“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point is out of time: the Now.” – Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'
It was late February, and I was just after being sent home from work. I was in pain, barely able to swallow, use my hands or speak. I hopped on the bus, aiming to keep as low a profile as possible, pulling down my sleeves to cover my bandages.
At the next stop an older lady got on and took the empty seat beside me. She wanted to talk. I took out my earphones. She told me all about her daughter and her granddaughter living down the country. How she just wanted them to be happy and have a good life. It was sweet and touching. I like when people share their stories with me on public transport; it feels like an honour to be let into someone else’s life, even if for just a few minutes.
As we neared my stop she turned to face me. “Did you fall?” she asked. “What happened?”
I painfully swallowed. “I fell. I was running for a train and I tripped. Landed straight on my hands and chin.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Oh, you poor thing. That's what happens when you're rushing from one place to another. I always say 'Don’t rush'.”
I smiled, thanked her, and internally thought to myself ‘what are the chances someone quotes my upcoming resolution to me, right when I needed to hear it?’ Sometimes chance encounters can change your day. The pain seemed to fade as I realised that lady just gave me my own advice. And I needed to take it.
I realised I had been living my life in the fast lane – rushing from one location to another, feeling overwhelmed and stressed, literal running to make it on time. It was the right moment to find a new pace, to pause, to stop trying to do everything all the time.
“the present moment is all you have.” – Eckhart Tolle, 'The Power of Now'