New experiences make time stretch out. That's why time goes so slowly for children. Everything they encounter is all fresh and new. The heart and brain get a workout with new experience; it slows time down.
The more familiar and routine the world becomes, the more quickly time seems to pass, according to neuroscientist David Eagleman, who wrote about our perceptions of time in a fascinating New Yorker article published earlier this year.
Time goes quickly when we have no fresh unexpected, unfamiliar experience. I've been musing about this at year end. I've lived in the same area for over 30 years. My life does have a familiar routine. I don't make resolutions for the new year, but I am certainly willing to say that I am open to fresh, challenging, healing, invigorating, provocative new experiences that stimulate growth and engagement, while bathing me in the beauty of slow time. Does that sound good to you too? She grins. It does to me.
NEW IMAGES SPARK THE IMAGINATION
For example, take this image of a cobalt blue bowl and five bright yellow lemons. It made me quite happy when I found it. It's an image I never saw before and it's so full of light, color and chi. It makes me think of Greece or Mexico. It makes me feel alive. I like feeling alive.
SETTING SAIL IN NEW WATERS
Another thing that gets me going are images of sailing ships. I can smell the salt air! The feeling of the wind in the sails and the possibility of new waters and new lands invigorates me.
Sometimes I like to imagine taking a voyage aboard a sailing vessel with red sails like this Vietnamese ship. Or sometimes I muse about sailing in a dhow somewhere off the coast of Kerala in south India. Nothing out there on the open sea, thank you. Not until I have a little more experience anyway.
COLOR, PATTERN, FESTIVITY!
The celebratory use of color and pattern always livens me up. And there are times when I think it would be so delightful to spend some slow time in a country where they decorate their buses and trucks with all manner of fanciful patterns and ornamentation. They look so much more playful and festive than our vehicles. This is a picture of a bus in India.
Wouldn't it be fun to travel in a gypsy caravan, as I believe I asked in another post a year ago or more. My father had a persistent fantasy of doing that, so perhaps I inherited it from him. People do this you know, in England and Europe. I love the thought. It wakes me up.
Or how about visiting some eco-villages where people are living cooperatively and growing their own food in beautiful gardens? That would be lovely. We do have some beautiful farmers right here, too. I must remind myself of what is right in my own environment. You know it's sometimes seeing the same thing with new eyes.
This hot spring in Costa Rica looks rather wonderful to me, especially in the midst of winter. Ahhh, there is nothing like a hot spring to rejuvenate the body and soul. We have a hot spring right here in Ashland, Oregon where I have lived most of the time since 1977. And it would also be great to visit some hot springs farther afield. I'm open.
How can I infuse my life with new experiences in 2012? Will these new experiences come through travel, new people, new creative adventures? Will I seek new music, new ways of singing and new dances? New foods, a new language? How can I find ways to experience each day in fresh ways? What allows me to slow down into the magical attention of the child?
The truth is I have no idea what new experiences await in 2012. But I welcome them! So hark, ye new experiences, and hie thee hither into my life, which is ready to celebrate thy refreshment.
Thank you all for your interest in my work with creative, conscious aging.
Wishing for you that 2012 be a year full of delight, health, growth and profound enjoyment.