50. Stay in step
For Self to flow with the eternal moment, you have to stay in step with the moment as it happens. Don’t lag behind or get ahead of your Self.
Don’t spend time in the future in worry. Beyond planning for it, there is no point in thinking about something in the future until that something has arrived in the present moment and it is time to act. In the moment the answer comes. Otherwise, you’re push-pulling the flow.
Worry is a mental state apart from any concrete and immediate danger. It is about what might happen, not about something that is happening now. This creates what Eckart Tolle calls an ‘anxiety gap’. You can cope with the present moment, but you can’t cope with something that is only a mind projection. You can’t possibly tackle the future because you’re physically not there yet.
I can deal with this reality in front of me very well. My stress comes from living future moments of challenging situations in thinking mind. When I stay in the present and deal with things as they crop up, I am best in the space to tackle them. When I worry about something that may happen in the future, my Self is not engaged. This is because the situation is not real here and now and Self can’t operate in mental time, only in real time. In the mind world, I feel powerless. I am fearful of action and wish the potential situation away. The thought of it causes me anxiety now and this is because it is not actually happening now and therefore working mind cannot apply itself.
When something is real here and now, then I am empowered and actually enjoy rising to the challenge and applying myself.
For example, I feel overwhelmed by work issues first thing in the morning when I wake up. This is because I am thinking about it out of a state of not being physically and mentally ready for it. I am simply not awake yet. Worry also catches me out at night when I am trying to unwind. I start worrying, when I am supposed to be switching off, about things I need to do tomorrow. I am not and am also not supposed to be in the right space to have any constructive ideas about the next day’s tasks. Engaging merely drags my energy down. I am not in the corresponding mind space, place and time and so I react with anxiety.
When I am tired, my mind wanders most. It runs loose, unchecked by thought monitoring because I am too worn out to stand guard. In this way, I add entirely self-created stresses to my exhaustion. When I am tired, I most need to stay unattached in the moment.
By being present to the moment with all your faculties, a solution better than what the thinking mind could have come up with in advance, emerges. If you focus on growing everything you do in the now, the future will take care of itself. Every time your mind turns to those future moments, remind your self that you’re not in the moment there, you’re in the moment here. Don’t let your thoughts spoil your day by jumping ahead into a reality that is not even here yet.
Instead of feeling burdened by the many things you have to do in the future, choose to focus on the one thing you can do now.
All that you ever have to cope with, is this moment. The answer, the strength, the right action, or the resource will be there when you need it, not before. In the now you operate in perfect time. Working mind operates in present ‘perfect’ tense. In it you tackle the future turned present with the passing of time. This way you stay in the present moment. Matters will resolve themselves when they become relevant to the Now, not before. Spending time in them before or after the Now takes you out of life into the ‘as yet unborn’ and ‘already passed away’ respectively.
For now, you have this present. The present is all you’re doing right now. Maybe one day you’ll decide to do x, but that is a decision you’ll make in that present. That present has nothing to do with this present. For some things, you can’t plan ahead. You don’t know how you’ll feel because you’re not there yet. It will happen if and when it happens. Right now, make the most out of this moment and deal with that moment when it comes. You’re ready for THIS moment; you’re not ready for the next moment because you’re not there yet.
If you pour all your energies into today and don’t split them thinking about tomorrow, then you build organically. You’re not fixated on planning and time frames. You let the process come to you, you don’t force it. In the now, you keep in the flow of perfect time. Only perfect time is real. When you don’t push-pull, the useful comes to the fore and the stressful effortlessly falls away.
Don’t mentalize the future. There is no need to know what lies ahead the whole way. That is mind needing to be in control. Just follow the next step and act on what reveals itself. This is coming from Self in present moment awareness. The right thing to do will emerge in the moment. Then life becomes fun because you just go with the flow and accomplish amazing things. Ahead of time, thinking mind does not understand how you’re going to accomplish what you’ll accomplish in the flow of the moment because the Ego doesn’t recognize Self power.
Your real power lies in the ease and the flow. Although your mind may tell you, you’re wrong to relinquish control, it is the quicker and more harmonious way to get things achieved. If you allow it, Self orchestrates your day to fit with the flow in such a way that circumstances adjust themselves to your path. For instance, I find that when I need rest, other’s schedules change so that I am given it.
We always think the worst too quickly. Finding the silver lining, no matter what, is what keeps me in the flow. I have moved from controlling circumstances and flowing with thinking mind, to flowing with circumstances and controlling thinking mind.
You’re in the past if you’re jealous or gloating. You’re not in the present, living. Success comes when you focus on what’s on and let go of what’s gone.
Being traumatized, for instance, is having stepped outside the present moment. The trauma lingers although the event has long passed and much of trauma therapy is about re-integrating the client with the Here Now.
It is futile to worry about the past. I believe, we each did the best we could in each life situation with the knowledge and wisdom we had at the time.
I try to stay caught up with myself. I keep everything done and up to date. I minimize what ties me to the past. This way, I can stay in the present moment unencumbered. It is a process of shedding and finishing and then deepening what’s left, the core.
You may find yourself elsewhere in the now, with your significant others, for instance. You think of them, miss them, worry about them or wonder how they are doing. This splits your focus because you’re mentally and energetically in two places at the same time. When others keep popping into your mind, either get in touch with them or send them your love and strength, but then let them go.
The more you flow with the Now, the more you will be in step with the dance of life.
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