What is it like to be fully present?
"My perception, my understanding is greater. It's as though I can see round corners! There are many possibilities. I can see, I can absorb and I’m not overwhelmed. My mind is not busy, nor am I spaced out."
"My mind is still, like a clear pool. Perfectly crystal clear. I am fully present. Yes, it’s a gift to be in my present. I see that now. Everything is crystal clear. I can see all. Now I attend to my life so differently."
Essentially, I am talking about my Self. 'My real Self.' Devoid of all (chattering monkey) thoughts, the 'what ifs' and 'what else could I do?' and 'what else I need to do?'
I am talking about attending with one-pointed focus to the challenge in hand, in the present. Rather than living in the past (what haven't I done) or in the future (there's still so much to do).
I am attending to my present. And, yes, it might well be seen as a gift.
Contrary to what you might believe, we all have this gift. It just takes focus and commitment.
A One-point focussed mind: No Chattering Monkey Thoughts
"All thoughts of blame ( blaming someone or something else) are gone. I am in control. It is me. It is not about anyone else. I'm not pushing against any tide, any person and any system. I am not pre-empting problems ( the 'what if' syndrome) instead, I am attentive to all and everything in that specific moment. I slip through into another space. Another dimension. Yet I’m still functioning."
It took me a long long while before I could see the joke: that within the moment is my present. At that moment, I have everything. A cosmic gift!
So why can't I stay in my present? What is stopping me? Blocking me?
Ah ha! What is left is ME :-) My own stuff.
This can include some or all of the following: negative self-beliefs ( some of those I put there, some of them are from previous partners, experiences, jobs and childhood) and my own lingering fears and false beliefs, maybe disappointment for unfulfilled dreams and expectation to reality, grief, anger…
Here's my experience: I found committing myself to me, giving myself the time and the space to move through my busy world into a space of stillness and learning to be 'in the moment' harrowing. I experienced it as challenging and frustrating too.
First it was harrowing because I couldn't do it and I didn't know how to begin. The thoughts (of which I believed I had no control) were enormous and overwhelming. They consumed me and my day and my behaviour toward others. And that was harrowing for me. I realised that to handle my thousands of thoughts I had to watch my emotions, my feelings. For often they would trigger thoughts and reactions.
Further into my quest to stay 'in the moment,' the challenges were fast and furious, often overwhelming. As I explored and practised, I found myself slipping into past patterns. Of course, it was great that I could see I was experiencing past patterns because
a) it meant I was observing myself
b) I was being honest with myself and
c) I could do something about it. I could ask myself "Do these past patterns serve me well now? And if not, I need to do something about them in order to move on." I was willing to move through my blocks. People who don't like change, please take note, look honestly at yourself and ask yourself whether not liking or not coping well with change is blocking you moving on in your life. This may well be your first 'pro-active' step to handling all of your tomorrows!
Often I would find myself even more overwhelmed than I was in the first place. I explain this now, by saying it is rather like a see-saw: there are days when one feels great, many small steps forward have been achieved. There are also days when nothing happens or, even worse, hundreds or even thousands of steps backwards are experienced. Eventually, the see-saw swinging reduces. It evens out, a plateau is reached. Calmness steps in. It is then one can appreciate stillness. And want to stay in it. In fact, to crave it. It is not frightening, it is loving, peaceful and so powerful, so very still and pregnant with potential.
I've talked about my journey to stay 'in the moment' as being harrowing and challenging. For me, there was frustration too. This is where although I'm on the path, would not want to be on any other path, and I can stay in the present some if not most of the time, I'm frustrated because I slip out of it! The frustration, I know, is there to tell me I need to go further, I haven't loosened enough of myself. I haven't freed up enough of the expectations I put on myself to just BE. And then, somehow it just happened...I lost the frustration. Instead, what do I now do? I smile. I'm not hard to myself anymore. I'm just me. And I don't have expectations of others. I've unlocked another door on my journey to come home to my Self. I simply laugh at myself. I can't begin to tell you how freeing that is! Yes, I continue to feel relaxed and move through the awareness that I've slipped from staying 'in the moment' and it is ok!
Please believe me when I say there is NO one way, one tool, one training that can ensure you will remain in the present.
Mindfulness is the current 'magical' tool. And will serve many very well. Yet staying in the moment requires all of our intelligences: we function on many levels through our mind, our body, our emotions, our intuition and our spiritual selves. We have five senses: sound, touch, taste, seeing and smell. All communicate information requiring us to absorb and integrate. In fact, a sound can transport us to another time, another place, as can a smell or a picture.
Paying attention and staying in the moment asks us to dissolve all. Asks us to detach, rather than block or hold onto thoughts, emotions, memories. Instead, to function with free flowing thoughts and mindful action.
The ability to:
to ease tension in the body and the mind
to be able to step back, separate fact from emotion
learn to respond rather than react, are all part of the process of staying in the moment.
Just imagine what it could be like for you?
"It happens ...occasionally..it happens... up bubbles the gifts...an original thought...an ah ha moment....a bubble of pure bliss....of joy.....the right action to take 'a deep knowing' .....the one angle I had forgotten to look at. All the while I am relaxed, without tension. I might be getting on with my day, or attending slowly and methodically with great attention to the small things in life. What is gradually happening, is that I'm experiencing the deep still crystal clear waters are sustaining me...continually sustaining me....connecting me to everything in this world: to you, to me and beyond...an ineffable Source" '
"It makes living so much lighter. It makes work so much easier."
How does staying in the moment help me in my tomorrows?
Well, if it is not obvious by now... You'll be calm, clear and always resourceful. Might that help at work? Home? Generally, in your life?
OH and by the way, the added benefit that always comes from clearing out your thoughts and negativity is authenticity.
'When I loved my self enough I realised that only when I am feeling and acting lovingly did others respond lovingly.'
All is Possible and Nothing is Impossible
THINK YOURSELF INTO HAPPINESS
"Everything is possible and nothing is impossible. You are only ever limited by your mind."
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"We are all made of stars and carry eternity inside." Thich Nhat Hanh
INTRODUCING YOU TO YOUR BEAUTIFUL MIND, BODY, SPIRIT WITH ANN TANMAYI