Nowadays, it is not uncommon for someone to be told that they need to ‘stay in the moment’, ‘be present’ or to ‘live in the now’. Experiencing life in this way is often seen as the answer to most of life’s challenges.
Now, there is no denying that life is going to be a lot harder for someone if they spend an endless amount of time thinking about what will happen and what has happened. They will rarely live in the now, there only point of power.
Through living in the now, then, one will be able to embrace their power and this will give them the chance to live a fulfilling life. What happened in the past won’t consume their life and what might happen in the future won’t either.
This will also provide them with far more energy than they would have if they spent most of their life somewhere else. Instead of leaning forward or back, one will be upright.
A Heavy Weight
If they were constantly leaning back and forth, into the past and present respectively, their mental and emotional health would suffer. Getting caught up in the past could cause them to get angry and sad.
On the other hand, getting caught up in what might happen in the future could cause them to experience a lot of fear and anxiety. Living in the now is clearly going to be a far better way for them to experience life.
When it comes to being able to live in the moment, there might be something that one will need to do. To be able to embrace the moment, they may need to mediate on a regular basis.
What this will do is allow them to develop an observer self - a part of them that won’t get caught up in what is taking place in their mind. This part of them will then be able to notice their ‘monkey mind’ and not to get caught up in it.
Naturally, one probably won’t be able to stay present after just a few mediation sessions and, even after they have been doing it for a while there will still be moments when they leave the present moment. This is just how it is and one doesn’t need to have a go at themselves for it.
In a way, mediation is not different to learning just about anything else. Whether it relates to learning how to drive a car or to cook, for instance, it can take a while to become competent and even then, mistakes can be made.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that one’s thoughts will be the problem and, by no longer getting caught up in them, their life will slowly be transformed. Therefore, even if one didn’t meditate, they could still use something like CBT to become more present.
It will be all about their mind and the sooner that they get that part of them under control, the sooner their life will change. This can be seen as a relatively simply process, one that just about anyone can follow.
A Closer Look
However, although it can appear to be all about the mind: what if it is not just about the mind? What if the reason someone’s mind is so obsessed with the future and endlessly goes over the past is because of what is taking place in their body?
Could it be that this part of them is crying out for their attention and this is then why their mind is so active? If their body is carrying a lot of pain, it is probably not going to go anywhere until they take the time to acknowledge it.
Another Type of Repression
Still, what one can do by meditating and changing their thoughts is to disconnect even further from the pain that is held in their body. By putting in so much energy to keep this part of them at bay, it will have become even more estranged from their conscious mind.
One can then come to believe that they are transforming themselves; when in reality, they will simply be pushing their pain deeper into their unconscious mind. The gap between their conscious and unconscious mind will then become even wider.
A Similar Experience
In the same way that an emotionally unavailable parent won’t respond to their child’s cries, one will respond in the same way to the cries of their body. Another way of looking at this would be to say that their inner child will be crying out for them.
For one to change their approach, they will need to change how they perceive what is taking place inside them. Thus, instead of thinking that their mind is simply out of control, they can think that their mind is out of control because their body is carrying a lot of pain.
Just as a light might flash when something isn’t right, their mind will be ‘flashing’ to tell them that something in their body is not right. Still, the only way that one will be able to do anything about this is if they stop believing that their mind is just playing up – like a TV that malfunctions for no reason.
Talking of TVs, one way to describe the mind would be to say that it is like a TV and the body is like a DVD Player. What this means that the mind (TV) is displaying what is taking place in the body (DVD player).
A Few Factors
Their mind will tell them about what is taking place in their body, but if they try to ignore the information that it provides by mediating or by trying to change their thoughts, they won’t be able to utilise this information. And when it comes to why emotional pain/trauma in the body is largely ignored, there are at least three reasons.
Firstly, the minds need to avoid pain has undoubtedly played a part in why it is often believed that it is all about the mind. Secondly, the belief that our thoughts always create our feelings has drenched the modern day world, and thirdly, the view that simply observing the minds reactions is the way to experience deep healing.
If someone can see that they are carrying a lot of baggage in their body, and they want to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
During this time, they might end up working through deep emotional wounds that go back to their childhood years. By doing this work, they may find that their mind starts to settle down all by itself and is no longer so concerned with the past or the future.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.