Recipes for Stopping Crimes Against the Present.
Unavailability: Be with another person completely. Listen to every word, and listen below and above the words for what they are feeling and thinking. Connect to their voice. Don’t think of your response, or how you really ought to be doing something else. Give the person your undivided Now.
Ending Discontent: Count your blessings. Practice giving gratitude and praise to everyone. Unhappy with someone? Discover or remember the best part of their humanness, and let the rest go. Unhappy with your situation? Change it. But don’t spend another minute feeling discontent and unhappy because you are missing what is now.
The Stop Worry Trick: “Worry is like a rocking chair; you go back and forth and get nowhere.” (John Forcier-Call). We circle our worry like a dog circles its bed, tracking over and over the same information. The trick is to ask three questions:
1) Has the situation changed?
2) Is there any new information?
3) Is there anything I can do today?
No? Then set the worry aside, and refuse to think about it again. Train yourself to let it go until there is a Yes to one of the questions. In the meantime, don’t talk about it. The prize is hours spent in the present, living fully and richly in the moment. To stop worrying means a lot of hours restored – a lifetime of hours.
Drive out Fear: “Take no action, make no decision out of fear or ambition.” Carlos Castenada
Stopping Sloth: Go outside, lie on the ground, sit with your back to a tree, until the body is re-energized by the earth’s energy.
Busy-ness: Mark out regular unstructured time – blank space – on the calendar. This is not time to read or meditate or even to pray. This is time everyday when nothing is to happen. This is time to clear the mind so that the present enters. You are a blank canvas on which anything may happen.
Once we begin to focus outside ourselves, letting our inner realities subside, opening to the present moment, we experience being in the flow. There is a difference between impulsiveness and spontaneity; impulsiveness has the flavor of disconnectedness. True spontaneity comes from being centered in the moment, of being aware of the threads available in the moment and, by being there, weaving them.