So I have decided to read 5 books in 3 days and write book reports on my blog. As I go through them, I will post what I have taken away from the books. I am sure if you read them, you would take something totally different away so I encourage you to read them.
The Power of Now- Eckhart Tolle
First off this book is a bit hard to read. I do not consider myself spiritual but I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I did however take some very good points away from this book so to me, it was worth reading.
I am very much about living in the moment. This book had some interesting ways to view the Now. One of the biggest things I realized in my life is that I let fear control me. Tolle explains fear as this ” This psychological fear is always something that might happen, not of something that is happening now. You are in the here and now, while your mind is in the future. This creates an anxiety game. An if you are identified with your mind and have lost touch with the power and simplicity of the Now, that anxiety gap will be your constant companion. You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection- you cannot cope with the future.” Page 43
It is true that the past is just a memory and the future is just a thought so really the only existence is what we are living at this very moment. Most people get so caught up in things that they hope the future will get better while they dwell over the past. The best thing you can do to rest your mind is to ask what is your problems right now? Not problems you have to deal with in 10 mins or 10 days but right at this very moment. All we deal with are situations because problems are what the mind creates.
I experienced this first hand. There was a time that I thought that my life was in danger in the moment. I didn’t have time to make it into a problem, I had to deal with it in the now. It is the fight or flight and one would be amazed at what they are able to do when they don’t have time to worry about something. A decision has to be made and you have to be fully aware of the moment you are living and intuition kicks in.
If we allow ourselves to wish that we are in the future rather than the present, we create stress. If you don’t appreciate your time Now you will create a pattern of hoping for the future because the present isn’t good enough. People will wait for a better job, more money, finding love, etc… “It isn’t uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” (Page 86) Setting goals is one thing, but hoping for a better tomorrow takes away from the time and things you currently have. If you concentrate so much on where you are going versus the steps you are taking now, you are missing out on your life.
When you miss out on life, you look back and see the pain of what it caused. When you don’t cherish the moment, you often wish you would have done things differently. Especially when you lose a loved one. This pain is something that is relived. ” As long as you make an identity for yourself out of the pain, you cannot become free of it. As long as a part of your sense of self is invested in your emotional pain, you will unconsciously resist or sabotage every attempt that you make to heal that pain. Why? Quite simply because you want to keep yourself intact, and the pain has become an essential part of you. This is an unconscious process and the only way to overcome it is to make it conscious.” (Page 168)
When people hold on to this pain, I think that it creates drama in their lives. We (yes I am guilty) feel sorry for ourselves or feel guilty we are letting the past negatively effect our present.When you are accepting of life and live in the now knowing you can’t control your past or future, you are at peace. So many people are in love with their drama that they let that become their identity and it controls the present.Out of pain comes growth and one could not live without the other.
Out of everything I read in the book, the thing that I came to terms with the most is: ” Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry, or hard-done-by person. You will then ignore, deny, or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. It is also insane.” (Page 189) I have a hard time understanding depression and why people hold on to being unhappy. It has been a tragic thing that has shaken my world, but now I am a little closer to understanding.
This book brings about so many good points but the most obvious is about living in the Now, for this moment. Enjoy what you have or don’t have now. Our mind likes what it knows which is the past and the unknown is dangerous so it obsesses over it. It is a matter of becoming aware of the now and living in the moment, taking it all in, enjoying it for what it is. Now isn’t something you ever get back.