Category Archives: Power of Now

Bye bye to the Power of Now

The problem with BEING in the Now, is that it’s been hard to make myself actually WRITE about it. I’ve been too busy BEING in it to analyse or pin stuff down into sentences. When I have tried, it’s felt like trying to pin down clouds… it’s all been a bit woolly, a bit woo-woo…

But then maybe old Tolle had the same problem because despite the fact that I love, worship and adore this book – I still don’t understand half of it.

I think he’s said somewhere that the language is such that even when you don’t get all of it, when you read it, it does something to change your brain. Or maybe I’m making that up.

Anyway, for all the stuff that’s gone way over my head, this has still been THE book for me. THE BIG ONE. It has blown my mind – and I don’t say that lightly.

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10 ways to be in the now… Now

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 08.44.381) Breathe. In Power of Now-land, breathing is very important. Some would even say vital (har, har). Eckhart Tolle reckons that you can’t get caught up in your crazy thoughts if you are focussing on your breath. It’s true. Try sitting on a chair, closing your eyes and taking 10 deep, slow breaths. If you’re like me you’ll tell yourself ‘I DON’T HAVE TIME TO SIT ON A CHAIR BREATHING! I HAVE THINGS TO DO, PROBLEMS TO FRET OVER, FACEBOOK UPDATES TO CHECK.’ Anyway, this is Bull. You have time to take 10 slow breaths. So do it. Now. If your crazy thoughts/to-do list start to creep in, that’s fine – just keep bringing your focus back to the breath. It’s weird how hard this can seem at the beginning but it gets easier and it has a huge effect. It’s the Tolle equivalent of a big glass of red.

2) Stop, look and listen. We get so lost in our heads, our iPhones or work, that we often pay no attention to our surroundings. So do it now. Stop what you’re doing and look up. Who is in the room? What is the light like? Is there a window? Are you sitting on standing? How does that feel? What sounds are there? Focussing on exactly what’s happening now brings you right bang back into the moment, which helps you feel calmer and more on solid ground (instead of the quick sand of your thoughts). Continue reading

Transcendance and cold noodles

meditation cartoonEckhart Tolle says that we can be in the now all the time; we don’t need to sit cross legged on the floor, with incense burning, doing a meditation. He says that taking time during the day to look out the window for a minute or two is enough to bring us back to the moment. So too is going for a walk and looking at the sky, at the clouds, at the trees, at the birds. Absorbing yourself in the physical sensations of whatever you are doing – from washing up to walking up the stairs – will also help to stop the chatter of your mind.

These small things done regularly, can cultivate an awareness of the present moment and of the stillness and peace which exists underneath all our activity and thoughts and plans. It’s true.  Every time I find myself going off on one (by ‘one’ I mean horrible thoughts, worries etc), I say ‘Be here now’ in my head. I take a deep breath and stop to take a look at where I am, I take in the thoughts and sounds around me.

I have always liked looking out windows but now my window gazing has now gone off the charts. I might put ‘Looking out of windows’ on my CV. I could be an Olympic Window Gazer. My friend Rebecca says that it’s quite disconcerting to eat with me, because I don’t say very much. I’m too busy looking out the window at squirrels or grass or nothing at all. Ha. Great company.

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Last Friday afternoon

photo-6Last Friday I took the afternoon off. I walked on the Heath and did my thing of imagining what it would be like to be a tree (I fancied being one of the skinny, elegant birch trees; the supermodels of the tree world). I smiled at dogs and humans.

I came home around 3pm and the house was empty so I made myself a late lunch, poured a glass of wine (very decadent, very Power of Now, I told myself. Any excuse…) and sat in silence.

A late afternoon light was coming through the windows and the quiet of the house had a gentle hum to it. There was a slight vibration from the tumble dryer finishing its cycle upstairs. I could almost sense the electricity and water pipes doing their thing.

I took a breath.

I looked at how pretty my food was on my plate and put a piece of broccoli in my mouth.  It burst with life in my mouth. How had I not noticed how bursty-with-life broccoli is before? I mean, I’ve always liked broccoli but this tasted like magic broccoli.

The first sip of red wine caused a warm rush to the head.

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Are we nearly there yet?

As kids most of our holidays involved a lot of driving. We drove to Ireland or France or Italy and the journeys seemed to take FOREVER.

Dad would try to drown out the sound of beeping gameboys and constant arguments between me and my sisters (her hair is in my space! Mum tell her to move up! She is a PIG! ) with very loud Pavarotti cassettes, which, of course, we hated. We wanted to listen to Prince.

Every ten minutes one of us would shout over the bellowing opera to ask: ‘Are we nearly there yet?’

Are we nearly there yet? 

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What the hell is a pain body?

feeling alienatedAccording to Eckhart Tolle we all have something called a ‘pain body’.

In Tolle speak: ‘the pain-body is my term for the accumulation of old emotional pain that almost all people carry in their energy field. I see it as a semi-autonomous psychic entity. It consists of negative emotions that were not faced, accepted, and then let go in the moment they arose. These negative emotions leave a residue of emotional pain, which is stored in the cells of the body.’

I really wish he’d cut it out with the phrases like ‘semi-autonomic psychic entity’ but I think I understand what he’s saying, which is that we each carry around a life time of old pain with us, which determines how we see the world.

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A walk on Hampstead Heath

photo-4This morning I went for a walk on Hampstead Heath. It was cold and grey and gloomy but I walk most mornings, trying to kick start some sort of motivation and can-do attitude. It rarely works, obviously, but I do it anyway.

As usual, some random dance track was blaring in my ears and I was squeezing my bum (my workout) while walking as fast as I could up the hill.

My head ran through what I had to do today and I realised there was quite a lot. I have three articles to finish and some paper work to do. Usually this would send me off in a tailspin of adrenaline, I’d walk faster and faster and berate myself for not waking up sooner and imagine all the ways the day could go wrong.

But strangely, today I did not feel overwhelmed by my to-do list and my usual dread didn’t quite kick in.

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Why I love to be miserable – and you do too

rde5585_hiLast night I went to a friend’s house for dinner and I found myself going off on a proper binge of negative thinking. In real life, in the NOW, I was sitting in her kitchen, eating spaghetti and half listening to Sunday’s episode of The Voice. I was warm and with a friend and had actually done a good day’s work. All was well.

And yet in my head things were not well. I was spinning off into ‘Your blog is sh*t, what the hell are you doing with your life, when are you going to earn proper money, people think you’re an idiot, why are you drinking, you’re not meant to be drinking etc etc…’

At one point my friend asked me if I was OK, that I seemed sad, and I copped out and said, ‘Yeah, all fine, just tired.’ Bloody hell, the number of times I’ve said ‘I’m tired’ when I mean ‘sad, frustrated, scared…’. I didn’t say any of that because in my head I was imaging her thinking I’m a stupid, self-indulgent cow who should get on with things. Like she does. Like the rest of the world does.

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The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

IMG_2808When I first picked up The Power of Now, last Easter, I thought it was impenetrable New Age gibberish. I  couldn’t understand how it had become a number one best-seller, loved by everyone from Oprah (of course) to Meg Ryan, Annie Lennox to, er, Paris Hilton (who took it to jail with her, along with the Bible). In fact, I couldn’t understand it, full stop.

Despite being determined to prove that I have a greater – or at least an equal – reading ability to Miss Hilton, I gave up at around page twenty.

Sentences such as ‘It is a misperception of your essential reality that is beyond birth and death, and is due to the limitations of your mind, which, having lost touch with Being, creates the body as evidence of its illusory belief in separation and to justify its state of fear’ were too much for me.

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