I admit it. I don’t meditate. I don’t give myself that much time to just “be”. My forms of quiet time are going for a run (listening to music!), reading a book in the quiet of the night whilst listening to quiet music (I LOVE the soundtrack to The Shift). If I feel the need to quiet my mind I “think” of people, events and circumstances I’m grateful for and that bring a smile to my face. Visuals of my kids playing and dancing, my own childhood, a trip to Europe I took with Sarah 10 years ago come to mind. I also like going to the beach for a walk by myself too.
I also focus on really LISTENING to people (this prevents thinking about anything else), not interrupting, and asking questions more than giving answers.
Depending on who I’m with and what the occasion is I will observe and watch rather than engage / interfere and just, as Wayne Dyer would say, let life “be done” to me and “surrender”. Again though, this is not a huge part of my life as I’m a pretty fast-moving, straight-shooting, passionate bordering on aggressive (if you don’t know me well I could definitely come across this way!) kind of guy.
This is what works for me – and I realise more than ever in this world of “overwhelming choice” that what works for one person doesn’t work for another.
Have a listen to my struggles with presence here.
I’m reading (at my second attempt) the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I am learning so much about past, present (the NOW) and future, namely simple insights such as –
* Unease, anxiety, tension, stress and worry are caused by too much FUTURE and not enough presence.
* Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much PAST and not enough presence.
So … the question I asked myself and the question I ask you is – are you living PRIMARILY in the NOW, the PAST or the FUTURE?
For me personally, I’m more of a future kind of guy. I can quite comfortably say that I don’t experience any of these emotions on a regular basis (thanks to a truckload of hard work I’ve performed on understanding how I tick), however the ones I do are definitely on the FUTURE list.
I look at my parents and I see one is very future-based with her thoughts (my Mum) and one who is more past-based (my Dad). Neither one is good or bad, wrong or right. What Tolle is suggesting in the Power of Now is that our focus must come back to the NOW if we are to express even more of our exceptional selves and evolve as a species (big concepts I know!)
I won’t even attempt to summarise what Tolle recommends in order to find the power of NOW, however I will recommend reading the book if you want to gain a greater understanding of how YOU tick and how the people you love tick.
When I was a quarter of the way through the book I recorded this podcast on Inside The Champion’s Mind to share my experiences so far. Being present is one rather difficult task but one that is definitely worth it and stands out more than ever in a world of distraction and illusion.
Have an exceptional weekend!