The Power of Presence: Achieving Peace by Accepting the Now
All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present.
Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.
Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms
of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
― Eckhart Tolle, “The Power of Now”
How often do you find yourself caught up in your own mind? Lost in a stream of thoughts, almost completely unaware of what’s happening around you…too busy agonizing over the past or worrying about the future to appreciate the beauty of the moment you’re in right now?
I think we can all admit that we get caught up in our thoughts more often than we’d like.
But what is the point of obsessing about the past or stressing about the future when that takes you away from the now, the only moment that ever truly exists? And what would happen if we let go of these time-bound thoughts - fear, guilt, worry, dissatisfaction - and instead chose to live only in the present?
Take a moment and ask yourself - “In this exact moment, is there anything wrong with my life?” Set aside anything that has happened or ’may’ happen in the future, and the answer will almost certainly be no. There is nothing wrong with this moment.
When we are conscious in the present moment, we cannot be unhappy. Unhappiness comes from unconsciousness, from resistance. In fact, our own inner resistance is the cause of all our suffering.
I recently took a Yin Yoga class here at Krishna Village, and half way through one of the poses, I found myself in quite a bit of emotional turmoil. I was frustrated, wondering how much longer we were going to be holding the pose. Why was it taking so long? I couldn’t wait for the moment to end!
While I was agonizing over my discomfort, the instructor reminded us to soften into the pose, to surrender. To sit with the discomfort and accept it without resistance. So I sat with it and allowed myself to accept where I was. For better or worse, I knew I was going to be in that pose for the next three minutes, and rather than fight it, I chose to surrender.
Often times we associate surrender with weakness. But in this moment I realized that surrender is actually strength. Your power is not in controlling the world around you, but in your ability to surrender to whatever life throws at you.
When you surrender, you free yourself from suffering. You find what yogis call sukha, a deep and lasting state of happiness - the good center, where nothing is changing and everything is real.
When we learn to accept life exactly as it is…when we truly surrender to the moment, the past and future have no power over us. We achieve peace.
So moving forward, I challenge you to just be. Be present in whatever moment you're in - good, bad, neutral or otherwise (and truth be told, all situations are neutral...you are the one that gives them meaning). Release expectations. Let go of attachments. Forgive yourself of past hurts and pains and stop stressing over future situations.
Trust that you are in the right place...right here, right now.