Posts Tagged ‘presence’
You have the answer. It is not in a book. It is not in a TV show. It is not in the DVD you just got through the mail from NetFlix. It is not in the lecture you are going to hear from your favorite teacher. It is not in the conversation you might be having with your friends at dinner tomorrow. It is not in the Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker. It is definitely not in this blog.
Whatever you are really seeking. Whatever you really need to know. Whatever you think you need to learn and understand by taking in outside information, it is all within you right now.
Deep down you have all the insights you need. The knower, the silent witness – is present in all of us. Our challenge is to quiet the thinking mind to the point where our deep-rooted and all-knowing self can really shine through. This is where meditation and the practice of present moment awareness can be such powerful tools.
Next time you have a big problem, something that has been puzzling you for a long time, something that causes you some level of anxiety or worry. Instead of trying to talk to people about it, read books to find the answer or turning to the Internet; try just quieting your mind.
Go for a walk. Sit in meditation. Go for a jog (no iPod please!). Take a relaxed bike ride. Do something to still your mind. Chances are you will either discover the answer, or realize that the problem isn’t even a problem to begin with and isn’t worth any further attention.
Either way, the solution is a process of discovery, not one of learning. Find the answer within yourself.
(reading time for this post = ~5 minutes)
Transformation is something we witness. It is not something we do.
There you have it. I did not make you read this entire post to discover the secret, you just read it. However, I hope you will take a few minutes to read on.
This concept, though counter-intuitive – is the fundamental key to transforming any aspect of your life. We may use all our skill, energy and effort to make a positive change in our lives – attending workshops, learning new skills, cultivating mentors and relationships – effectively trying to make transformation happen; but if we are not present enough to witness the change, it is all for nothing.
The problem with getting caught up in thoughts about the future is that the future always looms larger than reality. Objects, emotions, fears, thoughts, etc….all seem magnified when you ponder how things might be, as opposed to how things really are.
This is big problem.
It keeps you from doing things out of fear of failure. It keeps you from experience things out of fear that you might not live up to your own fabricated expectations. In actuality, fear is a very poor indicator of how things will actually turn out.
You can try your own experiment to prove this in your own life.
Next time you are fearful or nervous about doing something, make note of the fear…and do it anyway. Once the activity or situation has come to pass, write in a journal how the event went, compared to your expectations. Was the fear warranted?
In my own experience, for every case the fear was a false indicator. Disaster never occurred. In fact, I see a strong reverse-correlation. In situations where I feel fear, the outcomes often leave me feeling fulfilled for having done something worthwhile, new an exciting. Now, I seek those situations out.
Fear is no longer fear, it’s an opportunity to experience great new things.
Think of the last time you made an excuse for why you couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t do something.
It is in those moments that you are getting caught up in your stories about why things won’t work out. Too short, too fat, too poor, too busy, too young, too old, etc. The stories have little to no basis in fact, other than the fact that you made them up, but they govern your life all the same.
It is just so much easier to explain away something and justify why it can’t be done, than to venture a chance at it and risk your ego getting a little hurt.
The paradox of all this is that the very stories that you create to defend yourself are the same stories that preventing you from truly living. That is to say, they keep you from experiencing life in the moment, and growing, learning and truly contributing beyond your means.
Learn to identify your stories when they arise. It is the first step in creating space between who you really are and what your ego says you are. Over time, the stories will lose their grip and the real you will shine through.
Entitlement is a joke.
What you, I, or anyone has accomplished over the past minute, hour, day, month, year or lifetime may have been incredibly profound and impact-full. However, that really doesn’t have a thing to do with the present moment and the reality that is unfolding in front of you.
You may have been the star Quarterback in high school, the champion Swimmer, the National Merit Scholar or the Class President; but it is what you are now that matters, not what you were.
Just because you use to be able to run a fast mile when you were a kid doesn’t mean you will also be fit and in shape, immune from any physical malady for the rest of your life.
Just because you were voted “The Most Likely To Succeed,” doesn’t mean that you will never have to worry about finances for the rest of your life.
Life unfolds moment by moment.
Life does not happen in the past, or the future.
Life happens in the NOW.
In the NOW, there is no sense of entitlement. That is, there is no concept that life actually owes you something or anything.
In this realization there is a tremendous sense of freedom. In the NOW, you can be and do anything….really.
You can a champion, be wealthy, be a victor, be an example for others to look up to. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t think of yourself as these things in the past.
This is the beauty of the present moment.
Throw out any thoughts about deserving things because of something you were….and realize that you can really be anything you want to be in the NOW, that is, in the present moment.