I’ve always had a brain that’s messier than a teenager’s bedroom, so when a friend recommended reading Eckhart Tolle’s, ‘The Power of Now,’ I didn’t need much encouraging. As I’ve said before, I am prone to occasionally getting caught in an anxiety loop, and often this relates to the past or future – worries about where I’ve been or what I’m doing. I hoped that some time in the Now might do some good.
While I’ve got to say that the book was a little too wordy and repetitive for my liking – Urghhh! Can’t he just say it in a 5 minute YouTube clip?! – the key concepts made a lot of sense.
The basic principle is that ‘we are not our thoughts,’ but rather an observer of them, and that time itself is just an illusion. The past and the future don’t exist in reality – in the now. ‘Their reality is “borrowed” from the Now,’ he tells us.
Whoooaaa! This got deep pretty fast!
But think about it. The past and the future are just stories – they’re fiction. Though there are memories mixed into our vision of the past and hopes, dreams and prediction mixed into the future, none of it’s real. Because it’s not happening now. Not only that, but our version of events is based on our own perception. Hundreds of people could all experience the same event, but every one of them might construct a completely different memory.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you find yourself mulling over the past or the future, stop and bring yourself into the present moment. Explore your surroundings with your senses. If thoughts and worries arise, just watch them without trying to control them. And return to your breath.
As philosophical as some of this seems, it’s actually very basic.
Your unhappiness is created in your mind, in the stories you’re telling yourself.
So why not get out of your head, sit back and relax into the present moment – into the Now?
Do you also have a slightly scatty brain? Have you had any success with mindfulness and meditation? Comments welcome: