamuhurta. This special time of day is governed by the element of space which has the qualities of clarity, subtlety and lightness. When we wake up at this time, we too feel clear and light. It's at this time where the veils that cloak our perception are the most thin. Space represent limitless potential, where anything is possible, and when we tap into it, we can literally create the person we want to become and live the life we want 

The healthy person should get up (from bed) during brahma muhurta, to protect his life. (Astanga Hrdayam, Vol.I, 2:1) 

The importance of these early hours is not unique to Ayurveda. Every spiritual tradition has deep reverence for this time of day which is often dedicated to practice and meditation because the mind is most clear and the environment most peaceful. 

O traveler get up; it is dawn-it is not right that you continue sleeping. 
One who awakes, he finds, One who is asleep, he loses. 
Get up and open your eyes from slumber and meditate on your Master. 
-Kabir 

This simple habit has allowed me to start my day without feeling rushed and behind schedule. I'm able to get ready in a calm and relaxed manner, with plenty of time for my yoga and meditation practice, making my green smoothie and getting myself and the kids ready for the day.  

Not a morning person? I wasn't either. Ask my husband (who has always gotten up early) who had the lovely job of waking me up from the depths of deep sleep those first few times that I asked him to wake me up. I remember feeling like I was being pulled up from the bottom of the ocean, resisting every minute of having to get out of my warm and comfy bed. I then dragged myself through my days, feeling behind and resentful for my lack of time. When we wake after 6am, the elements of earth and water take over and influence our physical, mental and emotional states and take on their heavy, dense, foggy and slow qualities. 

Now, I wake up, without an alarm, around 5am, awake, clear and ready to craft my day. It's made all the difference to begin my day with more grace and ease. 

"How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably creates a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.  
~ Hal Elrod from The Miracle Morning