Oh boy, friends. I've stumbled upon something that pisses me off and elates me at the same time. No, I didn't find a new ice cream flavor directly after my CrossFit class. Though, that's not far off from the wine dates I seem to schedule after. Anyway, I found a book that's been a pretty heady mind bender but in an awesome way.
I'm reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I've really had a hard time in my life with the battlefield that is my mind. Some of the things that creep in and tousle the good til it's upside down make for a pretty tough path sometimes. I think what frustrates me a lot is the fact that I see this coming, watch it happen and let it burn me. Then, I think about what that means for me in the future and it's like this cyclical madness. I can't ever seem to live in the 'now' and be 'present' which is something I marvel at when I so clearly meet someone that does live in this place. What, you think that's nuts? So do I. Enter 'The Power of Now'.
I'd read some reviews on this book a while ago but it seemed too "universe" for me. I'm definitely spiritual and my faith is strong but I'm not so much of a "world" and "vibes" and "universe" person. It just doesn't jive with me even if I can fully and totally appreciate the people it does speak to. This book is about finding your place in the here and now. It's about reaching inside and pulling out the pain, fear and sadness that has buried itself in your head and it's about facing it, making it known and forever letting go of it. Back in 2009, I started intense therapy and went for about a year. It changed my life. What nobody tells you, however, is that the patterns and cycles come back with vengeance if you don't guard you heart and life against them. So, I'm definitely not too proud to admit that I've been a casualty of this, for sure. This is where the book is pissing me off and opening my heart all at once because it's speaking to many areas that have been rooted very far from the 'now'.
Guys, how often do we all wonder where we're going or why we're here or what we're doing? I don't know a single person who doesn't question what the future holds or what's in store. Hello, my name is Valerie and I'm a 'what does the future hold' addict. It's true, I've suffered from this forever. I've never seen it clearly because it's never under the guise of things like marriage or kids or a house...things that people seemingly measure as milestones or steps in life that make you "happy" or feel like you've "made it". It's more that I have a dreamer's way of viewing the world which I love about myself most days. It's suffocating on those not-so-good other days, though.
The Power of Now has rocked me. It's thrown in my face all the things that I excuse as being "just who I am" instead of realizing that they are traps and emotional road blocks. I'm emotional. I feel deeply and I'm sensitive. What's hard is that I'm fiercely prideful and driven so most people will never, ever understand that I'm sensitive. I am now understanding how much of a choice I have in this emotional cycle, thanks to ol' Eckhart. He writes:
The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, judgments and interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as the watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional energy charge will be whether you are aware of it or not. Mind, in the way I use the word, is not just thought. It includes your emotions as well as all the unconscious mental-emotional reactive patterns.
An emotion usually represents an amplified and energized thought pattern and, because of its often overpowering energetic charge, it is not easy initially to stay present enough to be able to watch it. It wants to take you over and it usually succeeds unless there is enough presence in you. If you are pulled into an unconscious identification with the emotion through lack of presence, which is normal, the emotion temporarily becomes "you". Often a vicious cycle builds up between your thinking and the emotion. They feed each other. The thought pattern creates a magnified reflection of itself in the form of an emotion and the vibrational frequency of the emotion keeps feeding the original thought pattern. By dwelling mentally on the situation, event or person that is the perceived cause of the emotion, the thought feeds energy to the emotion which, in turn, energizes the thought pattern and so on.
It's funny when you read something that feels like it was written just for you. There's a bunch more awesome stuff in there so maybe you'll consider picking up a copy.
I'm a work in progress, friends. I think we all are. All we can do is try and the 'trying' is what makes us eventually fearless. Fearless and bold and carefree and strong and limitless. We are all limitless. Believe it. Believe it now and live in this place. Not in the past, not in the future. Just now.