Do you find yourself so deeply in thought about the past and future that you forget whether you’ve washed you hair while you’re in the shower or finish a sandwich without really tasting it? I do.
According to author Eckhart Tolle, our “incessant mental noise” is usually full of judgement, comment, complaints, labels, criticism and blocks our ability to connect with our true selves. “Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in term of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited.” Your mind takes over and you become addicted to compulsive thinking. Your view becomes distorted, and you can’t connect with your essential self.
“If you no longer want to create pain for yourself and others, if you no longer want to add to the residue of past pain that still lives on in you, then don’t create any more time, or at least no more than is necessary to deal with the practical aspects of your life. How to stop creating time? Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”
For me, practicing the concepts in this book has reduced worry and anxiety, and made it easier to make decisions that are good for me. Whenever I find myself thinking about the past, I notice the thoughts, consider what brought them up, and then shift my attention to experience the moment. I say some words of gratitude for the color of the sky, my family sitting next to me, my health, opportunities I am experiencing. I allow sensations of sound, sight and environment to take hold of my conscience. I pay attention to breath. These activities make me feel grounded and happier. The closer we get to our true selves, the richer our lives.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Tolle, E., Namaste Publishing, 1999.