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Slowing down...

As an offshoot from my last entry, I would like to write about a few books that I've been reading lately. I've become quite the fan of Eckhart Tolle. I know, I know...Opera did a huge thing...anyway...

The few things that I've learned about my life is that I'm never living in the present. I'm not sure that any of us really live much of our lives in the present. We're either very overcome with the past or the future that we actually forget that the only time that matters is right now. Right this minute. Do you really think that the future can save you? Or that the past has it's grasp on you? I mean, think about this for a minute. The future isn't even here right now. It's NEVER going to be HERE. Can you really ever make a decision or take action in the future? No. If you are looking for something in the future to save you or to make your life better, that, in reality, is impossible. I've spent years of my life trying to find happiness in the future. Thinking to myself that next year will be better, or that I'll do this next week or that I'll finish this task next month. Whatever the case may be. The fact of the matter is, either you make the decision to do something NOW, or you decide not to. But we have to stop assuming that things are just going to happen for us later. Future-thinking only promotes more future thinking. The ONLY moment we have in this life is the present.

It's really such a simple concept, but unless it's shown to you, you can't see it. Mr. Tolle does an amazing job of showing us and telling us why. I'm not going to try to rewrite what he has done so well, but I will try to show the point a bit and perhaps lead others to, at least, give the books a chance. Now is all that you have in your life. You can either sit back and enjoy it, or you can live a life that is never here. There is the other alternative, also. The past life. You can live your life according to what has happened in your past, and you can define yourself by that life. But why? Should you define yourself by what has happened and is over, or by what is here and now?

It's starting to sound complex here, I think, but it's really a basic idea. Your life is now. Carpe diem. There is a reason that saying came to be. Seize your life now. Don't seize it two days from now...for you will never really get your grasp if you're always thinking two days ahead. And you'll miss so much going on around you. Be present. Be in the now. Enjoy your life. If you really think about all the things that you worry about, most of them haven't arrived yet. Or most of them are over. It's okeh to feel sad or to miss things, but don't let that define your life. Allow yourself to feel them, and then you'll naturally move past it...if you live your life in the here and now. If you keep thinking about things over and over, you'll keep living the same life and the same emotions over and over. You'll be addicted to them. So many of us are. But, life is now people! That doesn't mean that you should party and live like there may be no other days left. It just means to slow down a bit, focus on your life now. It's really not that bad. Mr. Tolle mentions at one point something like if you really focus on your life RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, most will realize that there's not really anything "bad" going on. Are you worried about making that credit card payment? Is that life now, or is that life in the future. Most of the time, that's a future worry. And you'll deal with it when you come to it. It's not to say that you shouldn't plan for things. Plan your life so you have money to pay that card, or make a budget so that you'll be able to. But make the plan NOW, and it's done. No need to worry. If you cannot pay, realize that you can't. Allow that feeling to be, and realize it's not the worst thing in your life. Make a new plan NOW and you'll be in better shape to pay it next month.

I'm getting off track here, but the entire idea is that if you live in the now, you'll worry less and you'll always be you. You won't be some past version of yourself, and you won't always be expecting yourself to become something "better" later. You are the best and worst that you can possibly be RIGHT NOW. That may seem weird, but it's sort of comforting. Especially once you realize that life isn't so bad in the here and now.


July 2008

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