LIVING IN THE NOW
The NOW is so fascinating – when I really ponder this concept – the NOW is actually the only real thing we are experience. Eckhart Tolle introduced this concept in his well-known book, The Power of Now, written in 1997. However, we still don’t get it – 24 years later. I remember first reading The Power of Now, in 2001, sitting in my kitchen. I can see my red kitchen walls I loved, and my kitchen table from Pier 1 with chairs that had wicker insets. I was looking out my window into our large backyard and feeling my whole worldview had shifted.
The past and the future are not real – we are not actually experiencing them. The fact that the past and the future inform approximately 95% of all our behaviors reveals the incredible power of our minds. We base our whole lives on imagination and interpretation.
Think of the potential of the NOW. While I realize I usually spend most of my “NOWS” predicting the future from my recollection of past experiences – and consequently, feeling anxious and stressed, the actual NOW is RICH in content and possibility. Let’s say we count a “NOW” as 10 seconds. Close your eyes and count to ten. You just spent one of your “NOWS” counting! With these 10 second increments, there are 360 “nows” an hour, 8640 in a day, 60,480 in a week, and 3,153,600 in a year. What if you spent all your “nows” in gratitude and creativity, instead of worry and dread and trying to control your anticipated outcomes from past experience as well as the inherited belief systems from our culture. Instead of that, you could empower yourself with deciding to spend each now creating (instead of waiting), loving (instead of resenting) – right?
This is all easier said than done – but not any less compelling. I have been practicing living in the now, and I surprise myself by how often and how easily I go back on “autopilot” – the way my brain was wired, unconsciously living in fear and trying to figure out how to control things. I snap out of it – wake up, and remember the power is in the now like Eckhert Tolle’s spiritual experience taught him. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were socialized, wired to know this powerful fact of our existence? Our culture might evolve into something more enlightening with higher consciousness – and then who knows what we could create? I love to think about this possibility and do my part as well as I can.