As a young boy, when I heard the word now, it meant I was in trouble. Or that I had to hurry and finish whatever I was doing. Funny thing is that when I was a kid, living in the Now was the basic setting for every situation. Every moment was an event, an adventure. As I grew older, anxiety began to play with my mind. It would pull me back into a distorted past, or create a future that had little chance to exist. The moment I call Now was no longer a part of my life, and I couldn’t say when it had disappeared.
I wasn’t the poster child for anxiety by any means, but it had power over my decision making and held me in a clench that I dared to call comfort. Except it was nothing more than repetition. According to neuroscience, this is soothing to the brain because it requires less work. The brain, like water, prefers the path of least resistance.
One day I found the book ‘Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. Once I read it, things began to change. I scoffed at the book’s content at first, felt it was too simple, but over time, it helped me develop a sense for the present moment. I dove deeper into this notion, pulling knowledge from shamanic beliefs, eastern philosophy, even found some wisdom in the world of quantum physics. Today, my comprehension of what I call the present moment is much stronger. When anxiety tries to take hold of my psyche, I ask myself one question; “What is happening right now?” Asking myself this question brings my mind back to the present. From there, I can formulate a course of action that’s appropriate to the moment.
I encourage anyone to find a way to live in the present moment. The world we live in doesn’t give us many possibilities to do so, but living in the Now will reduce the stress of the daily grind considerably. As an exercise, when you find yourself worried about something that happened or will happen, tell yourself you are in the Now and believe it. Your anxiety will try to fight back at first, but keep at it; the present moment is fleeting. Once you find it, you’ll never let go.
Take care everyone, have yourselves a great week!
“The present moment is the only reality. The past is gone, and the future has not yet happened.”