“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” Fr. Alfred D’Souza
Tip 11: Befriending the NOW
Have you noticed that people who live in the NOW do not make life their enemy? Living fully in the moment they do not use up their precious moments in a state of depression or anxiety. They are not anxious over what might (or might not) happen in the future. Nor are they depressed about what has happened in their past. This makes them very magnetic to their Good.
The ego sees the NOW as merely a means to an end. For the ego, the present moment is endured in order to arrive at a future state. The ego sets us up for a life of striving because it feels alone. Separate. (Edging God Out)
One of the best ways to remain in the NOW is to remove judgment from what you are experiencing. Instead of making an event either a good or bad experience, do as Eckhart Tolle does and just enjoy the “isness” of the moment. This is also called allowing. Creatures simply allow whatever comes their way. Can you be in the moment without having an opinion about it? For most of us this requires a lot of practice because we have been taught to judge everything.
Some of the ways to befriend the moment include meditation, yoga and affirmations although there are many other ways. Arianna Huffington (cofounder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group) is considered to be one of the most influential women in the world. In her book, THRIVE, she reminds us to stop and smell the roses as she shares with us her own personal ‘wake up’ call that came as a result of falling asleep from exhaustion at her computer and breaking her cheekbone and slashing her eye area. “On the morning of April 6, 2007, I was lying on the floor of my house in a pool of blood. On my way down, my head hit the corner of my desk, cutting my eye and breaking my cheekbone. I had collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep. In the wake of my collapse, I found myself going from doctor to doctor, from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion. There wasn’t, but doctor’s waiting rooms, it turns out, were good places for me to ask myself a lot of questions about the kind of life I was living.”
Not living in the moment but rather alienated from Self, Huffington gives us a cautionary tale about herself and also examples from others who like herself participated in excess and did not occupy the present moment. “If you are lucky you have a “final straw” moment before it’s too late. For me, it was collapsing from exhaustion in 2007. For New York Times foodwriter Mark Bittman, it was obsessively checking his email via his in-seat phone on a transatlantic flight, leading him to confess, “My name is Mark, and I’m a techno-addict.” For Carl Honore, author of IN PRAISE OF SLOWNESS: HOW A WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT IS CHALLENGING THE CULT OF SPEED, it was contemplating one-minute bedtime stories” for his two year old son to save time. For Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, it was a skiing accident that left him with a broken neck and eventually led him to the practices of yoga and meditation.” Huffington mentions these examples of people who realized before it was too late that they had never learned to relax and live in the NOW.
The spiritual teacher, Wayne Dyer, leaves us a great question to ask ourselves when we are feeling dejected or out of sorts: “Do I wish to use the present moment – the precious currency of my life – in this manner?” Dyer invites us to become conscious of how valuable each moment is and to obliterate our tendency to use endless excuses for the purpose of escape.
Love & Light, Monica