Do you know what it means to live in the Now? I spent most of my life thinking outside the present moment. I was either thinking of something in the past, or I was thinking of something in the future.
Have you ever thought you think too much? Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now changed my life. After I had read his book, I realized I no longer had an addiction problem. I had a thinking problem.
I realized this problem right after my wife’s affair. It was like I couldn’t escape those iterative thoughts of betrayal. They were like a machine gun of my mind, shooting myself over and over again.
I never had addictions or depression but rather an out of control mind that I didn’t know how to manage. My mind was in control of my mind, body and spirit.
It was not until I left my toxic marriage and transformed myself into living my infinite potential that the multifaceted solution became apparent. I worked on mindfulness utilizing many of Tolles techniques, but also started utilizing neurofeedback, biofeedback, wellness and practicing meditation.
One of the easiest ways to remove yourself from the present is when your thoughts are based on time. I never knew how this worked until my thoughts became so punishing I started looking for answers.
Have you ever played something hurtful over and over in your mind? My wife’s affair is a painful example of this. I can even get caught up in the would-have-should-have-could-have for even small inconsequential things.
Thinking of the past usually brings some judgment as we decide how it affects our lives. These judgments are the root of many of our beliefs.
For practical purposes, this can serve us, awareness is required to ensure this thinking is not causing suffering and feelings of less-than.
The past doesn’t exist. Even the representation in our mind is only valid in our reality. What we see through our own eyes is subjected to what our mind believes, experiences, and its programming from our environment.
When we see something through our physical eye what translates to our mind is create at roughly 10% from our eyes and the remaining 90% is created by our mind.
This is why people can look at the same painting and have entirely different experiences. The same goes for witnesses and the Rashomon Effect. Different witness will see the same thing, but have a different retelling of it.
It is important to ensure you are using past experiences that serve your purpose in life. Our previous perception may not be serving the life we want. No matter how hard we try, we cannot create a perfect picture of our past.
As human beings, we have the ability to shape and mold our past experiences to serve our larger purpose in life. The past can be practical, but often the events need to be reframed into practical uses.
For example, I have been able to bend and shift the past to serve my infinite potential. I turned the most painful experience into thriving each moment.
Have you ever worried about being late for something? As I am sure you can relate and also to the stress this causes. Being late causes some sort of fear that you will either miss something or that you may look bad. Fear creates stress and brings suffering.
When I am running late for something, I use this Gandalf quote from the Lord of The Rings.
A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.
I believe J.R.R. Tolkien correlates Gandalf as an enlightened one here on earth. I replay that quote over and over when I am late, and I tell myself I will arrive precisely when I am supposed to, despite any fears I have about being late.
If you think about it, being timely is more about control than anything. The illusion of control and perfection I will never achieve. I will use the time for practical purposes usually when interacting with others, but other than that, stressing over it serves no purpose.
With my ability to frame my experience based on this way of thinking I can have wizard-like powers. These powers bend and shift my reality to serve my life and remove the stress that crippled me for decades.
Comparing takes us out of the Now by not accepting what is. When we compare we are not accepting what is and taking our thoughts into the what is not.
For example, “They are in better shape than I am.” By making this comparison, another person’s fitness level has nothing to do with you.
It is perfectly acceptable to see what is possible in another human and visualize yourself in the same shape. It would be practical to compare your current state with your desired state when you also incorporate a plan to get there.
Otherwise, you are simply comparing things that will never be. You will never be that other person. You will never be the person you desire without the intention and action to get there.
In other words, if you are working to accomplish something comparing to attain your goals is necessary. However, to compare without an intention is a sure way to see yourself as less-than.
Becoming the observer is a skill taught by Eckhart Tolle. The observer means to observe your thoughts. The way I understand this is to recognize them as another entity. Some picture another person. A stock ticker or maybe even your alter ego running down the street with scissors.
The mind is just like any other organ, doing what it is supposed to do, thinking. On average, we have over 50,000 thoughts during the day, and over 95% of them are the same thoughts from the previous day.
Learning to observe the thoughts without judgment is a skill. It is interesting because you are creating thought about your thought, or simply just being mindful.
A dialog with your thoughts often happens when you have a judgemental thought of yourself. This type of thinking is especially critical when you have a thought of being less-than. Those thoughts take us out of the moment.
A thought might say something like, “I am such idiot for forgetting.” Your next thought could either support or argue with this judgment. An internal dialog creates energy which transmutes into stress and suffering.
Our mind wants to determine if we are an idiot based on an experience or if we think we will do it again. This thinking takes us out of the moment and into the past or future.
Being mindful of these thoughts and how to reduce judgment which will reduce suffering and stress. Observing the thought and not passing judgment. By creating space for these thoughts will prevent the struggle of trying to suppress them.
Do Not Identify
During my addictions and depressions, I was often time identified with my thinking. The thoughts that you have are not you and not your true identity, and they are of your mind.
You are responsible for your thoughts. However, you cannot control the first thought that enters your mind. You must be responsible for the second one.
When you have an incoming thought, you have a choice if you want to continue to create the follow-up thought. Your next thought could be either one that supports the original thought or creates additional dialogs.
As an alternative, you can observe it and let it pass like an ocean wave. You have a choice not to engage in the conversation, dialog or judgment of your thoughts. Just recognize and appreciate that the mind is doing what the mind does.
By having the proper balance of thought, the technique will lead to a better mindset which leads to a better quality of life.
I think the easiest way for me to explain this is proper thought technique is required but mindfulness and meditation practices will only reinforce these skills.
I am always looking at ways to hack my reality and different ways of pushing my infinite potential.
I help people live their infinite potential teaching these skills in my coaching practice. Hit me up for a coaching conversation if these techniques intrigue you.
Please comment if you have any techniques you would like to share.