I am a fan. A big fan. Huge.
Since I picked up Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now, my life has completely changed. The change has been slow but, oh, so profound. The profundity has been in a way where I see the world in a different way and, before, it was upside down. His words are deeply embedded into my soul.
He talks about seeing things in a way I'd never even contemplated. For example, he says that clock time is an illusion, that we are not what we 'think' but what comes from the space inside us or that we can become supremely happy by just doing one thing - become present. It's taken a leap of faith to stop hanging on to those aged old beliefs and jump off the cliff in the hope I will fly.
Photo by Claudia Peters
Millions of us suffer from depression and stress. I held onto mine like a badge of honor. Having survived a damaging childhood, divorce and cancer in the family, I though my suffering was hard won and I wanted my Oscar. But I got fed up of waking up every morning reminding myself everything that was wrong in my life. And when it got painful enough, I got on my knees and begged for help. I was ready. And, that was the day I found the book Power of Now. From the first page this was my new beginning.
I'm so much more than being stress and anxiety free. Eckhart Tolle's book has taught me how to feel peaceful, find the path to great relationships and become aware of the miracle of the moment.
Here are a few headlines:
- I've become aware of a vibration in my body that increases when I'm present; it's like I've turned up the dimmer switch to 'high'.
- Suddenly there's joy in every thing I do and, what was once a slog, well - just isn't.
- I know problems aren't insurmountable and I no longer obsess about them.
- I'm not plagued by my past nor do I wish win the lottery.
- I'm letting go of self scrutiny.
- I'm content just hanging out.
- I'm having a blast.
Photo by Ana Jovanovi
This has all come as a result of learning three things from Eckhart Tolle:
1. My mind is not me.
I used to think that everything I thought was true. Can you imagine what a mess my life was? Mind: 'Everything is going wrong'. Me: 'Yikes!'
Now I see my mind as an independent operator. I can take it or leave it. Thoughts, generally, race around my head like a child's roundabout in a playground. I used to live life from the standpoint of being on that roundabout. When my stress increased, so did the roundabout's speed; I'd be hanging onto the bars until the speed lifted my feet off.
Now I sit on the bench and watch the roundabout. I can see the thoughts racing but I don't need to engage with them. I've become a witness to the thoughts and I don't react - instead I giggle at how absurd they are!
2. This is the moment and it's all I have
I used to think I lived in the moment. After all, I meditated daily, practiced yoga and curbed my buzzy mind to a slow jog. But I still was dissatisfied, always looking just around the corner.
It was always 'when I get there then my life will be perfect'. I used to rubbish where I was and worked like a tank to achieve goals and dreams of a better future, peace and happiness. I was caught up, on that roundabout, trying to think my way out.
But after reading Tolle's books, I 'woke up'; there'd been a seismic shift. I'd been paying lip service to 'this moment' but now I understood it. Being focused on the future was adding to my stress rather than helping me. Wishing and hoping for things to be different in the future was like mental hand wringing; it did nothing except increase my anxiety.
All my obsessions about the past and future have left me. Instead I consciously offer no resistance to what is and I allow this present moment to be as it is whether good or bad. My peace of mind no longer depends on what tomorrow brings.
3. I have no problems
The more I practice this, the less I need the future to distract me. More space has opened up inside me. In this space I can see - right now - I have no problems. Problems are a manifestation of an over busy mind. I don't project myself into a future that I can't control. I mean what is the point? I make a plan then put it aside and come back to where I am - here in the now.
Tolle explains that our 'life situation' is not our 'life'. Our 'life situation' is stuff we need to resolve, chores to attend to and relationships that need attention. But when we've taken care of that, we can come back to our 'life', our essence, our true nature and leave behind the deadening nature of 'time created problems'.
If I'm feeling down I ask myself "what is my problem right now". Unless I'm hanging off a cliff by my fingernails or caught up in another emergency situation, I don't have any problems. Right now, I have no problems. Projecting about possible outcomes whether good or bad no longer plays a part of my life.
You cannot understand this by thinking about it; you can only know it when you ask 'what problems have I got now?' The answer is: none.
♡ I have freed myself from the mind numbing tactics which kept me strung up and, frankly, haunted. Would I choose that for my loved ones? No, so why do it to myself? Yes, it takes a shift but - wow - it's worth it. It has changed my life. ♡