Today I am going to focus on the Power of Now and the key lessons I picked up from that book. How it has helped me become more present, accept my reality and therefore use this to my advantage. This is an extremely popular book by Eckhart Tolle, which goes to demonstrate that by being in the present moment this is the best place we can be.
Stress is caused by wanting to be in the future
When we are stressed it’s because we don’t want to be where we are now. We want to get out of it and to the future. I’ve experienced this many times whether that’s a workload in my day job or a challenging time. I’ve just wanted it to be over and put resistance against accepting the current situation. How are stressful situations overcome? By completing them and overcoming them. How is this done by working on them in the present.
So the next time you are stressed think about what you can do right now, bit by bit to overcome a situation. Accept the situation as it is but work through it. It’s not easy to work through situations but putting resistance against it will only make it worse.
Observing yourself is key to connecting to the present
This is similar to the previous point but includes wider than stress. Have you experienced stress, anxiety, depression, overwhelm or any negative feeling? Well if you are human you will answer yes to that. The true struggle comes when we put up resistance on what is happening. I started to apply this to my own life and start journaling from my emotions rather than wishing they would go away. Some emotions were uncomfortable but running from them only makes things worse. You can’t outrun yourself but you can manage yourself but it first starts with addressing the truth on what is going on inside.
Set goals but be present
We live in a very competitive and goal oriented world today. It’s great to have goals and ambition but this can sometimes take us too far into the future and away from where we are. I’ve struggled with this for many years of my life. Even though I would achieve so much I have been quick to dismiss my accomplishments and then move on to the next. I always focused on what I didn’t have. Then when something negative came into my life I would immediately focus on that. Having a vision for the future is great, but remember the most productive and happiest place you can be is in the now. Write down and meditate on the good in your life and what you have accomplished.
If you can’t surrender to the now then change your current situation
Some people may say…
‘Well it’s very all and good saying be present but what if I don’t like where I am in life?’
First of all try and find what you can be grateful for, there is always something to be grateful for. Whether that’s the fact you have a job, supportive family, ability to see, a beautiful view outside the window or even a working heart. However if there is a situation in the present which makes you miserable change it… simple. Simple does not mean it’s easy though. If you are in that bad job or bad relationship it’s not as easy to walk away but think about what in the present you can do step by step.
I was miserable in a previous job and couldn’t accept it when I tried to find the good. Therefore I took consistent action in the present of looking for a new job. Then I found a fantastic one I am in right now, where I liked my present a lot better. When I found life hard again I started to appreciate the fact I had that job and all the good amongst the stress in other areas of my life.
So realise you are more in control of your life than you think. Making changes is not always easy but can be a lot more simple than we think. Part of the brain doesn’t like coming out of the comfort zone either, so it’s important to remember your why for change in order to love the present more.
When we condition with the external it puts out happiness at risk
This has been a very difficult one for me and I know from people I’ve coached this is a challenging one for them as well. We are in a world of constantly seeking validation. We can’t help but look at our text messages, our social media and at the people around us for approval. This makes it soooooooo important to work on self acceptance of loving who we are as individuals.
You are in control of how you feel about you and how you treat you. You are not in control of how others respond to you. The times when I’ve been lowest I’ve been looking at my phone constantly expecting that text message or people to like my status. The time I’ve been feeling great is when I’ve been working on something I love free of distractions, meditating or looking after myself.
It kills me to see people looking for happiness purely from a relationship or a new promotion. Then I see people are still unhappy even when in this relationship after a while or when they get used to the new job. It’s because they have still not accepted or loved themselves enough.
When I really feel love towards me, then naturally I find the right things come to me. So from this lesson work on loving and being happy in yourself. This is a bit cliche but now more than ever is so true.
I would highly recommend anyone who has not read The Power of Now to read it. It’s an incredible book on how to be present and understanding yourself. When we increase self awareness, work with ourselves on a deeper level we will be able to develop our lives more and more. The more connected to reality we are, the happier we will be.
The video can be found HERE
The podcast can be found HERE
Jonny Pardoe © July 2020
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