Sunday, April 05, 2009

Time After Time (this is a rant)

I have never been late for anything. Both of my parents were incredibly intense with time. If you weren't 10 minutes were in fact late. I have carried this into my adult life completely. I once told my boss at the NYU Information Center that if I wasn't there on time I wasn't coming. As I get older I realize that this "good" habit, isn't always so polite, or necessary. Lately I find myself sitting in my car, a little penalty box, being punished for the offense of ridiculously early arrival.

Spending so much time in India has helped. This is one of the many countries where time is more fluid. Everything in India apparently takes "5 minutes." This is code for 1 hour, 15 minutes, but mostly I don't know. Last week I was at Jivamukti Yoga and the class was scheduled to end at 4:30pm, but at 4:30 there was about 15 minutes to go before the teacher wrapped the whole thing up. I spent so much of that class watching the clock, distracted, annoyed that I really should have asked for my money back.

This is the point. When I am teaching a class, I know that the students can relax and totally surrender, free themselves to have an experience because they trust in me to end class on time. By honoring time, I am honoring the students. We all have BIG lives and it is arrogant to think that your teaching is so invaluable that missing your husband, train, bus, next appointment etc. in not important.

There I sat yesterday...completely missing out of the teaching because I did not trust the teacher to honor me and my classmates, or honor the time that we should all spend together. Having that experience I am glad that I watch the time, and give the students in my class the freedom to have an experience watching their body, mind, and breath, instead of the clock.


katie said...

being somewhat the opposite (shameful tendencies to being 10 minutes late rather than early, which i am working on) i have two abashed things to say.

1) yes, thank you very much for honoring the time. you are right, it is a gift to be able to trust the teacher in this way.

2) i'm sorry for being late to class yesterday.


Amanda said...

i like that you honor time. my dad is like this also, 10 minutes early to everything. i often find myself waiting in the "penalty box" or on street corners or coffee shops, trying to pass the time for getting places early. ...sigh. xoox

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