Many people have been saying how fast this year has gone. I too, have felt the year flowing even faster than previous years. Is this possible? What makes time feel as if it’s going faster? And can we change this and somehow make it slower? 

Many spiritual teachers and some quantum physicists would emphatically say “yes.” It’s less about manipulating time and more about changing our perspective, and therefore our life experience. Time can feel as if it’s passing rapidly either from a joyous place—when we don’t want what we are doing to end, or from an awestruck perspective—when we simply feel astounded by the pass of time.

We understand why we would not want a delightful experience to end, but we are baffled about the latter—which can invite confusion, anxiety and even fear. Life is passing by and we wonder if we are doing everything we can to make the most of it, remaining true to our hearts, living our best possible life and being the optimum version of ourselves. And if we are not, how much faster do we need to act? What do we need to change? And will there be enough time since it’s passing so quickly?

My beloved teacher, the late renowned Yogi, Acharya Upendra Roy, once encouraged me to keep doing yoga and meditation because nothing would quite fulfill me in the same way. “Life will just pass, feeling quick and empty,” he explained. “But your practice will give it meaning.”

His wise and prescient words still echo in my heart, my mind and my life even today. I have been meditating daily for more than 20 years. It’s one of the ways I connect with life, the universe, Source, God, my authentic self—the label doesn’t matter.

What matters is that we find something that allows us to remember that there is more to this life than transitory events, superficial expectations, fleeting pleasures and illusive material gains.

We may find fulfillment by venturing into nature, being of service, or loving in the deepest possible way. Doing this may help us discover that what we thought really matters in life, does not—such as gaining the approval of others, increasing our social status or pursuing conditioned life goals. In the process, we may ultimately learn the true value of something we overlooked or took for granted, such as the simplicity of watching waves crashing, feeling gentle sunlight on our skin, seeing someone we love smile, or practicing daily meditation, yoga or tai chi.

You will know you are on the right track when the activity outweighs motives and gains. It is not merely a means to an end, it is the end. The moment is so precious that while we may not want it to be over, we feel at peace with the passing of time because we are already fulfilled by its meaningfulness. This effectively shifts our relationship with time—seeing that life is not, in fact, passing us by, but rather presenting itself for us in the eternal Now.