“You cannot find yourself in the past or future. The only place where you can find yourself is in the Now.”
What DO we do NOW?
Well…let’s talk first about “finding yourself”…
Simply in reading this you’re pausing…
And that’s where you begin this “finding”…this search for yourself.
In the Now.
Where are you right now…
Pause again for two breaths.
Listen internally for a few breaths and just observe the information coming in.
No action required.
No judgements necessary.
You just gave yourself the gift of Now…
Now, where we live and find answers….
With the growing restrictions we are all experiencing worldwide due to COVID 19, we may be finding more pockets of time on our hands.
I am examining for myself: how am I choosing to spend my time? Where AM I in all of this?
We may anxiously channel surf without even noticing that an hour or two has passed…
We might wait in line at 5:00am with 100+ strangers for the grocery store to open at 6:00, hoping to find what we need…then stand in the checkout line for 45 more minutes.
We could also find ourselves lying awake at night for hours, wondering when/if things will return to normal, how our loved ones are faring, pondering the state of the economy, or perhaps whether we will ever be able to shake off our stream of fears without finally going down the river with them.
Tolle’s quote reminds me that my only place of true power (and control) is RIGHT NOW.
Now always IS where we live, think, act.
Thinking in terms that we each have a personal store of energy to “spend” on thinking and doing, where are you regarding how you are using your own precious energy?
Past and Future are, at this moment, no longer accessible (they represent living that is either completed or not yet to be), so spending copious amounts of time there can quickly become a futile activity.
Therefore any “living” in Past or Future with my thoughts requires some wise, mindful monitoring.
The Past contains beautiful memories and lessons learned, which can help me Now.
The Future contains both Hope and Fear.
So while there is value in looking back or forward so that we can grow and learn, the intention to look there need only be to access means to increase the good we each have tucked away within us. If it brings no forward progress, it actually subtracts from our store of available energy.
So we need to stay aware of what drains us vs. what fills us.
If I get stuck in Past or Future, why? What am I looking for there.. What am I longing for…and how can that assist me Now?
So I’ve decided to see (as often as I can remember!) these turbulent times through the lens of the many opportunities to reflect on what is truly important to me.
Yes, me first.
Selfish, you say?
Here’s the why:
Because if I take care of what is happening inside me, then I am much better prepared for what is going on outside of me.
I’m building up stores of what will assist me in going forward.
Once I have committed to spending time with me (i.e. how many Pauses can I find today?), I find I am not so inclined to be as overwhelmed by the circumstances surrounding me.
Whatever gifts I receive by pausing and breathing, spending time with myself, no matter how uncomfortable I may feel at times in facing the thoughts and feelings that come up, these gifts then become a lens through which I can more clearly see others’ words and actions. Judgements can begin to dissipate…and I can begin to bring curiosity to my surroundings:
What can I do NOW?
How do I want to show up?
These are scary times and truly overwhelming, as we are saturated by the continuous barrage of “helpful” information on the news and other sources.
But if we can pause and ask, “Who just chose to turn on that channel?”
Who’s really in charge?!
“What do I do Now?” depends on “the channel” I’m watching…and I’m not just speaking of TV watching…
but the ones I’ve chosen to dial into…
In my mind and heart.
And then asking:
“Is this channel a ‘drain out’ or a ‘fill up’ experience?”
It does come down to our choices, how present we can be…
How many “pauses” we can find in our day…
For each pause is what leaves space for the flux of roiling feelings, deeper needs and changing events that seem to be controlling our lives.
We have room to experience them, to watch them, without being pulled into them.
We can decide what drains…and what fills…
And choose to discard or keep accordingly.
To an extent, we are being controlled: we watch as we are losing freedoms, as access is being further limited to those we care for, as many more choices are being made FOR us…so there is definitely an overpowering feeling of sadness and even grief, at the loss of connection (at least, as we long for it to be)…
And there is the pervading, persistant anxiety of losing even more of our autonomy as suggestions, rules and even laws are more and more becoming (“normal”?) parts of our lives.
But…could I be willing to embrace “different” for a while?
With one breath, one pause, I can instantly be in the limitless space of my creative mind and my buoyant spirit…and THIS can ALWAYS be where I live.
I can move WITH change, rather than fight it, seeking through Pauses the “fill ups” over the “drains”.
With any Pause, I am Now enthroned in the “seat” from which I “observe” as much as I can…myself, others, events, feelings, beliefs, nature…
There’s a sense of being above it:
Being IN it all, but not OF it all.
Is always a source of inner peace.
This virus, alongside its threat and frightening ubiquitousness, is also giving us a chance to look a little closer…
At what is really important.
To choose to live more closely aligned with what we long for, to honor what really matters to us.
It begins Right Now…
And also Now.
Every moment holds a new choice.
I can be here, Now, deciding every moment what I want to think about or what I want to do…or CAN do…observing how I feel and what I might be needing in this moment.
In honoring that space, I can then create space for others: I can be more of service to my piece of the world than I would if I stay “locked down” in the “house” of my fears, beliefs, futile thoughts, and succumbing to that massive tidal wave cresting ominously on my heart’s doorstep, smashing at the door over…and over…and over.
My dear human beings:
We may have to keep our bodies under quarantine…
But our minds and souls are never under captivity…
And they never ever will be.
Pause = Presence = Peace
Now is the only place where that sequence can happen.
What do we do…