Saturday, September 1, 2012

Now Is Truly All We've Got

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

"We may be searching for answers that will helps us move from anxiety to peace, from confusion to clarity and from emotional pain to happiness. As the world's great wisdom traditions tell us, the answers are always within. By going inside and connecting to the deepest level of our being, the clamor of competing outside messages begins to fade and inner awareness dawns." ~ Deepak Chopra.

This post is going to be a bit “out there” … so consider yourself warned ;-)

There was a time in my life, pretty much around the time I was 15, 16, 17 and 18, when I was a lot more spiritually in tune with myself and those around me, when I was meditating a lot, in touch with nature, the elements and going to intuition seminars with my cousin, Nikki.

I remember still dealing with depression and anxiety, but having such a strong sense of self and my true identity that I was able to keep a lot of those mind-related worries and issues in check or they eventually didn't exist at all. They didn't hold the power they eventually began to. Those who know my personal life, know the various experiences, bad and good, that ensued and have brought me to this point. Unfortunately, along the way, I lost that identity and was no longer tapped into that higher self, so to speak, like I once was. I began to fully identify with my mind, with memories and an obsession with a better future. I always got sidetracked or put getting back in touch with the spiritual part of myself on the backburner, thinking, “One day I'll get back to it, after I deal with this, this and this.”

Well, I'm done with that. In fact, in the last five months, I have had countless signs pointing me to the present moment. The first major one, in March, when my heart condition acting up from stress and anxiety led to a hospital stay. The emergency phycisian walked into my room and just stood next to me for a minute … he studied me, looking into my eyes and then began talking about holistic treatments for the things going on with me. I was so taken aback. I mean, I can't imagine holistic emergency physicians are a commonality. He talked to me about holistic ways of relaxing and finding peace and a mindset free of anxiety/depression, hurt and pain and disease. A few days prior to this, two people I randomly encountered (one was a source I interviewed for a completely different story) talked about meditation, Yoga, Reiki. My Yoga instructor at that time was also talking about Chakras (or our energy centers).

I felt a strong pull inside, like I did as a teenager … that calling. And yet, I didn't respond … again. I got caught up in my daily grind, in sorting out my emotional and psychological issues while putting my spiritual self on the backburner. But, as per usual, the universe doesn't work on MY whim. Since then, I've had continous, seemingly random references to those same practices, including me starting to receive the Yoga Journal and being turned onto Eckhart Tolle's teachings.

I have many moving parts going on right now in my life. But I realize none of that matters. Just like when I was younger, I don't need to complete one thing or another to reengage with this part of myself. It can work harmoniously with anything else going on in my life, good and bad. And it's different now. I'm different now. I'm not the little girl I was then (even though she makes her appearances on occasion still). And I'm not without my scars, my mistakes, flaws, regrets and hard-learned lessons. But everything in the readings and teachings I'm finally paying attention to is simple: Live in the NOW … be always present.

It's about ending your mind's rule over you. It's about no longer identifying with your mind and with time itself (meaning the past and future). It's about realizing those are illusions and everything that matters and that we experience is happening right this second … it's not happening in the future or in our past.

I am so sick of my mind ruling me. In fact, I'm determined now more than ever to change that. I've done it before so I know I can do it again. But I also know it's going to take a lot of practice, time, discipline and dedication. The mind/ego can be a VERY powerful thing and feeds off of emotion and identification, so any threat of separation is going to naturally cause resitance. But I'm up for the challenge.

So, instead of just starting to physically do stuff every day (Yoga, stating my intention every morning, meditation, etc.) I've been reading, reading and doing more reading to “prep” myself for this undertaking. The physical stuff wasn't cutting it without the mental, emotional and spiritual mindset in place.

So, I'm going to leave you all with a few Tolle passages that have hit really hard. And I'll elaborate more on them soon.

“For so many people, a large part of their sense of self is intimately connected with their problems. Once this has happened, the last thing they want is to become free of them; that would mean loss of self. There can be a great deal of unconscious ego investment in pain and suffering.”

"Intense presence is needed when certain situation trigger a reaction with a strong emotional charge (something that happens to me more than I'd like). The reaction or emotion takes you over — you 'become' it. You act it out. You justify, make wrong, attack, defend ... except that it isn't you. It's the reactive pattern, the mind in its habitual survival mode."

“Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops — unless you choose to use it. To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with the past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be.”

“The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”

“Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.”

The mind creates an obession with the future as an escape from an unsatisfactory present.”

The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes your 'future.'”

And lastly, this one REALLY hit me, because I've often regained perspective in certain overwhelming moments of my life by imagining myself on my own death bed and thinking about what would really matter in that moment.

“Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret to life is to 'die before you die.'”

Think of that.



  1. You might like this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. It's one of my favorites.

    1. Indeed ... I loved it. The last verse gave me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Be Here Now by Ram Das. If you've read it, wonderful! If not, I think you'll enjoy its stripped- down take on staying in the present moment.

    1. I have not, but I'll definitely check it out :-) Thank you. I think that's what I like a lot about some of the other readings I'm doing right now surrounding this "present awareness" concept, the different ways people of various backgrounds, whether spiritual or scientific, are breaking down the same general notion.