“The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
I read the Power of Now 15 years ago after following the Oprah Winfrey series on Ekhart Tolle’s A New Earth. It was a game changer for me. I had gone through life like everyone else, in a quasi-sleep state that lacked awareness about how and why I was doing things and thinking thoughts every day. I had good and bad memories about the past, and sometimes felt guilt or regret about events that had transpired. I often thought about what my future would be like and spent most of my time investing in that mental image.
After reading Eckhart’s book I was never the same again. It was as though a lightbulb had gone off in my brain. Up until that moment, I had been experiencing three states of being:
- One where I replayed the past repeatedly
- One where I worried about the future constantly, and
- One where I didn’t spend much time at all in the present.
Since then I’ve learned that being in the moment can transform your daily experience so profoundly you’ll never be able to unsee what you become awakened to. Because this book has been so positive and life changing for me, I want to share five lessons I learned about how to say yes to the present moment. Practicing this mindset can totally transform the way you see and live your life.
Success is who you are and what you do in the present moment
Eckhart tells us not to fool ourselves into believing that success is anything other than what’s happening in the present moment. By focusing on and honouring what he calls the “Now”, anxieties and fears about the future disolve. So do regrets or negativity about our past. It seems unlikely that such a simple solution to unhappiness exists but it does. I gained a sense of inner peace, allowed things to flow more easily in my life, and experienced more joy by changing my mindset. This is called “present-moment awareness” and with practice, it is totally achievable. What it gives you is more quality of life, a better connection to others and yourself, and a more connected and real involvement in even the smallest daily actions you take.
Be here now no matter what you’re doing or where you are
Most people don’t focus on the present because they believe that the future will bring something better or more important. The truth is that right now is all you have. In fact, this moment is the only thing you stand to lose. This belief that the future is all that matters is making you miss your entire life. Yes, it’s true that we can have bad experiences and that many things are completely out of our control. But as Eckhart says, you have three options when you’re feeling unhappy about something:
- You can change it
- You can leave the situation, or
- You can accept what is.
We are 100% responsible for how we react to things, and we always have a choice between these three things. The second part to this is to be fully ready to accept the consequences of choosing between the three options. When you do this, you eliminate fear and anxiety about whatever scares you about the change. And the truth is, most times when you’re feeling unhappy, change is needed.
Letting go of addiction to negativity, substances, or people is possible when you move into the now
“There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
In the book, Ekhart writes that “every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain”. Whatever addictions a person faces; food, spending, drinking, drugs, or even emotional drama, this is a mechanism for covering up and avoiding the emotional pain within. Unfortunately, addictions can run havoc on our lives, our families, and our bodies. What if saying yes to the present moment and moving our attention away from past pain could change how we deal with painful memories and events? It sounds over simplified because it is very simple. Refusing to feel pain blocks us from accepting it and moving past it. This isn’t always conscious. If people with addictions had access to mindfulness retreats and weekly meditation practice, I fully believe it would help end their suffering.
Stop resisting what is or resenting your life
The book also talks about how when we depend on things being a certain way, we disempower ourselves. Resisting what is has the paradoxical effect of creating more of what we don’t want. So, stop fighting if you want things to change. Sometimes we think we need people or things to be a certain way in order to feel happier. We resist accepting what’s happening in the moment only to find more of it. By cutting away this dependence on certainty, things can quickly improve because whatever comes to you comes without effort. It also creates a sense of freedom and a greater appreciation for what you have. Another key to freeing yourself from negative thoughts is to let go of any resentments you have about people and circumstances. Doing this can reduce whatever fear you have of losing or not having. Eckhart mentions that all of these things will eventually pass you by because life is marked by cycles. So, allow your life to flow easily and go with the current rather than against it.
Stop trying to prove yourself or define yourself to others
Two of the biggest blocks people place on themselves happen when they define themselves based on what others think or compare themselves to others. Many of us are in the habit of comparing ourselves to others or looking to them for approval and acceptance. However, doing so doesn’t enhance who we are or bring us any more fulfillment. In fact, when we focus on others’ opinions of us, we move away from our authentic self. Of course, it can be helpful to talk things through with a partner, close friend or family member when sorting out a decision or problem. Ultimately though, only you can define yourself and what you need. Not needing others’ approval will remove many of the limitations you’ve placed on yourself. The question is, who are you really? Doing the work to find out is part of the process of releasing any attachments you have about others’ definition of who you are and who they want you to be.
Source: Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now
Copyright Michelle Thompson 2021. Copyright Authentic World Inc 2021.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Michelle. I’m an experienced group facilitator, teacher, and avid personal development and meditation user. As a coach and advocate, I’ve helped thousands re-imagine their lives and create a roadmap towards transformation and happiness. I love to write about authenticity, mindset, self-care, and mindfulness which I credit for helping me through my darkest moments. I created Authentic World Inc and my coaching practice to help people envision and create what they want from life. I’m passionate about supporting you in its creation by helping you work on your goals, beliefs, and habits.
Subscribe below to receive weekly blog articles!
Find out more about my coaching program and courses here.
Like and Follow us on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authenticworldinc
Using daily mantras and affirmations can help you create abundance, inner peace, and focus.
Download a free copy of my favorites here: https://www.subscribepage.com/x7n4w4