The Power of Now. Hmmm, the Power of Now. What does that mean really? Some things come to mind like a bumper sticker I read today that said, “just be” and the phrase I always hear “let go.” But what does it all really mean “just be”, and how do you get there? How do you know you’ve arrived? Is is something you should be able to maintain 24/hrs/day or just brief moments? The bigger question for me is why, why do I want to live in the Now.
Bare with me on this post. It’s most likely going to be me working through what I’ve been understanding about this concept and experiencing first hand. I also want to note that I’m expressing my opinions on some of these ideas because I’ve been checking them out for myself through experience. Only through experience will you know if there is any truth it in for you.
What I have found is that the trying to be in the”now” is really hard with our human minds and constant thought. We tend to live all day in our heads with our thoughts. Constant chatter that mostly has no purpose, and quite often can cause us much suffering. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think ‘thinking’ is bad, it just can hinder us from living in the now.
Most thought exists in the form of memories (past) or what’s going to happen next (future). Again this isn’t good or bad, it just is. However, living in thoughts of the past (which is gone) and the future (which you can’t live in and know till you’re there,) has us missing out constantly on what is in front of us right now. The “now” is truly the only thing you have. Let me say that again, in your life the present moment “the Now” is the only thing that exists.
What we all fail to realize is that most times we make decisions in the “now” that are based on reactions we have learned from our past experiences, or ideas & opinions about how we think something should be. Many of these decisions are reactionary and not well thought through.
I’ve found through experience that becoming Aware and Present in all situations that everything is as it is. So what does that mean? For good or bad, the experience you’re having at any given moment just IS. Your perception (based on your collective past) is what makes it good or bad, happy or sad, etc. Many of us are always looking to change the current situation and not accepting what IS at that moment in time. By accepting what IS doesn’t mean that you need to be complacent and not take action, it just means that for any situation, learning to accept it first will allow a more powerful form of action to take place that comes from a calmer deeper part of yourself.
So that brings it back around to “let it go” or “just be.” When we hang on to (or should I say stay attached) to the past (people, places, things) or ideas of the future, we are always on an emotional roller coaster. Depending on how good or bad we see our past or future this coaster can be crazy. It’s not possible to truly live in the past or the future, yet we all try so hard to do it all day long. Meanwhile, missing the opportunities to look at every new situation with fresh eyes (no labels, judgments, etc) to see how great it could truly be.
Most people don’t realize the truth of this until they’re coming close to death. You hear these people say, “the Thing’s in life don’t really matter, enjoy every moment to the fullest.” On a much deeper level, becoming aware that you are Present, brings about a state of peace, love, joy that is your being and can’t be explained but needs to be experienced.
As I practice trying to live in the Now or being Present, I get glimpses of this state. When I started reading about this idea I tried to think of times that I’ve experienced things where maybe I wasn’t living in my head and perhaps was Present. I wanted to see if I could remember what the feeling was that was associated with being Present. I thought, there must be times in my life I was really living in the Now, right?
Dancing, Dancing, Dancing. So many times to live music whether indoors or outdoors, or just in my house . I have found myself completely immersed in the music and can look back at the amazing aliveness that I felt throughout my body. During these times I’m not having thoughts reminiscing about the past or thinking about what I need to do tomorrow. I’m completely “in it” in the moment, in a zone. I bet most of you have had these moments where you’re completely present and you don’t realize it. When we are completely Present in anything we are doing, we can do it to the fullest extent. Really great athletes, understand this concept. I would say the greatest of all time to me is Tiger Woods. He understands the power of living in the Now and does so out on the green time after time.
So in very practical terms I haven’t felt the full Power that living in the Now can bring, but I enjoy life more and feel fullfilled when I’m Present. I find myself at work sometimes doing something and then I’m faced with a challenge. It could be a variety of things, but say the challenge strikes a level of irritation within me. The irritation is usually born out of me wanting the situation to be different than it is. If I recognize this, I can take a moment to be still, take a deep breath, and tell myself that the situation is as it is and that I need to accept it. Sometimes this takes a few moments with some repetition. I can then feel the irritation dissipate and I’m ready to take action to face the challenge from a calm Present state. I’m no longer facing the challenge with mere reaction, but from a clear state that no longer has negativity attached to it. I find my stress level to be at a minimum these days, just by accepting initially whatever the situation brings. Note: In times of clear danger, your fight or flight instincts will take over with a disregard of acceptance :)
Life is very fragile and many of us know how quickly someone can be taken away from this world or how quickly your own life could be taken. I think that’s the true message of “just be”, “live in the now”, and “let go.” It’s very hard to detach yourself from the things in your life that you’ve had or currently have and its also hard to not constantly look forward to a better tomorrow, but if you can make small steps toward this, you’ll have a lot more joy and contentment in your life.
My friends Mayra & Miranda in their passing have blessed me with the courage to try and live my life to the fullest and appreciate the Now for my future may never come. I’m thankful for all that life has given me and I hope to become a truly positive, loving, inspirational, & nonjudgmental individual in all situations.
If you’re interested in a book about living in the Now, I recommend “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I’ve only read pieces of it, but I’m reading another Tolle book and will be reading it next. I think he has a good understanding of this theory and shows you how to put it to practice in your life.
~Peace & Love
Enlightenment consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to past and future and to make the now the main focus of your life.
Hello my fellow blog readers. I apologize for my lack of posts recently. When I started blogging my sister said, “post at least once a week, if you want to keep your readers.” Well, hopefully I haven’t lost too many of you from my lack of journaling motivation. It’s been a great month of March and I certaintly have had a lot to post about, I just haven’t done the typing.
I’m sure everyone is in awe that March is already coming to close here soon. I’m completely baffled, I swear it was New Year’s just a few weekends ago. Hopefully for those that have been under lots of snow, the grass is starting to sprout and your itching to buy some yard plants. That’s my stage right now. I was leaving for a bike ride tonight after work and the way the sun was angled on my grass it was this small field of lime green. It appeared thick and lush, although this was just an illusion caused by the angle of the sun, as it is still pretty sparse. Nevertheless, I smiled big and said to myself, “spring is going to be here soooo soon.”
So, what’s happening in my world… I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening to your life’s purpose, as well as some others that focus on living in the “Now.” To be honest I’ve been on this journey for awhile now, but over the last month and a half, it seems to take up a lot of my world. It’s really refreshing to really begin to not only understand the concept of living in the now, but to experience it. I won’t go into that all now, that’s its on blog post in and of itself.
So, I’ll tell you about my weekend. It was my friend Alexa’s birthday today, but she had a birthday weekend. It started with a yummy Tostada dinner at their house and ended with some of us dancing the night away to an interesting country band that had a large range of music. It was Alexa’s real first night out since baby Aubrey (who is about to turn 1) found out she was pregnant. She was WAY over due for a good night out with some friends.
This was taken before Alexa got the spins after 4 drinks :) It was a lot of fun to be out and I had a really good time dancing a ton towards the end of the night.
I’ll back up though to earlier in the night. Aubrey is really starting to dance and bop when she hears music, and it’s the cutest dang thing. I love to watch babies begin to dance, especially since music and dancing is so dear to me. Here’s a video of Aubrey doing a little jig here and there. She also loves lights right now and if you say “light” she says “ehh” and then looks at the light. She also does it a lot on her own.
After a great Friday night I slept in a bit and it was such a beautiful sunny day I decided I wanted to take a drive and go somewhere with my puppas. I decided on heading up to Heyburn State park which is about an hour away. There is a 74 mile paved trail that starts there that used to be old train tracks. You can take the trail all the way into Montana. It borders lakes, rivers, ponds, meanders through valleys and takes you up in the mountains. I’ve never ridden the trail, but someday I might want to do the whole trail. Saturday though, was just going to be a walk with my dogs.
The drive was great. I had to pull over for Zoe once cuz she was in a state of panic. Poor dog gets claustrophobic/car sick. Then there’s Cole Buddy who just sits in the back, cool as a cucumber, so laid back.
Here a few photos from the trail. There’s this really amazing bridge that I’ve kayaked underneath before but never have walked across. It was really neat. It took a bit of encouragement to get Zoe to join Cole and I but she did it eventually.
You can see the bridge in the background if you look really hard. It’s amazing that even though the snow is just melting around here and spring hasn’t even fully arrived, it was still so pretty.
At one point we stopped and went down off the trail to the lake. Zoe couldn’t resist swimming and chewing sticks besides the freezing water temp. Cole dabbled a bit up to his belly then went to chill on the sandy, rocky beach.
I sat for awhile but then I saw two different huge black spiders running on the rocks around me and decided it was time to stand again. I really didn’t want my energy to turn sour over some spiders in their own habitat.
It was such a beautiful serene day. I purposely didn’t turn on my ipod so I could hear and listen to all the nature around me and be in its presence. There was water slapping the shore, waterfalls, reeds rustling, birds chirping, the sun warming my face from the cool wind blowing, four humans (2 cyclist, 2 walkers), and my puppas and I. Well, that’s the shortened version of my 4 hour adventure anyway.
I’m headed to Florida on April 1st, so I’m not sure how much posting I’ll be doing. Hopefully I’ll make some time to post about some of my adventures there. I like to do it when they’re fresh in my head.
Till next time ~
“Whatever you fight you strengthen, and what you resist, persists”
I had such a perfect beautiful day! My eyelids are heavy and my body says, “please take me to bed,” but my heart says, “please write it down if you can.”
Today I awoke earlier than normal and felt quite refreshed. Many of you know I’m not a morning person, so waking up with a big smile on my face ready to see what the day has in store, doesn’t happen that often. It usually takes me 7 snoozes and a good hour before I’m really ready.
As I was getting ready I thought, “you should drop in and take a yoga class tonight.” It’s been about 3 mths since I stopped taking class and perhaps my body was needing a bit of calm, quite, awareness. I was leaving my house early (which doesn’t ever happen either) so I decided to go to our Co-op for some breakfast muffins and some fruit for snacks. The sun was shining, Josh Ritter was playing, and I just new it was going to be a good day.
While at the Co-op I ran into a friend who I met in my Yoga class and we chatted. I told him how funny it was that I thought about going to class tonight and he said, oh you should and Leigh (his girlfriend) is substituting. I’ve taken a few classes from Leigh and she’s great teacher and we always end up having a good chat. So that settled it, I was heading to Yoga that evening.
I arrived at work hoping my computer was going to work because I had spent 2 frustrating hours the day before trying to connect to our network. I placed my laptop on my docking station and crossed my fingers. Voila – it worked. I’ve only been awake at this point for an hour but I’m already feeling amazing.
I shared my muffins, worked through the morning, and checked my personal email before I heading to lunch with a co-worker. My inbox shined with an email from my friend Cindy Mama from Asheville, NC replying to my email telling me her family is renting a condo in Jacksonville while I’m in Florida in April. I couldn’t believe it! I wrote her 2 days ago on a whim and said, “hey Cindy, doesn’t your family want to take a road to Florida in April so I can see you all and meet your new little girl Hattie?” I mean really, is this happening on my already perfect day! Of course I was just ecstatic knowing I get to drive over to the beach and spend some time with them and it was completely out of the blue.
I headed to lunch with an even bigger perma grin then I had on earlier with my co-worker Clyde. This was a personal lunch, that was filled with great talks of Vision Quests, religion, spirituality, and the Unity church. All things playing a big role in both of our lives at the moment. It was a great lunch and the craziest part was that I’ve been reading some books by Eric Butterworth who was a minister of a Unity church. I won’t go into details about the Unity church, you can easily find info online, but its been something I’ve been recently exposed to and have been interested in learning more about. There is one Unity church in a town south of me about 30 min. and 2 in Spokane about 1.5 hours away. Wouldn’t you know it that Clyde is a member of the Unity church south of Moscow. I know, beautiful right?
While at lunch my phone rang and it was my friend Tanya, aka T$. I looked at it and said, sorry T, I’ll have to call you after work. Clyde and I drove back to work on a beautiful sunny afternoon wishing we could have skipped out on the rest of the day and had beers at the local brew house. As I was settling into my desk, my phone rang, Tanya again. I thought oh know, something’s wrong, so I ran outside where I get cell phone coverage and answered. It was her mom saying that Tanya’s “litter” was about ready to join this world.
OMG, Tanya is having her baby, aaahhhhhh. I was so excited I didn’t even know how I was going to work this afternoon. I asked around work to see if anyone had a candle, but came up empty. She was due on Mar 21st, so she’s early and I just wasn’t expecting it. As I’m writing this, 10:30 my time and 1:30 her time, there’s still no little one yet. We don’t know its sex, and I don’t know for sure what the name will most likely be. I can’t believe Tanya’s going to be a mommy.
I try to work the rest of the day, but I have to admit, I wasn’t 100% focused on my tasks. The day at this point was overflowing with wonderfulness, and I wanted to hop on a plane and end it at Tanya’s bedside. Instead, I drifted out of the clouds, came home, hung out with my puppas and got ready for Yoga.
It was the last Yoga class for that session so it was a restorative practice. This means using a lot of props to allow your body to mold into restoring poses, so you can just let go. These are some of my favorite classes because there is so much stillness and conscious relaxation. It was a really great class and my body, mind, and heart were all very happy that I decided to go.
I stayed for awhile and chatted with Leigh who I don’t really know all that well, but connect with pretty easily. I got to hear about her amazing 6 week trip to Africa where for part of it she went to a 2 week drumming and dancing camp. I’ve heard Leigh and her friends playing the drums in a park, and she’s pretty amazing. I can’t imagine going to a camp in Africa to be taught by the best of the best! She had just gotten back this week and was still glowing from her trip. (Man, I gotta take a trip out of the country!)
I left class in a hazy, relaxed dazed and headed for my car to go home. As I passed one of my favorite coffee shops, I noticed there was some people playing music. I decided to pop my head in to see what it was. Very light celtic music that seemed to be speaking to my state at that very moment. I had my book with me, so i decided my evening would continue downtown with a little reading and some angelic music. What a perfect way to wrap up an extraordinary day.
Little did I know there would be another little twist ahead. As I was getting some tea, I ran into one of my friend Emily’s friends. He asked if I would join him, so we found some comfy chairs, sipped our tea and began getting to know one another. I think he enjoyed me being on cloud nine and I enjoyed his company and sharing the end of my perfect day with someone.
Who knew a Thursday could beat most of the Friday’s I’ve had lately. Mmm, life is so good to me. Thanks for sharing it with me.
“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life.”
Posted on March 7, 2008 by Keli · 1 comment Read More
This is a strange post, but I’m not sure of all the reader’s to my blog and wanted to reach out. Is anyone reading or read Eckhart Tolle’s book: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. I would also ask if anyone is currently taking Oprah’s online class regarding this book? If so, and you are interested in discussing it, please let me know through a comment.Posted on March 5, 2008 by Keli · 1 comment Read More