Have you ever had unwanted thoughts creep in throughout the day? If there's a conflict that needs resolving or a life-altering decision to be made, does your mind replay possible scenarios over and over again?
Last week, I found my thoughts running a muck leaving me unable to enjoy being fully present with my friends and family. One of my goals is to live a conscious life and be fully in the moment at all times--hey, it's a goal. The question arose: how does one stay present when strong emotions or thoughts fill the mind and draw attention to another time and place?
Eckhart Tolle suggests three techniques to live in the now: breathing consciously, noticing the inner body, and asking what is my relationship with the present moment?
This final method worked wonderfully for me last week. Throughout the day, I'd question:
"What is my relationship with the present moment?"
This question alone, brings your attention to the now and you become the observer instead of being sucked into the mind's drama. The follow up question below really cinched it for me.
"Can I make space for this moment?"
You may interpret this query differently at different times. Can I accept the situation? Can I step back and allow my feelings to flow? Can I allow someone to be different than I think they ought to be? Can I see the bigger picture? Can I be present without identifying with any given role?
When we can make space for our emotions to exist, a fascinating thing happens; we become the witness and watch emotions rise and fall while maintaining a sense of peace and objectivity. By making space for the current moment and our habitual reactions to it, we can see how silly and repetitive some thoughts are. We can give sadness or anger the room it needs to run its course. Then we are free to move on without the stagnation and distraction of continuous thoughts bringing us out of the current moment.
So I ask: What's your relationship with the current moment? Can you make space for it?
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!