It was a bright summer morning. With her baby in tow, my friend Laure walked slowly inside the community kitchen.
Since she looked a bit tired, I asked her,
‘Did you not sleep well? Your eyes look a bit groggy.’
‘Yes. It is because I never get an uninterrupted sleep at night. My baby wakes me up every night at 2 am sharp, asking to be breastfed.
It is a miracle how she wakes up at exactly 2 am everyday, no matter what!’
‘Well you have a natural alarm clock for 2 am !’ I quipped.
‘Yes, one that is beyond my control.’
‘At least you know how to turn it off’
‘That’s a consolation!’ she shared, staring at her baby dotingly.
It was fascinating to learn how a baby had such an accurate body clock.
This happened over an year ago. From then on, I made a conscious attempt to sense the time whenever I felt the need to know what time it was.
And gradually, I got pretty good at it.
I could guess the correct time within a ten minute window on most occasions.
Even right now, I guesed the time to be 5:21 am. I checked the watch and the time was 5:14 am. I only had the reference of my surroundings. The last I had looked at the watch was yesterday night. The only reference of passage of time was my own body’s sensation.
Since we all have access to the exact time in our watches or phones, we never think of sensing the time with our instincts. It almost seems impossible and bizarre to be doing that.
But ever since I developed the instinct of guessing the time first before checking it on my phone, I slowly came to realise that the body has a fairly accurate sense of passage of time.
We just have to learn to trust our body’s natural wisdom.
These days we have so many apps on our phones that help us keep track with our body’s mechanisms. But the convenience comes at the cost of our instinct.
One of my friends uses an app that helps him track how many hours of deep sleep he got at night. Every morning he checks these analytics in his phone.
But I felt, one can quite easily tell how well they slept by how they feel in the morning. We are outsourcing these simple tasks at the cost of our natural instinct.
There are apps that remind a person to drink water, to sleep, relax, to breathe…
If one has to be reminded of all these things, then one should definitely reconsider their lifestyle!
The human body has innate wisdom programmed into it. We just have to trust our natural instincts and with enough sentient practice, we will be much closer to the sensations of the body and our immediate surroundings.
My grandmother could tell the time from the phase and position of the moon, the call of a particular bird, the shadow of her house and sometimes, just by pure instinct.
Agreed that life wasn’t as time bound in my grandmother’s era as it is today, but the instinct of being in sync with our self and our immediate environment is worth cultivating.
The next time you have a need to know the time, try guessing it first before checking it in the clock.
Once you do it enough times, you will realise what a masterpiece the human body is !