Do you have a hectic lifestyle and want to make positive life changes but precious little time to make them?
For those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to read tips one, two, three, four, five, six and seven of my blog for people with hectic lifestyles who want to make positive life or career changes see:
Tip Seven: http://www.karendeeming.com/index.php/2015/08/06/tip-seven-for-people-with-hectic-lifestyles-who-want-to-make-positive-life-or-career-changes/
For those of you who did read my other tips, you will recall me saying that over the next few months, I’ll be sharing with you the mindfulness, self help and personal development techniques and tips that helped me to:
• escape the corporate cage, that is, my well-paid secure job and hectic lifestyle in London.
• move from London to live in the idyllic countryside and do my dream job as a successful Psychotherapist, Coach and Mindfulness Teacher helping 1000s of clients at my Liverpool Street and Harley Street Practices and nowadays at my online, Bristol and Somerset Practices sometimes advising film Directors, such as Mike Leigh, on the authenticity of film narratives.
Though I am now doing my dream job, living in a delightful Somerset village and have many tools at my disposal, life is occasionally still tough so I’ll also send you some tips to help you remain motivated, and focused when you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lost or you are falling victim to ”l’m too busy and don’t have enough time” and procrastination trap.
Tip for week Eight, working with the ‘power of now’ to help you reduce negative thinking patterns, improve your decision making abilities and to experience more happiness, peace of mind and fulfilment:
So what is the power of now?
It is a “belief system based on living in the present moment”. Its core message is that our emotional problems are rooted in our identification with our minds. Eckhart Tolle, acclaimed author, of the Power of Now writes that we should be aware of our “present moment” instead of losing ourselves in worry and anxiety about the past or future.
His book is intended to be a self-help guide for day-to-day living and stresses the importance of living in the present moment and avoiding thoughts about the past or future.
In other words, Tolle writes, “only the present moment is important and both our past and our future is created by our thoughts”.
Most of us have had the experience of relaxing thoroughly enjoying the present moment with the sun brightly shining whilst on a beach and then suddenly our minds wander, we become distracted, and before we know it, we are taken over by that part of our brain that transports us into the past or into the future and we subsequently feel upset or low within a second.
According to Oprah Winfrey: “The Power Of Now can transform our thinking. The result? More joy, right now.”
How does this relate to my personal story then?
The power of now techniques have helped me enormously to achieve the life I want and to make decisions that have allowed me to blossom and thrive.
For example, when I was considering moving to London from Yorkshire and visualised in the here and now how enjoyable and fulfilling that would be, within seconds my mind wandered and before I knew I was beginning to experience negative thoughts such as:
• What if I can’t find anywhere to live?
• What if I can’t afford the cost of living in London?
• What if I don’t meet any new friends and so need to rely on the few I do have and thus become a needy burden?
• What will I say to my parents and friends if it doesn’t work out?
• Wouldn’t it be easier to stay in Yorkshire, afterall, I have a well-paid secure job and lots of family and friends here?
Fortunately, though I was experiencing these negative thinking patterns on a regular daily basis, I was able to use the power of now techniques that I had learned to escort my attention back to the present moment. I achieved this by accepting the unhealthy thoughts were there whilst simultaneously neither reacting to nor acting on the thoughts.
How can you implement the power of now into your daily routine?
Practice the power of now meditation below not cross legged on a mountain in the Himalayas at your desk or sat upright in a chair at home, in your business hotel or on the bus or tube if you live in London.
Tips for the ‘power of now’ mindfulness practice
Whilst listening to the ‘power of now’ meditation, as with other mindfulness or meditation practices, just allow your thoughts to rise, plateau and fall and imagine that they are part of a film/tape or actors in a play coming and go or clouds in the sky and that you have the option to press the stop button at anytime.
Most importantly, remember that thoughts are not facts and are only your own interpretation of emotions and feelings and other people’s actions and so when you next experience a negative automatic thought write it down and ask yourself what evidence is there to support this thought and what evidence is there against this thought.
1. Regardless of what happens (eg if you fall asleep, lose concentration, keep thinking of other things), just do it! These are your experiences in the moment. Just be aware of them.
2. If your mind is wandering a lot, simply note the thoughts (as passing events) and then bring the mind gently back to your breathe
3. Let go of ideas of “success “, ” failure “, ” doing it well “, or “trying to purify the mind “. This is not a competition. It is not a skill for which you need to strive. The only discipline involved is regular and frequent practice. Just do it with an attitude of openness and curiosity.
4. Let go of any expectations of what the power of now meditation will do for you. Imagine it as a seed you have just planted. The more you poke around and interfere, the less it will be able to develop. So with the power of now meditation, just give it the right conditions – peace and quiet, regular and frequent practice. That is all. The more you try to influence what it will do for you, the less it will do.
5. Try approaching your experience in each moment with the attitude: “Ok that’s just the way things are right now “. If you try to fight off unpleasant thoughts, feelings and body sensations, the upsetting feelings will only distract you from doing anything else. Be aware, be non-striving, be in the moment, accept things as they are. Just do it
Over to you:
If after reading this blog you are still struggling to remain in the here and now, reach decisions and are feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts because of this, don’t panic or give up just yet.
Counselling, psychotherapy sessions or a personal development or mindfulness course can help you.
So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few on line, telephone or face to face counselling or mindfulness sessions why not contact Karen Deeming to arrange an appointment or for a short free introductory chat on 07950 751352 or send an email to: email@example.com.