This quote greets me daily as it is on a bookmark I collected when Dan and I went to see Eckhart Tolle speak last year at the Melbourne Convention Centre. I stuck the bookmark immediately underneath my vision board, and as I sleep curled up in a ball on my right hand side, the pictures and wise words I’ve chosen to help me are the first thing I see when I get up in the morning, stuck at pillow height right by the bed.
For me the biggest shift in my life has been accepting that there are things I cannot change. However, there are also things that I don’t need to tolerate. So while I have accepted them, I have also moved on, knowing that despite my best intentions, I can’t do anything about them.
De-cluttering and letting go isn’t just about ‘stuff’, it’s also about psychological baggage. While my past life is there, ready for me to access straight away in terms of memories, because I all I have to do is think about things and I am right back there. If I chose to not think about them, they have no power over me. Learning to live in the here and now is hard, there is always the voice telling you that you failed before, you won’t succeed because of x or y, why do you want to do it that way for? And so on.
If all you have is now, why waste it thinking about something that has happened that you have no control over? Why project yourself into the next meeting you have in your diary, when you are supposed to be concentrating on this one? Why worry about something that has happened, or something that hasn’t yet happened. All you will miss out on is the here and now, when you actually have control over what can happen, because you are fully in the moment you are in?
Easier said than done, as it does take a conscious effort to stay here. My mind is running ahead of me as I am typing, I am thinking with part of my brain about what I want to tell you. I was re-reading some of my writing exercises that I used to scribble out when I was commuting back and forth to London. I found one about a ‘Life in the day of…’, talking about the difference between having a shower and having a shower. You know, where you step out of it feeling like a whole new person, instead of just doing the washing thing? It is because when you concentrate on washing your hair, and what the water feels like on your skin, you are in the moment, you are in the shower. If you are thinking about what emails will be waiting for you when you open your computer at work, you’re not concentrating on where you are. You’re already playing catch-up projecting forward the day, before you’re even in it. Before you’ve even registered you are standing under running water, you’re out of it and you’ve missed it. Which considering how many people in this world don’t have access to showers, is pretty selfish. So next time you are there, make the most of it!
Didah my counsellor told me that if I did start to worry about things again, I was to write everything down, taking no more than 20 minutes to get everything onto paper. The chances are, I wouldn’t get to 20 minutes, and it would only be one thing, but forcing yourself to actually think about what is worrying and niggling at you, gets it out your system. Not that I have had any cause to do that lately, I seem to have stopped worrying about things. I’m letting the road rise up to meet me as I walk along it. So far, I’m doing pretty well. The past 3 weeks have been a revelation, my mind is clear, my heart is clear, I am excited about my life.
I find time to meditate every day, I am trying to get to Bikram Yoga every day, although starting a new job next week may mean shuffling around what class I go to. I am not beating myself up about what has happened in the past, I can’t predict the future, I can plan for it, but as all the plans we made over Christmas are now on hold, so you also need to learn to be flexible. And accept that what life gives you is enough. You are enough. You don’t need any more. All you need is within you.