There’s never enough.
It goes by too fast (or too slow, depending on what you’re doing or waiting for - “are we there yet?”).
It’s sped up by deadlines. It’s weighed down by regrets about time past.
It’s divided up into schedules and calendars and timetables and action items.
It’s marked by milestones or somehow lost completely to the everyday-ness of life.
When I was practicing law, we had to bill our time down to every 6-minute increment. We had to account for at least 7.5 hours of everyday. There were time codes for each client & each matter associated with that client & each task that made up each matter. Each entry had at least three-points of drilling down to account for each moment. We even had billing codes for time off, vacation (a mere formality, I assure you), and administrative time — for things like all the time you actually spent keeping track of & accounting for your time. Oy.
I recently recalled that the program we used for entering all our time for billing purposes was called “Kronos.” And during all those years spent entering my time in Kronos, I never actually spent a second of it considering the meaning of the word.
The ancient Greeks had two different words for time: kronos (or chronos) and kairos. Kronos is the chronological, sequential time. It’s how we know where to be when. It’s what our google map tells us about our commute. It’s quantitative. It’s how we organize the “doing” portion of our life — the appointments, the meetings, the agendas, the billable hour.
Kairos, on the other hand, is the sacred time. Ironic, perhaps, because it’s the time spent when we don’t even feel time passing at all. This is the time for “being” — completely absorbed in a creative project, totally present on our yoga mat or in meditation, captivated in conversation or lovemaking or rocking a baby in the middle of the night. It’s qualitative. This is the time for which there is no billing code.
Unsurprisingly, our modern, cultural conversation has conflated the two into just one word: time. Efficient, perhaps. Satisfying, not even close … especially because we only have to review our last 24 hours to realize how much of it is organized & understood solely by the kronos framework.
We wake up most often to the possibility of kairos in the extremes… the times of tragedy, illness, death or falling in love, pregnancy, giving birth.
But what about the everyday kairos?
As the days grow darker & colder and the calendar tells us that the year is winding down, our little family is making a point to weave opportunities to experience kairos into the fabric of our days. With our little one now in daycare during the week, we parents are simply drinking in all the deep time we have with our kid when we’re together. (And we’re also committed to our own moments of kairos together, rediscovering the time spent together being simply a couple, and not just co-parents).
Kairos is even leading the way as I reframe my own work agenda. So schedule it if you must — time for self-care, time for daydreaming, time for taking walks for the sake of walking, time to meditate, time to kiss, time to play, time to rest. And yes, time to work.
And that’s ultimately what we’re up to here at The Daily Vinyasa — the commitment to making space, everyday, for the sacred. Even in the little, daily moments. In fact, especially in those moments. How to integrate this commitment in your yoga classes is a big focus of our 100-hour immersion that starts this January, Teaching from the Heart. If you’re interested in learning more about how to organize your time & yoga practice to include the sacred kairos, we’d love to have you join us.