Balancing living in the now with our overall perception of time is an interesting challenge.
As I concluded last week, I have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the societal obsession with time, and my work to withdraw from that perception is a challenge. But because I desire to consciously create the reality I most want to have, I am doing anything and everything I can think of to more regularly live in the here and now.
What tools do I have to employ for this process? That is the question. Like many such things in life, this is a matter of trial and error. No one of these works entirely by itself, it is combinations of these I strive to employ as warranted. Different actions at different times will produce different effects.
What does that mean? What that means is that while the goal is rather objective, the process is almost entirely subjective. Situation, mood, weather, location, and all kinds of other factors are going to be a part of when and where tools can be applied. Some are passive, some are active.
Let’s start with the most active tools.
Meditation. When I meditate, I bring myself totally into the moment. Not only am I in the here-and-now while meditating, I also get to connect directly to source energy. The Powers-that-Be are most readily accessible, because I shut out the world around me and work to be present and still.
This does not require a lot of time, but of late I have been striving for 10 minutes or more per day. Yet even taking 5 minutes a day can do a body good.
There are several ways to practice meditation. My preferred method is to sit cross-legged, back against a wall, eyes closed and focused on my breathing. I like to have some form of white-noise in the background, usually a flowing stream or ocean waves. I put my attention on my breathing, slowing it as best I can…and when random thoughts flit about like squirrels in my brain I work on not grabbing ahold of them, but refocusing on my breathing.
Other ideas for meditation include visualizing connecting to some sort of internal or external energy source. Or if you prefer not to close your eyes, focus on a single point, allowing yourself to drift. Meditation is the ultimate tool to put yourself in the here-and-now.
Exercise. Whether I lift weights, use an elliptical, walk around a lake, or attend fencing practice, exercising is a great means to put myself into the here-and-now. I am doing something that is good for the body, which in turn is good for the soul. Exercise changes breathing, changes heart rate, and frequently puts me in the moment.
Even fifteen minutes of exercise is good for you, while twenty to thirty is scientifically proven to be really beneficial.
Both meditation and exercise also can put you into the zone, or the void, or what Musashi called the “Place of No Mind”. That is the space where you are entirely in the moment, enfolded within perfect harmony, where time loses meaning and you can almost see and feel everything in slow-motion. This is the ultimate expression of being wholly in the here-and-now.
More passive tools include:
Questions. I work to ask myself, several times a day, How Am I? What am I thinking? What am I feeling? Am I thinking about things ahead of me, or in the now? Am I feeling abundant? Just asking these questions causes me to be aware, and awareness draws me into the present. I write out my answers between three and five times a day.
Mantras and Affirmations. Having a simple mantra, no more than a word or two, and repeating it several times a day opens awareness, and places you in the present. Similarly, a longer affirmation can have the same effect. The difference between these, as I understand it, is that a mantra is more general and over-arching, like Abundance or Om or Peace or Love and so forth. Affirmations are more direct and specific statements, like I am a money magnet or I am a successful writer who inspires and empowers people. Saying these, reading these places you in the present, which then allows you the best opportunities to successfully manifest whatever you are seeking.
Take time for yourself. Get offline. Step away from your desk. Leave your mobile devices behind. Go somewhere you can be entirely by yourself, preferably somewhere you can breathe deep and collect your thoughts. Modern society keeps us constantly connected to one another, but this actually serves to distract and isolate us more than truly connect us. Getting lost online or playing a game or conversing via text with a friend can be a nice distraction, but actually serves to mask our awareness. It is not, in my opinion, dissimilar to using alcohol or opiates to mask pain.
I am not saying it’s not good to have occasional distractions. It is important, however, to be aware of what they are, and the difference between awareness of the here-and-now and distraction.
Time is not our enemy. Time is not a ravenous wolf that will one day catch us and destroy us. Time is not against us. Time is not beating us down…unless we choose to let it. Time is only linear if we perceive it as such. Living more in the here-and-now can help us escape the societal obsession with linear time, and when we better see that time is an illusion, we gain an incredible tool to allow us to consciously create reality.
We have plenty of tools to choose from, and we get to choose when and how to employ them. How do you most frequently perceive time?
This is the two-hundred eightieth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.
If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.