I've been going through a rough time lately - just a growth period that I was afraid to face. I've had a lot of questions on my mind that seemed to rule me, like how to proceed with difficult, disrespectful people in my life, and how to prioritize my own happiness while staying in touch with people that leech the light from my heart (it's not so easy to cope when those people are family). Instead of setting time aside for myself to journal or to really think on this, I have run away from it until the point of being sick over it. I'm ready to face it now - after all, this is life and it's the only one we get. We should prioritize happiness and peace of mind every day. I hate to think that I've thought "I'll get it to" for so many weeks.
I had an awakening this weekend that really kicked off my desire to start a-new. A friend was going through a hard time, and I was offering advice like "don't have any expectations about the future, or you will spoil the present!" and "you are passing so many judgements against yourself that you aren't allowing any room for growth!" Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. WHY wasn't I taking my own advice? I had so much pent up fear about what it might mean to reach out to that intimidating person or loving my perfectly imperfect self every day that I didn't even realize that I had gotten so far away from the messages that really center me: acceptance and love (of self and others). The mirror was held up to me when I was trying to motivate my friend and I realized that I really needed to practice that same advice in my own life.
That same morning, I picked up a book that I had been meaning to read for a while - The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I was immediately reminded of why I had done so much spiritual reading in the months that I was riding the high from my last transformation. Just reading a few pages of this book immediately motivated me to start living my best life again. Those pages also revealed to me the biggest obstacle I had been facing the last couple of weeks (and, really, my whole life)...
"The philosopher Descartes believed that he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement: 'I think, therefore I am.' He had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error: to equate thinking with Being and identity with thinking. The compulsive thinker, which means almost everyone, lives in a state of apparent separateness, in an insanely complex world of continuous problems and conflict, a world that reflects the ever-increasing fragmentation of the mind."
This was ME! I am Descartes, letting my mind control me, instead of having control over my mind. I have been identifying as the thinker, instead of listening to those voices in my head impartially. [Note: I need to keeping reading the book and learning how to detach from the mind. So while I tell this story in the past, it is still my present experience. But, I have found awareness that such a way of living exists, and I WILL learn how.] I separate myself from the world, experiences, and emotions when I let my mind take over. I don't know how many minutes of my life I have actually spent detached from my mind - separate from those poisonous thoughts. Maybe a total of 10 minutes, facilitated by savasana in my yoga classes. Even then, I know that the little chit-chat monsters that hiss stories of unworthiness and incapability were banging down the door.
"The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation."
Sweet encouragement. I think I'm feeling ill *cough cough*... time to leave work and go home to read! Hah - I wish. I can make time for reading and recentering now that I see how badly I need it. I am very excited and totally confused by how this whole 'detach from the mind' thing is going to work. But the key word needs to be "excited." I need to start replacing my fear with excitement so that I am actionable and accountable for the transformations that I want to induce in my life.
I would love to hear from any of you who are Tolle fans and may have read The Power of Now. I also have A New Earth on my shelf, so that will come after!