Have you ever notice how many times on a daily basis that time is spent either thinking about past events or projecting our thoughts into the future and thinking of events to come, or wishful thinking. The majority of us spend a lot of our time yo yoing back and forth between the past and the future, thinking about what happened yesterday, last week, last month, even 20/30 years ago, or looking out into the future with wishful thinking or creating a fantasy world of ‘if only’. The present becomes nonexistent for a lot of us. We are not in attention to what is going on in the here and now because we are too busy trying to figure out the past ordaydreaming about the future. Things are happening around us on a daily basis and we are missing them. We miss the joy, the beauty, the excitement, the opportunity all because we have let our minds drift.
Each and every one of us is given daily challenges, some great ones and some not so great. I have yet to come across a person whose life has been happy and cheerful from beginning to this present moment. We all have
had past experiences, hurts, let downs, grief, disappointments and we have also experienced good times; happiness, love, excitement, and joy. Life is full of upsets and it is full of great joy and each of us will get to experience both.
Responding to Change: As human beings we have an inbuilt resistance to change. We have a strong desire to hang on to good experiences and we try to reject what we perceive will create bad or painful feelings. When we get into resistance we go against the natural flow of life and create distress within ourselves. We start to ask questions and go looking for someone or something to blame or someone to vent our anger on. We can get hooked into negative feelings, fear jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition or anger. We see the glass as half empty easier than seeing the glass as half full.
The reality of life is that nothing stays the same, nothing stays constant. Life and death go hand in hand and changes will occur in spite of our resistance. Life is the beginning of anything, a life, a dream, an idea, a project and death is the ending, the conclusion. All things will end and the easier we can become with endings then the easier it will be to accept change when it comes our way. Some endings come with joy or relief. Have you ever heard yourself say ‘thank God that is over,’ or ‘phew, I thought that would never end’? So it is true to say that all endings are not painful, some can be joyous and a time of celebration. When something ends it leaves space for something new to come in, there is an opportunity to experience something different and to see life from a new perspective.
Living in the Now learning to live in the now is a great way to live our lives. I’d like you to just take a moment and do an exercise to illustrate the power of being in the now. I want you to stop doing what you are doing and to think of a pleasant memory of something that happened for you, it can be an hour ago, yesterday, last year or even 10 years ago. Just let yourself recall this memory and notice how you feel. I bet that you feel pretty good and are recreating the good feeling that comes with that memory. Now, just let that memory go, let it fade away and bring your attention back to the present moment, to what it is you are doing right now and notice the change in your feeling. Now I want you to think of something that was not so pleasant, a let down at work maybe, a row with your partner, a missed appointment, a failed exam. Just remember the incident and notice how you are feeling. Again I bet that you have tapped into the feelings that you were feeling at the time this event occurred. Now, ask yourself the question, ‘Is this happening to me now?’ Listen to your answer. Then ask yourself ‘when did this happen to me? Again listen to your answer, and now ask your self ‘what am I doing right now? Notice how your feelings will have changed just once you let go of the recalled memory as you bring your attention to what it is that you are doing in the here and now. This is a great technique to use and you can learn more about living in the present in the book ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, a book I would recommend reading.