#AWeekOfMindfulness - The Power of Now
Today was better, today I had a more productive day and done the things I intended to do while I was here: relax, read, study. I woke up, I meditated, I ate breakfast, we went to the beach, I meditated again, I read and I got some work done.
One thing that is so much easier to do here is wake up early, I can't manage to sleep past 8 o clock even when I try and get a lie in, but I love it! I've been trying to change my sleeping habits in London and I find it so difficult, but here I haven't even had to make a conscious effort. Need to make improving my sleeping habits a top priority when I get back home.
So I've been reading THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle because being present is my greatest challenge and this book comes highly recommended.
The main premise is that we are bound by our minds and time, meaning we are constantly living in a state consumed by memories of the past or projections of the future: we rarely live in the moment. He asserts that true joy and peace will only exist when we are not transfixed by past pain or future aspirations and understand that we have absolutely nothing other than now. He refers to the accumulation of all of our thoughts and feelings as our 'pain-body' and I can say that I 100% live via my pain body. I am never free of my worries or anxieties and they are rarely due to anything that is actually wrong in the present moment.
If I pause and think about what problems I have that are existing in this very moment, as I sit here, in this chair, typing these words, in a beautiful house, up in the mountains of a gorgeous caribbean island, nothing is wrong. Right now, all is well. I have things that I must work through, situations that I must deal with, but these situations do not define my life nor should they be on my mind when I am incapable of dealing with them this instant. For example, while writing this I would naturally be thinking about how good the entire post will be when it's finished, or how well it will be received by it's readers, if anyone will read it at all. I'll even be thinking about the content of my next blog. But why? I mean, we know what the cause is, be it anxiety, longing or impatience, but to what end, with what purpose do I stress about things that have not even occurred yet? This is my pain-body dominating my being. It makes me ruminate over my past mistakes, torments me and makes me fearful of the mistakes I'll make in the future. For me, this fear creates a state of inertia. My fear of failure is far stronger than my desire to succeed and if I do nothing, I can fail at nothing, but in doing nothing I achieve nothing and have very little experience of success.
The pain-body feeds off my feelings of being unaccomplished and thus insignificant. It gets stronger and more dominant and convinces me that my lack of achievement is the essence of my being. I can only be in the present, so having not accomplished what I wanted to in the past or feeling like I can't accomplish anything in the future has nothing to do with right now. Right now I can use the resources that are at my disposal to do absolutely anything I want - the past and future are irrelevant.
I've started reading this book on the beach and I would encourage people to try and find a very tranquil place to get started on it.
I'm yet to finish, but being in a place where there is no distractions really helps you grasp his idea of dis-identifying with your mind and psychological time. To hear the sea, feel the sand and see all the mountains and trees that aren't bound by any kind of time; that exist without any concept of now, before or later, heightens the sense of being present and is a living example of what he talks about.
I'm going to enjoy the rest of my time here, embrace the pace of life on the Island, not think about any of my situations in London and prepare to take one day at a time when I get back home.
I am dis-identifying with my pain-body
I am living my life in the now.
I am free of all distractions from the past and future.