Stop Being A Prisoner Of Your Mind
In the clinic we talk about all sorts of things that contribute to health and wellbeing. If we were to think that our health is purely the state of our physical body we would be fooling ourselves. Which fortunately is becoming a more and more popular opinion.
This week I have been reading The Power of Now. A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. The book has been recommended to me by one of our clients. and I must say a big thank you. It truly is a great book and I have been talking with clients about the things it describes in the clinic quite a lot.
I won’t give the whole summary of it here as it would spoil the fun should you want to read it. But there are some statements and observations that the author makes that I would like to share with you.
First of all, NOW is the only thing that matters. Past is gone, the future has not happened yet and it is really only the present moment that matters. That's all that is. The author is being practical and says that of course we need to now and then bring some focus to the future to make plans and to the past but that should not be the main focus of our mind.
Being stuck in the past and dwelling on situations that happened and cannot be changed because the are in the past can only add pain to our mind and body. Why would any sane person want to inflict pain on themselves? Yet we do when we focus on past unpleasant events and dwell on them, giving them the chance to grow by doing so.
On the other hand, the author claims that stress is wanting to be ‘there’ while your ‘here’. So it is focusing on the future and not the present moment.
Therefore the author suggests that we focus on the present moment. Present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.
Tolle gives advice on how to live more in the Now too. He asks us to accept now, work with it, not against it. Make Now your friend.
One of the ways of doing this is to ask yourself ‘What is going on inside me at this moment?’ and then observe without judgment where our thoughts and emotions are. If they are not fully in the moment then we don’t really live in the Now. We are either stuck in the past or future but not living the life now. Life is Now.
He also talks about pain-body. If we experienced pain in the past and our thoughts go back to that event we reinforce it and give it more power. If we focus our thoughts on painful experiences, we feed them and eventually create even more pain for ourselves. The way to stop that is via practicing being present in NOW.
The way we can do it is to be a silent watcher of our mind. When we are in the now we are aware of the beauty and miracle of life that unfolds around us. We can only do that when we stop being hostages of our mind and our thoughts.
As we go through life we are told to focus on goals, look forward, plan ahead, push further and harder. But what we miss is the fact that our body and mind is the main tool that we have to achieve all that. But we have been told for decades to ignore it. The truth is that you would not expect a car to run on a flat battery. But you expect your body and mind to work and all all the stuff you want to do without giving back unless something breaks.
Most people are guilty of that. Myself included. Tolle suggests that one of the ways of living in the Now is to bring more awareness to our physical body. This can be done by asking what our body is feeling like right now. What our physical body is experiencing at the moment.
He also gives a simple solution to feeling unhappy with a situation. He says that there are only three solutions to to that:
Change the situation
Remove yourself from it
Accept it and be fully ok with it.
The book is full of great advice and as we agreed with most of the clients in the clinic should be one of mandatory readings in school curricula so that everyone would have a chance to free themselves from the imprisonment of their mind.