For a moment, forget about your past and your future. For the moment, what happened yesterday does not matter and what will happen tomorrow can wait until… well… tomorrow. Right now in this very moment, what do you have? How do you feel?
I recently started reading a book that has already changed the way I see the world around me. It is called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Fittingly so, it presents the reasons for focusing on the current moment, and nothing else, as much as possible. What I have taken from it so far I thought would be worthy of sharing here:
You are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are the words on the whiteboard of your mind. They are in your view, not in you. Think about the last ten thoughts you’ve had. How many of them were about something that happened yesterday? Or something that will happen in the future? If you’d asked me this question last week, I would have said at least nine. Today, after some practice, I can say that its probably down to about five. But the difference is incredible. In moments of high stress, or negative emotion, I remind myself of one elloquently simple fact:
All I really have is this moment, and in this moment, everything is great.
The wind against my face reminds me that I am a part of the world around me. The lights on the buildings above me remind me how lucky I am to be in Korea, experiencing this new culture. The smiles of the children walking by me remind me to smile. And in this moment, I just feel so alive.
It’s really just a slight shift in perspective. Rather than keeping your thoughts in front of you, like words overwritten on the picture of the world in front of you, they are in a book in your back pocket. They can be taken out when you need them, and used accordingly. Or they can stay there while you clear your view and truly soak in everything around you.
THE TAKEAWAY: Money, possessions, prestige, pride, hatred, “problems,” and stress… can all wait. If you think about it, there is really NEVER anything we have but this current moment. We can choose to cloud that view with our own thoughts about the things that are bothering us, but those are just distractions. They are distractions from the most beautiful thing our world has to offer us: itself. So the next time you find your self stressed about something, or feeling bad, remember, if there isn’t a problem right this very moment, then what do you have to worry about?
Artwork provided by my beautifully talented girlfriend.