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Lessons from "The Power of Now"

Updated: Jun 3

I am a big believer that every day one can learn something new and should strive to do so.  I am currently reading or more like listening (I love audibles!) to The Power of Now.  I have been putting it on repeat for a couple of weeks already.  I think I have listened to the whole book four times thus far on my commute to and from work.

Those times that I listened to the entire book, over and over I lost some information, either I was distracted or multitasking.  So I decided to listen to each chapter separately a few times, till I grasp the concept in that chapter and then move on to the next one (Great idea Mr. SugarPuffs).  

Disclaimer: I admit that my first two times listening to this book was overwhelming because it was a lot of information given at once and the author talks about things that are contradicting to the traditional way of thinking, so I put it aside for a few days.  This guy was telling me to stop thinking! And I love to think!  I literally live inside my head.  

After I had got over my hissy fit, I started to listen to the book again and use the chapter by chapter method, employed by the wise Mr. SugarPuffs.  Today Chapter Two and I are entirely exclusive.  After going steady for the last six hours, my light bulb went on, and I had my AHA moment.  I now understand why it is not a good thing to live inside my head.  

Lesson: When we think and identify with our thoughts, we use the concept of time.  Our past gives us a sense of identity, and our future provides us with a sense of urgency and direction.  Most of the time our heads are filled with memories and desires.  Each representing past and future.  

When we are stuck in either of these extremes, we fail to be in the present, which is, after all, the most important time of all.  The past is gone, and the future hasn’t arrived, so the present is all we have.  Don’t get me wrong, the past and the future are important concepts to grasp, and we need to use them from time to time, but we use them more than we need.  When we do this, we create and house counterproductive emotions that keep us from being present.  

Living in the past and the future can become like a crutch for some people when they start identifying themselves with those thoughts.  Once the identification is given, we are giving those irrelevant moments (the past and the future) importance, and we allow them to take us away from the present or the Now as Eckhart Tolle calls it.

My experiment: I tried to work that concept this morning because my mind kept wandering back in time.  So I decided to dissociate myself from that memory since after all is gone.  At that moment I realized that the perfect time is now, the day was perfect now, I am healthy now, and the traffic was smooth now, so why not be happy now.  I let go of that memory and lived in that very moment when I was driving home from work, and it was the best commute I ever had!

Conclusion: I get it now.  My aimless thinking was getting in the way of relishing in the present, and I was allowing myself to become my past as if I hadn’t evolved from those experiences.  When I do that, I am opening the door for old counterproductive emotions to regurgitate which will keep me away from living and enjoying my present time.  I learned today to stop thinking so damn much and to become a watcher of my thoughts and not allow myself to identify with them.

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