For many, life in the fast lane is becoming increasingly challenging. Workload rising, overtime hours stretching, email inbox brimming, all on top of family and home life demands, we are constantly on the go. Never a moment to yourself, to enjoy an interest, to get out, what still relax! As our lives get more and more out of balance, we feel stressed, drained and tired. The irony is, this state of tension makes us less effective at what we do and obviously takes the joy out of life. We become so focused in our tunnel vision that we lose a broader awareness. This is the small and limiting world of the ego self.
Living in the Present Moment is
The End of the Ego
The world of your ego mind, as real as it may seem, is a small part of who you are. In its illusionary world, the ego compares, competes, forces, struggles and is hardly ever satisfied. Separated from it, by the thinnest of veils, is another altogether magical world of your true, creative, expansive self. We know we’re in our ‘right mind’ when things flow, we feel light, enjoy ourselves and lose ourself in a pleasant experience.
The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego – Eckhart Tolle
The End of Stress
Society has generally maxed out on stress and many people now find a slowed, calm and peaceful approach to work and life immensely more valuable and effective. Mindfulness physically increases grey matter in the frontal lobe of the brain used for creative thinking and decreases the part of the brain (amygdala) that triggers fear and stress.
The End of Anxiety
Living in the present moment is a powerful stress-buster. The present moment is naturally free from stress and anxiety. We only create anxiety when we have fearful thoughts about the future (all the ‘What if’ scenarios created by our imagination) and regrets about the past (all the ‘If only’ this or that didn’t happen). We all know through experience that when we lose ourselves in an enjoyable moment like listening to music or doing something creative like painting, time stand still and the mind clears.
Even if the present moment is a challenging one, by being mindful in the moment, you become an observer of your thoughts and reaction rather than buying into it. We soon realise that by not trying to fight against, hide from or change the moment, just acknowledging it, is far less stressful in the long run. Any concern about the future is an illusion as it has not happened yet. Anxiety therefore only exists on the inside. We can let it go by embracing the moment. No negative emotion can be experienced when we are truly in the moment. Herein lies great wisdom.
The End of Time
‘Never enough time’, is just another illusionary thought. Thoughts about the past and the future are only illusionary. All we have is this present moment. Life is truly lived only in the moment. Mindfulness brings a quality of experience that makes time stand still. It stretches and expands time. We end up getting more done in less time.
Living in the Present Moment is
Frequenting the present moment, means we come home to our true selves. To truly Know Thyself is to transcend the apparent importance of the small ego self and to evolve into the greatness, the expansion, joy and peace of your true magnificent higher self.
When you are relaxed in the moment, you’re not just in your limited logical mind, you are able to bring your expansive creative right brain to the task at hand. The mind opens up to its unbounded creative potential and the possibilities that you can tap are infinite.
Free from contractive, restrictive fears and doubts, you are free to discover the innate power of your spirit. You are ultimately a creator.
‘We are responsible for what we create. As we expand and learn to act and think with love and wisdom, we’re able to live in service of others and all of life’ Caroline Myss
Mindfulness means you are coming to your senses. This sense experience makes you feel truly alive, brings you out of your head and connects you with your world. Healing takes place in this connection.Your energy, health and youthfulness returns. A sense of lightness and joy of life returns. All of this is possible with the simple practice of dropping into the present moment.
How do I truly stay in the moment?
Mindfulness is simply the act of being fully aware of what you are doing in any given moment, which in turn clears everything from your mind, helping you to de-stress. Mindfulness is more often practised through breathing exercises aimed at focusing your attention in the moment. Mindfulness can also be practised in the form of mindful walking and mindful eating and the idea is that we take this practice through into every day activities such as cleaning the house.
Studies have shown that taking 10 minutes out in a mindfulness practice, reduces stress and counteracts depression even more effectively than anti-depressants. Mindfulness reduces anxiety, improves concentration, memory, sleep patterns, decision-making, creative thinking and problem-solving.
Anxiety keeps us in the “fight or flight” stress mode, often for prolonged periods of time. Easing the nervous system through relaxation is therefore essential to stop anxiety from triggering. Relaxation practices such as mindfulness and meditation, reduce stress and restore health.
This simple practice of doing nothing but breathing may take discipline at first, but over time it physically reduces the reactive brain (amygdala) and increases the pre-frontal cortex responsible for creating a sense of well-being. Besides, it releases undesired thoughts and restores calm.
Do you want to have a go straight away?
One of the most practical approaches to good health is relaxation. When we get the mind out of stress mode, the body can naturally return to good health. Our Mindfulness Retreat has exactly that purpose. Join us and experience practices that increase awareness of the mind-body link. Treat yourself to a day out of your everyday busyness, a day to retreat, re-set your mind, relax and be mindful with like-minded people in a tranquil environment. You will find it uplifting, healing, relaxing and re-energising.
Book your space now and join us on the One Day Mindfulness Retreat at the Xaverian Spiritual Centre in Preston. We are fortunate again to have Thai Chi Teacher, Tricia Pass taking us through mindful movements, (hopefully outside, weather of course permitting.)
All details are on our Events Calendar