The Power of Now
There can be no suffering if you are totally present in the moment.
I suggested this to one of my teammates, and immediately she said, “But if I have an injury or physical pain, I am suffering.”
I have had many surgeries and many physical setbacks. I have endured a lot of pain in my career, and, yes, pain is one thing, but what I have recognized with physical pain is that if you are actually present and go towards your pain through focused breathing, the pain decreases. It doesn’t disappear (wouldn’t that be nice), but I feel it channels more good energy towards the source of pain.
That said, when I refer to the end of suffering, I am generally referring to emotional pain and the mental trap we get into. I have been very fortunate in my life, and although I have had some challenges along the way, I have been very lucky on a lot of levels, and this is something I’m well aware of. I often think about that I’m living and playing in Germany where 70 years ago there were people living in slums and in extreme poverty (and the Holocaust museums are a haunting reminder of Germany’s history). When I think about these things, I have nothing to complain about. However, I want to get the most out of life and some of the mental traps I find myself in are serving me no purpose at all.
I have referred to the “zone” time and time again: where there is a moment of no thought. Some of you might be familiar with the phrase “playing out of his or her mind”. This is complete and utter presence. This state of mind is the source of love, creativity and joy. It is also a state of mind that is slipping away from our society.
We are stuck on our phones and obsess about Instagram and other things that are taking us away from the present moment. Instagram isn’t all bad. There are some great quotes and tutorial videos for art, for training, etc. It can be used as a resource, but I personally find myself going through photos, and after 20 minutes I realize I didn’t learn anything, and I will never get that 20 Minutes back.
The first step to living a more present life is to bring awareness to the thoughts rushing through your brain. Don’t try and change them or do anything but bring attention to them. What are they saying? Are these thoughts serving you or helping you? Do they make you feel good? That’s it. When you realize when your mind is getting the best of you, then we can start finding the right technique for you to bring yourself back to the here and now.
I’ll write more soon. Please feel free to make comments as we go along. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me excited to share their journey to finding presence. This is going to be an open forum for sharing, because we can all learn from one another.