Barbara Nelson

By Barbara L. Nelson


Being Present Creates Action Thoughts

In these hard economic and trying times, it may be difficult to remain positive and in the Now. Eckhart Tolle wrote several books on the importance of being in present, including The Power of Now and The New Earth.

All we actually have is right Now. Yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow has not yet come. However, if we are ruminating over the past or daydreaming about a fantasy future we are not able to be in the Now.

 Training the mind to remain in the Now isn’t easy. It takes practice to remain conscious of your thoughts and just be present. Sitting in nature may be the simplest way to do this. Really look at the tree, the butterfly, the grass, the lake or the flower. Try and quiet your mind and send thoughts of the past and future away, recommends Tolle.

 When I first read The Power of Now in 2008, I had several epiphanies. One came when an old boyfriend was sleeping over. It was morning and he was still fast asleep, so I read some of the book and went out for a walk. I ended up in the park. I sat concentrating on what was happening in the Now moment. When I walked back in the house, I knew that the old boyfriend had to go, because he was preventing me from moving on. Sure it was company and a momentary comfort, but it wasn’t healthy and it was preventing me from moving on with my life.

 Every thought we think goes into the Universal Mind (the collective consciousness). My actions were telling the Universal Mind that I still loved my ex-boyfriend, when in fact I didn’t. When he was finally gone, another love possibility did enter. Although short-lived, it allowed me to move away from the past.

 Currently, I am looking for a full-time writing gig and living with a roommate. After re-reading parts of The Power of Now just last week, I experienced another epiphany. Every time I don’t like where I am in life, I use the coping mechanism leftover from childhood of creating a fantasy future to prevent myself from thinking about the Now. Well, in doing that I also prevent myself from making changes, because the Now is only time we have to take action. Thoughts in themselves do not create things. Actions taken based on your thoughts are what cause creation. You can think all day about having an ice cream cone, but until you get in your car and drive to the store, you aren’t going to get one.

 There’s another book that speaks about how past or future thinking can be detrimental –Women Who Run With the Wolves written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. In the book, Dr. Estes cites the story “The Little Match Girl,” written by Hans Christian Anderson.

 It’s Christmas Eve. The little girl is homeless and to support herself she sells matches on the street. She becomes extremely cold in the freezing weather, but instead of finding shelter she lights her matches one by one. In the match light she sees fantasies of Christmas’s spent with her grandmother, but her grandmother is dead. Still she fantasizes that she is still alive and there to comfort her. Finally down to her last match, the little girl freezes to death.

 In other words, thoughts alone do not create things. Yes, we need to remain positive, but we also need to remain present. In the present, we can plan and take action. If we spend too much time thinking about what may be or what was, time ticks by without doing anything productive.

 So practice being present and thoughts will begin to flow to you on the actions necessary to bring about the future you desire. Remaining in the Now also means being grateful for the positive things that are currently in your life, such as a place to live, a part-time job, supportive friends or a pet to love.

 Times are tough right now for many of us in America and around the world. However, to make the necessary adjustments in life to bring about change, we must remain present, even though the past may have been better or our fictional future promises a better tomorrow.  Now is the only moment we truly have. Cherish it.

To Read more of Barbara Nelson visit her site  Following The Light

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