Now.

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.

5 thoughts on “Now.

  1. Thank you Erin for this beautiful inspiring post. I need an inspiration and motivation at this juncture of my life and every bit whether they are passages, quotes, positive words is what is needed in my life.

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  2. Ever since Erin recommended “The Power of Now”, it’s immediately changed my thoughts. I’ve really started to focus on the present moment and have been aware of when my thoughts are about the future or the past. It’s helped me immensely with my mental state in all aspects of life especially on the soccer field or after a tough practice or game. I’ve noticed I’m happier and a lot more positive.

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  3. I have been regularly practicing mindfulness for the past several months. However, it wasn’t until Erin’s Presence Project that I became aware of how distracted my mind was as a result of social media. I didn’t feel like I spent very much time on SM, but when I really started paying attention, I realized it was way more than 20 minutes. Since practicing the “20 minute” rule I have found my mind to be much more calm. I thought SM was giving my brain a break, but in reality it just adding more distraction to my thoughts. Thanks for starting this Project, Erin. Looking forward to continuing this presence journey!

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  4. Yes can be for you a good learning through all these years..but I want to tell you something “,stop to think about all these people that still close until… Example.. For many year you are doing the work that you love to do,proof to your mind about people do a work that they don’t love ,they do because have only for survival.. I think you are so fortunately., obviously in every work,think that you do,in carrier, live,love..if you work so hard to get this, the taste of victory is better..I send you always a good congrats for your beautiful mind…and sorry anyway for my bad English, I hope that can understand what I want to say..and please send so so much like on Instagram, thank you.. Love and peace

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  5. Kind of struggling with some of the concepts from the book. Time is an illusion. It kind of makes sense, but at the same time, it’s all we know. When was time developed? Wasn’t it always existing? Or does the rotations of all planets in the universe have only night and no day or the opposite? Which makes it easier to work in the gray energies? The mind is like the rotation of a planet. It needs so many days and nights to have different growth experiences otherwise we will be deprived from one faucet. Sometimes you want the sun, but you want to dream in the night, looking at the stars. Then you add another dimension, weather. Warm, glittery day to turbulent storms. Emotions. Whether we want to face a day in bed or actively out in the world, we have to work through falling leaves or the calming drizzle of rain or micro-burst of sadness.
    Suffering. The greatest lesson to learn big leaps of growth or it stalls you in state of doubt. Can you image learning spiritual awakening in grade school? Being in your spirit is magic but people who want to dwell in it all the time want an escape. To escape too much is not growing, it’s being present and oh how sometimes we wish to travel back or shift forward faster. I wish I could see my grandfather smile and give him a hug but it’s part of soul’s time to move on. Their souls still need to grow as well. That’s probably one of the toughest lessons, is that with time the body is an illusion because we can’t learn everything in one go, no matter how much natural talent one person has.
    Nick Vujicic is an inspiration and when he reaches out to people who need hope – that’s wonderful. I can’t fathom what his first 20-25 years of existence was like but through his own suffering he’s able to channel hope and inspire.
    Just thought this – if you are too much in the zone then when do you get out of the ego and pride? It’s good that games have quarters, half-time, and game over. The mind needs rest otherwise it begins to cheat. It wants supplements or determines when the ref isn’t looking. Better to break to realign and work back into the zone. Being in the now too often could potentially make you want to solve everything now. Is that possible? But that’s for sports. In life, it’s making deadlines, paying bills, stressing about creating a family or being part of a family, corporate speaking, the list goes on. The mind organizes itself to work through difficult times but when is love taught? How do you teach yourself to love another? Is that the responsibility of parents and siblings? Life is too complicated to figure out in one lifetime.
    Sometimes the mind is so creative to create “Arrival of the Birds & Transformation” – The Cinematic Orchestra or M83 – “Outro”. Beethoven, Mozart, Lady Gaga, Prince, Queen, The Drifters, TLC, Michael Jackson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Muse, Imagine Dragons. Raw emotions.

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