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Chapter Two | What Time Is It?

“Well, of course, it’s now. The time is now. What else is there?” From The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

It was by chance (or was it?!) that the Power of Now found its way onto my Kindle last September, and thank you universe because it kick-started it all! Realising that the present moment is all there ever is, and I mean truly, deeply realizing it, is a complete game changer. We live in a society that is structured by time. We work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, we have certain expectations of what we should have achieved by what age and if we don’t achieve that, we feel like a failure. So it’s no wonder, that our minds are constantly occupied with thoughts that are anchored in time, day after day after day. We worry about what the future might bring and we keep feeling the pain of the past, especially when we are presented with trauma in our lives. When a serious relationship ends, we keep thinking back to the good times, which then makes our hearts ache with grief at the loss of these good times. We replay past conversations in our heads and it keeps the pain alive. It’s like we’re addicted to the pain. Until we’re not. When you’ve cried all the tears and there’s nothing left apart from surrender and acceptance, you move on. If you’re not stuck in the past like that, you’re likely looking to the uncertain future and spending your energy worrying about what it might bring. I’m about to do this thing or that, but what if it goes wrong? What if it doesn’t work out? What if x y z…

In both cases, your mind prevents you from just being present in the moment. The present moment is all you ever have! Nothing else is real. It’s all in your head. Let that sink in. Other people are stuck with their own version of the past and the future in their heads, too. The good news is that we can change our ways of thinking and become more present in the now. First, understand that you are not your mind. Your mind is generating all these thoughts. You have the power to take a step back and just observe what’s going on in there. Without judgment, just observe your mind’s thoughts and recognize the patterns. You don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor for an hour to do this. You can bring awareness to your thoughts at any moment and anywhere. And then, slow down. I was so used to rushing around all the time, physically and mentally. I now try to slow down whenever possible and just pause and be present. Admire the beauty of nature all around you; it’s full of wonders. Watch people and witness moments of joy and happiness. Let them warm your heart and give yourself a break from the chatter of your monkey mind.

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