Capturing Time.

March 22, 2013

My friend Karina wrote a really nice post about trying to slow down time, and offers some great ideas for achieving the feeling that life is not whizzing by.  I am always searching for ways to capture the special moments that happen everyday.  I have a terrible memory for details, but it gets better when I actually pay attention and really experience those moments.

Here are some techniques that I use (but should be using more).  The first two come from a trusted friend.

1.  Stop and pay attention to all of your senses.  Ask yourself: "What do I hear? smell? see? feel? taste?" It is amazing how that always grounds me and puts me in the present.

2.  Close your eyes and "breathe" through the tips of your fingers.  Draw your breath up your wrists, arms, shoulders, body, down your legs and out your toes.  (This is great for awakening your senses which helps with the previous exercise.)

3.  Just say no to over-scheduling.  I have never been one of those people who loves to pack my day with a million things.  I have no problem saying no if I don't really want to do something (non-essential), or if doing it will crowd my day too much.  This really works for me.  I need downtime and I need slow.  Life in a family of five is fast and busy enough.

4.  Go offline.  Nothing makes me feel less in the moment then killing an hour on the Internet.  Oh, I still do it, but that's when I feel that "time is slipping by" anxiety the most.  I am not good at turning off my phone and shutting the top of my laptop, but it always works when I do find the discipline to do it.

5.  Make a cup of tea.  It's mental, but this always relaxes and comforts me and helps me pay attention to what is going on.

What about you?  What do you do to stay in-the-moment?

photo credit unknown


  1. I love this topic for discussion. There is so much to explore regarding time, life whiz zing by and slowing down. My favorite thing to do that slows time is not get in a car. When I walk or cycle from point A to B, I see and experience so much-chat with neighbors, get chased by a playful dog, smell the blooming jasmine. .. Being present feels so easy at those moments. It is as if taking time makes time.

  2. Loved Karina's post. I, too, think about this all the time. Being pregnant is the one thing that has slowed me right down, which I needed desperately. But mostly, I feel like time stops when I'm in my garden.

  3. Thanks Jora. xx I think the things you mention here are exactly what we need to build into our lives. Days of disconnecting and blocks of time throughout the day where we resist the urge to check our email and social media are really important. I've been seeing a movement to no media Sundays, obviously I'm not adhering to that now :) but I love the idea. I also agree that over-scheduling and that hurried feeling are not sustainable or nourishing for us or our families. I also like taking breaks from everything. This summer I'm planning for lots of downtime.

  4. I also make tea. Especially if I need a computer break. The act of going and turning on the stove and preparing my cup is enough to make me slow down.

    Water my plants. I have a some plants around the house and when I take the time out to pay attention to them I feel a little more grounded.

  5. I second the tea idea. And if I can bring a cup outside, all the better.

    When I am really feeling overburdened, I'll sit cross-legged on the floor, twine my fingers and stretch my arms over my head as far as I can reach, and then relax them onto my lap and breathe. I try to count 5-10 breaths that way. If I can do this while I wait for the teakettle to boil, then I am well on my way to being relaxed.

  6. I like tea and music. Sometimes sitting down to blog and just write and recognize what I am loving that moment.

    I want to say that I'm so happy you're blogging again! I really enjoy it :)

  7. It's always been tea for me. When I was young, my mom used to make me a cup anytime I needed comfort or a break. It's stuck with me. Also, I love Desi's houseplant ritual--I love watering mine each Sunday. And I'm a fierce believer in under-scheduling. I sometimes think I'm just lazy (ha!) but I've never jumped on the Cult of Busy bandwagon. My humble addition to this great list is: outside our front windows, off in the distance, are some very tall eucalyptus trees. When I need a moment, I watch them sway slowly (or not) in the breeze coming off the ocean. It's meditative, like watching a fish tank or waves. This is my thing right now, preferably while holding a hot mug of tea :)

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  9. I think it's difficult, past a certain age, to shed the awareness that time is slipping through our fingers. The most important thing is to do things that warrant remembering. One of the reasons I started blogging again was because it prompted me to engage in experiences with an eye toward recording them - which, not surprisingly helps me record them in my own mind. One of the worst things you can do is the same thing, day after day after day - when life becomes routine, time becomes a blur and it's hard to remember specifics. Taking the time to change things up and actually do something you will remember for the rest of your life is the key.

  10. Great tips!I recommend the book "The Way of the Happy Woman" by Sara Avant Stover, it talks exactly about this, how to be in the moment, live balanced life and reconnect with the essential.

  11. Surprisingly, I had to have a baby to rediscovering how to live in the moment!

  12. I suppose this is an obvious one, but meditation always works for me, even though it's HARD. the simplest way to start is to watch and pay attention to your breath. once you get the hang of it, it's really like time STOPS. goosebumps, I tell you.
    xx Jessica


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