Darbella’s Articles — Choose life rather than a life situation

I’m just fin­ish­ing up a love­ly March Break and have my last evening before head­ing back to work tomor­row. I’ve had a love­ly, relax­ing week and although there was a snow and wind storm, there was still time for long walks. I was able to lis­ten to more of The Pow­er of Now by Eck­hart Tolle. The more I lis­ten to the book, the more I am enjoy­ing his teachings.

Tolle book spends a lot of time talk­ing about time. He basi­cal­ly describes time as the cause of our suf­fer­ing and prob­lems. This is a basic prob­lem of the mind — attach­ment to the past and future and resis­tance to liv­ing in the now.

Tolle sug­gests that reach­ing a point in our lives free from prob­lems is not a jour­ney to a dis­tant place. We sim­ply need to be aware that we are in that place now. He sug­gests that pres­ence is the key to free­dom, and we can only be free in the now.

I’ve learned from Tolle that life is not about solv­ing prob­lems. Instead, he sug­gests that we real­ize that there are no prob­lems. If we focus our atten­tion on the now, we will see that there are no prob­lems in this moment. Only through reliv­ing past moments or wor­ry­ing about future hap­pen­ings can we cre­ate the prob­lems that often cause so much dra­ma in our life and drain so much of our life energy.

My first expo­sure to Eck­hart Tolle was last August. I only have a vague rec­ol­lec­tion of the exact sit­u­a­tion. I was in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with a dear friend from Phase One, either on the phone or by email. I think it was a phone call. I was rat­tling on about some future wor­ry. It was noth­ing press­ing or life shak­ing and it was some­thing I was rat­tling in my brain over and over.

My friend had been read­ing The Pow­er of Now, and sug­gest­ed to me that I look around myself in the present and see that in that moment there were no fears, wor­ries, and prob­lems — just me being me. That had a pro­found impact on me. Over the next few months I often heard my friend’s voice in my head repeat­ing this line to me often. When I saw this book on the audio list, I was eager to down­load it.

Tolle talks about two kinds of time. The first he describes as “clock-time” which is nec­es­sary in our lives. Our task is to spend as lit­tle time as need­ed there. In this place, we can set goals, plan for the future, relive and learn from the past. It is impor­tant to note that any steps toward the goals will take place in the now, and any learn­ing from past mem­o­ries can only be expe­ri­enced in the now.

The oth­er kind of time Tolle describes as psy­cho­log­i­cal time. When we are stuck in psy­cho­log­i­cal time, we are not hap­py with our present life sit­u­a­tion. We are not being present. In the past, things did not go as we want­ed them to and we are still resist­ing what is. Hope is what keeps us going. Hope keeps us focused in the future and keeps us in denial of the now. The end result is unhap­pi­ness with our cur­rent life situation.

Tolle sug­gests that we look past our cur­rent life sit­u­a­tion and pay atten­tion to life. (Our life sit­u­a­tion is a game ‑it’s more of the time and mind stuff.) He fur­ther sug­gests that we nar­row life down to the moment. The now is tru­ly all that is real. In the now, there are no problems.

If we cre­ate a life sit­u­a­tion that is full of prob­lems, there is no room for any­thing new to come into our lives. There is no room for a solu­tion. Tolle encour­ages us to cre­ate some space in our lives and make room so we can find life in our cur­rent life sit­u­a­tion. My guess is that would cre­ate breath­ing room, and what bet­ter way is there to find that space than to take a breath and use your sens­es to be ful­ly aware of what is hap­pen­ing in the now — inside you — allow­ing what­ev­er is to sim­ply “be.”

Life is not filled with prob­lems. There are only sit­u­a­tions to be dealt with in the now or accept­ed as part of being. The mind loves prob­lems and would tru­ly love to take you deeply into it’s dra­mas — AND the ques­tion is: why go along, as so many of us do? We become so over­whelmed by our life sit­u­a­tion that we lose our sense of life.

Eck­hart describes prob­lems as dwelling on a sit­u­a­tion men­tal­ly with­out hav­ing a true inten­tion or pos­si­bil­i­ty of tak­ing action now. When you cre­ate a prob­lem in your mind, you are cre­at­ing pain in your life. How often we car­ry the insane bur­den of the list of things that may or will hap­pen in the future, instead of focus­ing on the one that we can do right now. When we focus on the big list, we are help­less and end up accom­plish­ing noth­ing. This adds anoth­er bur­den to our list and we keep pil­ing it on.

Instead, make a sim­ple choice to cre­ate no more pain or prob­lems for your­self in your life. We are in this place now, it is a choice we can make. Putting our full atten­tion in the now and com­plete­ly accept­ing what is will allow life to flow with joy and ease.

Remem­ber, when life seems to be too much, look around you in the now, focus your atten­tion there and choose life in the now.


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