An important aspect of enlightenment is the ability to be present.
The question I ask when talking about presence is not how do you stay present but where do you go when you’re not present? In other words, what takes you away from a state of being present?
An easy way to begin finding out where you go is by considering these four places where most people go:
#1 The Past
When your mind or emotions pull you into the past, you are being pulled out of the present.
Where are you living in the past? Is your past filled with regrets, guilt, grief or anger from unresolved experiences? The past holds many memories and emotions for us and if these are not resolved, we end up reliving the past every time our thoughts or emotions take us there. It’s difficult to stay in the present when our thoughts and emotions live elsewhere.
Even if the past was good and wonderful, you can be pulled out of the present by thinking the past was better than your life is right now. If you are reliving the past because of the warm, wonderful memories it holds for you, it might be because you feel the best of your life has already been lived and your current or future life will never measure up. When you do this, you miss the magic that every moment holds.
#2 The Future
There is a saying that says that 99% of the things we worry about never materialize. All of that energy, when used in the present moment, can transform your life! Every time you allow yourself to worry about things that may never happen, you are losing your life force and do not have access of it to resolve whatever is happening in your life right now.
Fear is another big waste of energy. So many people I talk to are afraid of the future for their children or grandchildren. Being overwhelmed by the news and hearing everything that is happening around the world, it’s easy to fall into a fearful state.
There are some wonderful things happening in the world, however, but our news cycles don’t report these because it doesn’t sell the news. One site I subscribe to is the Optimist Daily. This organization has taken on the task of finding and reporting all of the wonderful solutions happening around the world and the people and organizations that are making a difference.
Aside from negative feelings like worry and fear that take you out of the present, something as wonderful as hope can also take you there. When you place all of our hope in the future, you are waiting for something to happen that will save you from your today. You may feel you will be happy in the new house are saving for or in the new job that will hopefully happen after you’re done with school or the next relationship you will find.
If you find yourself ‘waiting’ to be happy until something changes in your life, you will most likely be chasing a carrot on a string.
This quote by Bil Keane is very appropriate for this blog: “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”
#3 and #4: The Teeter Totter Effect
The Teeter Totter Effect takes you out of a state of presence when you compare yourself to others. When you are trying to feel better about yourself, you will either look around you and feel that everyone has a better life than you. You will see everyone with more money, better jobs, better relationships, better health and overall better lives.
Sometimes, in order to feel better about yourself, you may also look around and see others not as fortunate as you. You can then feel better about yourself and your life because at least you have a better job, better home, better relationship than those you see around you.
Both of these ways of seeing the world around you will take you out of the present moment and out of alignment with your own essence, your own inner light, beauty and spiritual gifts that you alone have brought into the world to share.
The Inner Diamond method I have been teaching since 2002 has helped others live in the present moment, stay aligned with their inner light and consciously awakened them to their spiritual gifts and life purpose.