So many books about personal growth and spirituality talk about being present in the moment. The only power the future or the past has over us is the attention a person gives it in the present moment. Eckhart Tolle differentiates between our life, meaning the present moment, and our life situation. Our life situation is where we find ourselves because of our past actions so obviously it still has some power over us. Our power or attention in the present moment is where we can feel joy, peace, or be filled with anxiety, or any other emotion. One of the best things that I ever read was that the answer to anxiety is action. When we take action we can help too curb or quell anxiety all together. According to Eckhart Tolle, unpleasant emotions are the resistance a person feels to living in the present moment. It is true there are unpleasant things but we are able to control how we feel about and intrepret these circumstances.
There are some situations in which is more challenging to interpret circumstances in a positive light. There are also situations which would be difficult to control how you are feeling. An example that came up recently would be the passing of a family member. When I lost my grandfather almost 10 years ago, I was able to interpret the situation more positively. He had gone through cancer treatments and been in a lot of pain. Logically it made sense that his passing was a blessing in disguise. Emotionally, I had to talk myself into seeing this logic. Part of me still felt hurt and angry at his passing. After the loss of a loved one, some people feel angry at God but I was angry at cancer. With shaky faith, I was not sure if my grandpa truly was going to the better place that everyone kept telling me about. I was not sure if there was an afterlife or if he “did enough” to get into this better place.
In comparison to the change of death, the adjustment to change of a new life is easy. It’s death I cried because of sadness. With the new life of my son, I cried tears of joy and gratitude. When the situation is joyful it’s much more easy to be in the flow of the moment. When the situation is sad like death or frustrating like a stressful situation at work, it is much more of a challenge to remain in the present moment.
As I ease more into Parenthood, I find that much of the time is spent living in the present moment. That may change in the future but for right now I’m very focused on each present moment. I kiss my son’s fingers each morning and already they are growing so quickly. I want to pay attention to every moment I can. He will only be this small for a short period of time.
When have you found it easy to live in the present moment? When have you found it difficult to live in the present moment? When it is difficult to live in the present moment, is there anyway that you can reevaluate how you have interpreted the situation to make it more easy for yourself?
Eva Borho, M.A., L.M.T., Intuitive Author, Holy Fire Reiki Master, Spiritual Coach and Teacher