Yesterday we illustrated the link between the concepts of true self, false self and being in the moment. We heard that false self can never be in the moment. Hopefully we felt and understood that true self is always in the moment.
So what did we learn from this? I hope we learned that our happiness comes from being true self and in the moment at all times.
Are you ready for a few tips about how to get yourself in the moment? Let’s go!
Take a chill pill
When we are upset, angry, frustrated, sad, etc., we are not in the moment. The most important thing that we can do when we notice that we are not in the moment is to calm down. Chill out. Relax.
Eckhart Tolle has done some excellent work with his explanations of how to calm down and get ourselves in the now. He recommends that we become silent. Then we take a few slow breaths. As we take those breaths, we begin to sense our body. We continue taking deep breaths, we watch those breaths move in and out of the body, and we gradually calm ourselves down. As we calm ourselves down we next start to observe our thoughts.
As we calm ourselves we begin to have enough concentration that we can begin to observe our thoughts. When we are upset, the internal thoughts, the chatter if you will, are so loud and so intense that we are unable to think clearly. Part of the reason that we calm ourselves down is to begin to watch our thoughts.
As we begin to observe our thoughts we are able to watch for the harmful ones. Acting out our harmful thoughts is a good way to cause ourselves a mess. When we are upset we bombard ourselves with so many thoughts that we cannot sort through them. We react to some of them and a few of those thoughts are harmful. That is how we create our messes.
As we learn to observe our thoughts it will take a little time to learn to see the harmful ones. That is fine. This is a skill, and like any other skill it requires practice. The important thing is to start. Take every opportunity you have to observe your thoughts. For now, don’t worry about doing anything about them, just learn to watch them.
We have looked at the idea of observation many times on this site. I have found it to be the most fundamental skill required to be in the moment. Observation must be practiced at all times in order to stay in the moment.
Ignore the chatter
A few paragraphs ago we talked about the chatter in our heads. As we learn to observe our thoughts we begin to hear the chatter. That chatter is nothing but false self nonsense. However, we have been listening to and acting out this chatter for our entire life. We think this chatter is ourself.
This chatter is the reason that we learn to calm down. The chatter gets so loud and our reaction so immediate that we wind up out of control. We can be out of control angry, violent, depressed, possessive, euphoric, and many more. The point is that we are no longer observing the chatter. We have become the chatter.
As we calm down and then start to observe, the chatter will return. As we begin this process of observation we usually don’t even notice that the chatter has returned. The chatter is so pervasive that we expect it to be there. It returns and we are off to the races again. Do not worry or get upset. Eventually we will notice that we are unhappy. We will ask ourselves “what happened?” We will realize that we have to get back in the moment.
Do not be afraid to fail
In another post I compared learning this technique to learning to ride a bicycle. In many ways this is the appropriate analogy. Each starts with not knowing how, being afraid of the task, failing as we learn, and eventually learning to perform the task.
Do not be afraid to fail. Chances are that you will. We all start to learn to be in the moment. We all start to see how much happier we are when we are in the moment. Then we all make a sharp turn and go off on a tangent and create a new mess. This is all part of the process.
Very few people have ever learned to be in the moment and then never gotten out of the present again. For most of us it is a skill that we must practice, even when we have made great advancement.
I will not claim to always be in the moment. However, I will claim that I have learned enough about staying in the moment to understand that it is my source of happiness. I also have learned enough about staying in the moment that I am able to help others learn what I have learned for themselves.
One last point about failure – true self is not afraid to fail. True self knows that it cannot “fail.” When true self falls short of our objectives it views this as progress. True self knows that by falling short of the objective we will learn something that we can use to get closer to the objective on the next attempt. True self views as learning what false self views as failure.
Here is the summary of today’s tips:
Take a chill pill – The first step to getting ourselves into the present is to calm down
Observe yourself – Once we have relaxed we can start to observe ourselves, most especially our thoughts
Ignore the chatter – As we start to learn the skill of observation the chatter will return. We will gradually learn to ignore this chatter.
Do not be afraid to fail – Learning this skill is like learning to ride a bicycle. We will fail, but we will also learn from those failures.
That is all for today. Tomorrow we will have a few more tips that will help you stay in the moment.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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