Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Live in the present; launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment. Henry David Thoreau
Now is all there is! We’ve heard it, we know it’s true but it is easy to have our thoughts everywhere but on Now. this very moment. It is this moment where life happens.
I remember reading of a woman getting the chance to go back to a time in her life. She chose to go back to one of her favorite birthdays but what she found was everyone hurrying and scurrying, no one had time to spend with her.
We have to be careful that in trying to do things for other people we aren’t so busy we have no time for them.
Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday; can I get everything done today so tomorrow can be a day where I am free for whatever he may want to do? There is a dinner to prepare for Sunday but if I can get the shopping done today then tomorrow is free.
It is easy to get overwhelmed thinking about what we have to do. It is easy to spend our time thinking of what has happened, what might happen, or what we hope won’t happen. What about right now? This very moment is our life? Are we enjoying what is happening at this very moment, sipping a coffee, writing words, enjoying the still small hours of the day before everyone is up? The temperature is comfortable, the chair is supportive, and the keyboard is responsive. Now is great, and often the now is great, but we infringe on Now with all the burdens of yesterday, tomorrow, and even later today. What if we deal with each moment as it comes?
Our days blur into one another if we do not savor the moments. In Practicing the Power of Now Eckhart Tolle asks what problems do we have at this moment? He says it is impossible to have a problem when our attention is fully in the Now. A situation has to be dealt with or accepted. Why make it into a problem? “Problem” means that we are dwelling on a situation mentally without there being a true intention or possibility of taking action now. Or we are carrying in our mind the insane burden of a hundred things that we will or may have to do in the future instead of focusing on the one thing that we can do now.
Wherever you are be all there. Jim Elliot
I have to pause and take my hands off the keyboard to sip my coffee. Eckhart Tolle tells us when we don’t create problems; we don’t create pain for ourselves. We need to accept that things are the way they are and that they can’t be different than how they are. When we are willing to accept reality just the way it is we have peace. It is what it is and if it is to be different we will change it in the future but we can’t do that until that future becomes the now.
This is easy to write but not so easy to do. If we can quit beating ourselves up for mistakes we made, and know going forward we can change what we can change, and the rest we need to accept. Surrendering to what is can be the way through what we cannot change. Maybe we need to surrender to grief, despair, loneliness, or whatever form our suffering takes. Can we witness it without labeling it mentally, and embrace it? He tells us the miracle of surrender transmutes deep suffering into deep peace.
There are many ways we try to escape our pain, work, drink, drugs, anger, food, projection, suppression, but they don’t free us from the pain. Suffering does not diminish in intensity when we don’t face it. When we turn it inward it becomes unconscious. When we deny emotional pain everything we do becomes contaminated by it. We broadcast it as the energy we emanate and others will pick up on it subliminally.
Turning away from pain doesn’t work. We need to face it, feel it fully, and express it but not in anger toward someone else. We need to give all of our attention to the feeling, not to the person, event, or situation that caused it. When we find ways to express it we move through it, we feel it. As we do this we are bringing light into the darkness.
Many great works of art, music, dance, or other creative expressions are expressions of pain, grief, and sorrow. Through expression, the pain is transmuted into something outside of ourselves. Sometimes this expression is a thing of beauty. Other lives may be touched by our expression.
Are we living in the Now? Are we finding ways to surrender to our feelings and express them?
If you are depressed, you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present. Lao Tzu
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Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now Hardcover – Oct 5 2001
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