When I was in the deepest pit of my depression; a good friend was always there to talk me back out of that pit (thank you for that). I felt like I was overheating. My body physically warmed up, my heart beat too fast for no reason, my breath was out of control and I was shaking as if I was in the middle of a drum circle.
My thoughts were centered around the future. I was not present. It was then that my friend introduced me to the book, “Power of Now”.
Power of Now is a simple concept; so simple in fact that the 3 words are almost all you need to know to grasp the concept.
Rarely are our thoughts ever focused on the present. I love this other quote another friend told me, “It’s not about trust, it’s about you seeing the world for how it is and expecting nothing less. When you do, you won’t feel alone, you’ll understand you have never been alone and the mind f*cks with us constantly”.
It’s so true! As humans, one of our biggest flaws is overthinking. We think with our brains and not with our hearts because it’s easier. Our mind is very chatty. Our mind plays games with us all the time. The key is to understand the chaotic mess inside in your brain and not lose control in thinking about the past nor thinking about the future.
FLAWS OF OVERTHINKING
Recently in a yoga class, the instructor put it this way…
Thinking of the future can lead to anxiety and dwelling on the past is depression. Being able to consciously think in the present is living.
Future = Anxiety
Past = Depression
Now = Living
Simple concept, right? Honestly, when I first heard this it was almost like I already knew this. It just made too much sense. AND you know what… that’s life — it’s simple; we just tend to over complicate everything.
As humans we are constantly chasing something. This “chase” tends to have us be forward thinking. Now, I’m not suggesting this is an entirely bad thing. In a lot of ways being forward thinking is one of our biggest strengths (think innovation and goal-setting). However, when you are struggling with something personal (whether it be relationships, finances, etc.); thinking about the future is likely giving you undesired anxiety. The trick is to catch yourself thinking this way so that you can bring your consciouness back to the present moment.
You may have heard that “living in the past will get you nowhere”. This is beyond true. Whether it be reliving old positive or negative memories, you’re stuck in a previous moment. It’s extremely important to honor and remember the past. But, when you catch yourself thinking about the past oftentimes it can lead to sadness. Bad memories are obvious why it’d lead to sadness (depression). Good memories on the other hand aren’t so obvious… Often when we think of positive memories in the past we are very happy (or so we think). I don’t know about you, but my mind starts f*cking with me again. This is when I start comparing previous old happy memories to my current state of being. If you’re already battling some internal demons this can be a dangerous game. So, be careful reliving old memories (good or bad).
As I’ve written and said before, “your breath is everything”. In the heat of the moment, it’s so challenging to have the piece of mind to calm down by simply breathing. Trust me, I know the feeling… You tell yourself what you need to do because you know what to do, but your mind starts playing games with you again. The only way to get past this is to understand it’s your mind speaking and not your heart. Once you come to this understanding, only then will you be able to take some deep breaths in and out to bring back that innner peace.
Remember, being present and being in the now is living.
This is all great, but you know me… I like to give homework. So, in the spirit of working on your soul for that soul/life balance, here are just a couple exercices to practice to live in the now.
I’ve found meditation to be one of the greatest gifts I’ve received in recent years. Meditation is a journey. Some days I can meditate for 20 minutes no problem and other days all I have is 60–90 seconds. Big difference, right?
On the days that I’m just not feeling it and can’t get past the 2 minute mark; I try really hard not to get too down on myself. If I do get upset that I’m not able to sit alone with my thoughts for much time it leads to negative self-talk and that’s the opposite of why we meditate.
We meditate to calm the mind, to quiet the mind, and to get in touch with our soul.
If you’re new to meditation, check out the app “Insight Timer”. I love this app because it comes comeplete with a variety of gong sounds that signify the beginning and end of your meditation (oh yea it’s a timer too).
Another little trick is to light a candle, some insense or even sage. These smells can give you something to focus on.
When you begin to meditate, accept the fact that thoughts will come. But, realize thoughts will go as easily as they will come. Bring your focus back to your third eye (that small area between your eyebrows). You’ll notice a difference in how you feel when you focus on your third eye — it brings you closer (you’ll feel what I mean).
Many suggest to sit upright, either on a chair or in lotus position (legs crossed). This can be difficult for beginners, so for that reason I would suggest lying on your back in a shavasana type pose if you have trouble sitting.
I have used affirmations for years as part of my goal-setting strategy. Affirmations help you subconsciously believe what it is you are trying to achieve. Some may call it placebo effect while others call it manifesting. To me, I don’t care … call it whatever you want because the truth is affirmations work!
Take some time to yourself (preferrably after meditating) and write down some things you want to achieve/change in your life. I keep my affirmations on the notes app on my phone, others will write these notes and put them in their mirrors/near their computer or somewhere else they will see it frequently. The point is make sure you read these daily.
Affirmations will slowly help you shift your consciousness to the present and the real power is that when things hit the fan, go back to your affirmations. Truthfully, these affirmations are in reality “your why”.
That’s it for this time. I hope you found these concepts and suggestions useful and please try them out and let me know what you think!
If you liked this blog, then CLICK HERE to subscribe so you won’t miss when new blogs come out.
Also, I’m excited for my new podcast “Soul Seekr”. Expect this late Summer / early Fall. You’ll get a heads up via email when it goes live!
Email me (Sam@SwagWorx.com) to schedule a time to talk about any of these ideas.
To the Power of Now,
Sam AKA SwagSam