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"You pick the level of your suffering yourself."
- Gautama Buddha
The Power Of Now
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, 8:34 PMUnderstanding The Power Of Now
Let's face it the only thing that exists is what is happening right now. The past does not exist - it's over with and should be nothing but a fading memory. The future does not exist - it simply hasn't happened yet. Both the past and the future are merely concepts which consists of thoughts and memories. The only thing that really exists right now is the very present moment that you live in and from this present moment you can draw tremendous power - the kind of power that can change your life and allow you to achieve your goals.
Now you may say that you don't like the present moment - but that's only because you're thinking
about what you feel the present should be. You're either allowing your ego to dominate your present
moment, or you're focusing on mistakes of the past, or your consumed with the future that you're forgetting to live in the present moment. I know some of you may say: "Right now I don't have a job and the bank is about to foreclose. Plus my wife/husband just left me and I'm stuck with 3 kids. My present is not exactly pleasant." If you're present or current situation is not pleasant then you are comparing it to something else - you're probably thinking about what the now should be instead of dealing with what is going on.
In the above case I would say if you don't have a job then it's time to look for one - I know you probably are but don't focus on the fact that you don't have a job, don't focus on how difficult it may seem to get a job, don't focus on why don't have a job, simply concentrate on going out and getting a job. At the end of the day - see where you are and focus on what needs to be done next. If your children need attention right now - then give them attention. If you need to go out and look for work right now then do it. Don't compare your present situation to anything - accept what it is and make the most of it with the intention of making the present better with each step that you take.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying accept your present situation and don't do anything to improve it. I'm saying deal with your present situation and do everything you can to improve your life. Once you begin working on the present moment with the intent of improving your life you begin to utilize the power of now - you leave the past in the past, you don't concentrate on the future and instead you start living in the present moment doing everything that you can to improve your life now.
When you do this you send a powerful message to your subconscious mind. You tell your subconscious that you are here now and ready to get to work to improve your life. It then begins working for you because your subconscious only understands the present moment - your subconscious does not understand the future or the past - your subconscious only lives in the now - in the present moment.
Now I know this concept is easy to understand but the challenge is in applying it. While many of you
will be able to grasp and understand the concept of living in the now and working with the power of the
present moment - practicing it is quite another thing. In order to do this you have to first start working
with a process that involves getting your mind to work differently - something that it is not used
to and through that process you'll begin to live in the now while moving forward and improving your life.
The Present is All That Exists
You may have memories, you may have feelings when you think about the past, you may worry about the future - but let's face it the past no longer exists. You can't step back in time and go into the past. Star Trek fans may disagree - but as far as we know - there is no way of going back in time and re-living or altering the past experiences. The past is done with. It doesn't exist.
Similarly you can't step into the future and see what happens - despite what so called psychics and
astrologers say - there is no way of seeing the future or living in the future. It hasn't happened. One day that future will arrive and if you're not paying attention - if you're too focused on the past or still worrying about the future - you'll miss it completely.
The only thing that is taking place right now is the present moment. As you read this - that's all that you are doing. When you are done the moment that you are currently experiencing will never happen again! The now will never happen again! Your present moment will never happen again!
Even when you think about the past - you do so in the present moment. You don't go back in time and
remember the past - you do so in this present moment. When you think about the future you do it in the present moment - not in the future - you do it now. When you think about the past and the future you are wasting the valuable time and power that you have in the present moment. The only reason people are unhappy is because they fail to live in the present moment, they fail to embrace the now. Instead, they often think about what their present moment should be and allow their ego to dominate them - thus the unhappiness sets in.
It is impossible to have a problem and live in the present moment at the same time. When you live in
the present moment your attention is completely focused on what is happening at that very moment. There are no thoughts of the future or the past. If you are at work - focus on work. If you are at home - focus on the home. If you are with friends - focus on your friends. When you do this your subconscious mind is released and free to start working on improving your life.
When you are focused on the past or worried about the future - the subconscious is lost in confusion.
It doesn't know what you want and is forced to go from present to past and present to future without being given the time or ability to create the situations you need to improve your life in the present moment. In short - you never allow your subconscious to function in the present moment - which is the only place that it can work.
Many of you may be seeking answers, trying to make decisions or just hoping to discover a passion that you can follow. All of these answers come when you live in the now - when you are focused on the present moment you will receive your answers. You can't step back into the past or step into the future to receive these answers, they only come in the present moment. But if you're focused on the past or consumed with the future then when the answer arrives you'll miss it. Why? Because you were not living in the present moment - this is where you can receive the answer.
If you want to start directing your subconscious mind and if you want to stop living in the past and start living in the now then you need to take control of your mind and subconscious mind.
How To Live In The Now
The reason you have trouble living in the now is because your mind is simply not used to doing this.
Your mind is used to remembering the past or worrying about the future - it can't live in the present because it doesn't know how. But you can teach your mind how to do this and I'm about to outline some simple steps that you can take to start living in the now.
First take a look at your present situation and ask yourself what's wrong with the very moment you are in. Don't think about what happened yesterday or sometime in the past. Don't focus on what might or might not happen tomorrow. Take a look at the very moment you are in not 5 minutes from now - and see if there is anything wrong. If you are at home - is there something wrong?
Don't say you are out of work - that's not the present moment because you are looking at what is not
happening. I want you to focus your mind on what is happening - then see what is wrong with that picture. My point is you should find nothing wrong with the present moment - it is what it is - and once you accept it - you can start living again.
Let's face it you can't turn your mind off - but you can get it to work differently and that's what you should start doing. Because if you don't take control of your mind your mind will control you - and that's not going to help you improve your life.
Ask yourself these next questions.
Do you find yourself waiting for something to happen?
Are you waiting to get some more time?
Make more money?
Meet the right person?
Are you waiting for the right opportunity?
Waiting is another game the mind plays because it doesn't want to live in the present moment. If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you are not living in the present moment - you are focusing on anything but the present moment. I know you can't focus on the present moment or live in the now 24 hours a day. But start by doing this for a few minutes a day and then continue expanding the exercise everyday. Then track your progress.
See how you feel when you only focus on what is happening right now. As you continually do this you'll see yourself starting to enjoy the process. Here's a suggestion. The next time you are driving or walking pay attention only to what is happening around you. Listen to the sounds, observe the people. Don't think about what you have to do or what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow or what might happen in five minutes. Focus your attention only on what is happening right now. Doing this will get your mind to start living in the present moment and before you know it you'll be able to focus your mind and utilize the power of now.
Have Some Fun!
The final step in the process is to start having some fun. Start enjoying your life. Start doing things that you enjoy. Act like a 6 year old - don't try to be an adult all of the time. Forget about your troubles and just do something completely different - and have some fun. Once you start doing this you'll see things begin to fall into place. If you have a passion for sports then start playing a sport you like. If you have a passion for cooking - make a meal or two over the next couple of days. Do what you enjoy and you'll start attracting more positive situations into you life.
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