Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What Are You Doing Now?

I was in the middle of another multi tasking whirlwind not long ago and it hit me, I asked myself why are you doing this in this manner? I noticed how each thing I had to do felt like a chore, something to hurry and get through. I realized that this is how I live my life. I am always in the future moment, busily planning my actions and robbing myself of the present moment. When I study, I do it to get it done, when I clean, cook, eat, work, walk my dog, all of it is done so that I can get it over with and do...what? A few things come to mind, relax, unplug, write, listen to music, meditate. Yet, so often my state of mind is in such a frantic pace that I am too wound up to really enjoy these things. I know I am not alone.

Our culture praises the over achiever, it worships the workaholic, time out for yourself, slowing down your pace, reflection, these are things to do when you retire. Our culture is so work based that it has lost an integral part of what it means to be alive. We are alive but we are not living. We are working, working, working. It feels good to work we are productive, it validates us, makes us redeemable and qualifies us as one of the norm. This includes stay at home moms, the underemployed, self employed and so on. Work is work. Yet I ask, where is the rest? We are multi-tasking ourselves into the ground and I don't know if has occurred to anyone to hit the panic button.

Here in America our puritan based culture is a young one, we haven't really evolved into the philosophic nature of our American souls yet. If the early settlers had had the intelligence to embrace rather than to obliterate the indigenous cultures that existed here in our country for centuries before European arrival this entire topic would likely not be necessary. For the philosophies of the American Indian are exactly the ones we need to adopt into mainstream society. That, sadly, tragically did not happen. We are left then with the notion that it is always best to forge ahead (exploit), to discover the next thing (conquer), to work until you drop (for the man). Is it any wonder then that we do not slow down or pause and reflect? To do so isn't even encouraged, if you do people will ask, "what's the matter with you?"

What the matter is, what this all has to do with, is soul loss. Disconnection with your soul. We are as a culture suffering from it. We cannot go on the way we have been, it is bound to create a crisis within. It manifests in various forms, as physical illness, a business failing, losing your job, a marriage breaking up. We think these events are just fate, coincidence, bad luck, unfortunate yes but things that happen to everyone in one way or another. To some extent this is true, but in the larger sense what is going on is simply put a disconnect between your mind and your soul.

How to fix such a thing is both easy and yet challenging. First, we stop and reflect. No more of this racing through to get things done business, It is not working. For a time now the old belief systems that held together the world worked, they could only bring us so far though, now we are as a species evolving. American or not we are all coming out of a long sleep and the old ways of thinking are no longer enough. We search for something, we know to do so instinctively, we are calling back our souls.

I remember reading Eckert Tolle's, The Power of Now in the late 90's, new to my spiritual path I understood it conceptually, but I had a very hard time living it. To live in the moment means to let go of the past, and to not project out into the future. To just be here now. This is the opposite of what we have been taught for it fosters inner peace not drive and ambition. Drive and ambition are in no way negative we all need these qualities but is it best for these feelings to be the dominant ones within your inner landscape? Would it not be more conducive to overall well being to have peace at your inner core?

Being present means to be content with wherever you are at right now. Let's talk about that for a moment, where you are now is exactly where you need to be. Don't like it, change it. Look within and guess what, you can only do so in the present moment. You can't look inward when you are dwelling in the past or planning for tomorrow. We only have this moment now, be in it. Stop letting the moments that make up your life pass by. We do so by projecting into the past or future and before we know it years and even our entire lifetime has passed us by. Think of it, where were you ten years ago? What were your thoughts? What were your days made out of? How fast has the ten years gone by? When we are trapped in the illusion of time we always feel we do not have enough of it. Time seems to speed by and our perception of lack of it grows. This doesn't happen in the present moment why the reason is because in that space you have stepped outside of time. Try it, for just a few seconds, be fully present, notice the stillness, let go, close your eyes. How do you feel? Try opening your eyes and looking around you, see your surroundings with present eyes, don't send your thoughts into the future or past. Everything your eyes rest upon is given meaning by you, the clock means what it means because of your thoughts associated with it. The window and the tree outside, the fence beyond, the sky beyond that, the soft wind it is all given meaning by your observation, by you witnessing it and defining it as you have. We do this all day long subconsciously now try to do it consciously. What is the tree really? A life force, energy, or whatever you perceive it to be. This is an undoing of the way you see things, to notice them as they are not as you would define them, To understand too that we define everything. This means that everything you see, indeed all the things you perceive are able to be altered, to perceived in a new way. This way of thinking can transform your life and all the things in it including you.

What are you doing now? Why are you doing it? Most importantly how are you doing it? These are the questions to stop and ask yourself next time you catch yourself in a busy blur of not so meaningful activity.

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