Some days I don’t feel like I am in control of my life and other days there is not doubting who the master of my destiny is… I’ve often wondered what it must be like to go through life just feeling content. Never too happy, never too sad. Never constantly clambering between the peaks and valleys of life. I’m not an emotionally consistent person! I have great days and I have terrible days, but rarely are my days somewhere in that middle ground of contentment. It’s tiring to say the least and I spend countless hours trying to find ways to maintain some semblance of balance, but thus far I seem to be missing the mark on an ongoing basis. I listen, I read, I explore ideas on how to achieve and maintain this feeling of equilibrium and I have glimpsed it to be sure, but it never lasts very long.
Or maybe that’s just my ego pulling me towards the extremes of my personality so that I am creating some sort of personal drama or emotional giddiness for myself. When we abuse substances I believe it is often in an attempt to quiet our minds and the destructive thought patterns that we develop. I don’t like to admit that about myself, but as I am sitting here and typing the words it seems to make perfect sense. Why would my egoic mind let me nestle comfortably in the arms of personal gratification where I am ignoring that part of self that thrives on instability and emotional histrionics. So the hamster in my head starts to run frantically on his little wheel to create all sorts of scenarios that pull me out of this place of mental peace. And then it’s back into the cycle of destructive, addict thought patterns. I’ve made it my business to read some of the modern spiritual masters like Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and Wanye Dyer and I’m sure of I could be their example of someone who needs to learn to fully embrace the present. I’ve felt that presence when I am fully aware and presently focused, but it’s mercurial in nature. It’s so ephemeral to me that almost as soon as I start to feeling completely here, it seems to have slipped away.
There are definitely ways of remaining more present. Writing is an undertaking where I find I’m completely focused in “The Now”. Where time slips by without me giving into thoughts that turn into vortex of worry and what ifs. In the present I feel calm and secure, embraced by the comforting arms of emotional tranquility. The waters of temperance lap gently at my being and I am at one with the world. I don’t get (too) distracted by the events around me and my intellect is fully engaged, yet my mind is still. It’s how I feel at this exact moment, with the unwavering belief that everything will unfold as it needs to and things will happen as they should. And I am not in the least panicked by this thought as I become when I am not focused on the wisdom of my being. Then just as suddenly I am out of that space as something draws my attention away from my source. And even though I may endeavour to get back into my “nowness” I’m all over the place, thinking about yesterday (although I tend to go there on a less regular basis) and worrying about tomorrow, rather than embracing the joy of presence.
I have to admit that simply being conscious of where I am has gone a long way to experiencing the present more often. I only wish that I was able to stay there for longer periods of time. But my egoic mind is still strong and I know that sustainable change is a process, made up of steps, not simply a gigantic leap from one place to another. The more coaching practice I do the more I realise that if you approach change a step at a time, the chance of the transformation “landing” and being tenable are far greater. So I keep working towards this personal goal of becoming and staying present more often during my day, and through this feeling far more in control of my emotional, spiritual and physical life. Remembering to stop, take a breath, focus my thoughts on now and continue forward with an open mind and an honest heart.
‘Til next time