#6: Letting Go of the Past and the Future

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Hi Folks,


Just now, while trying to write this letter and trying to be present at the same time, I noticed the sound of the wind. I looked up and the trees were waving in the breeze. I would not have been aware of that if I was stuck in the future or the past.


Can you hear the wind? Can you see the trees bending with the wind? Trees have no resistance to the present moment. They just sway as they go with the flow.


One of my favorite American philosophers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”


Can you sense your body? Not think about it, but simply sense it. For example, if you try, you can sense your feet on the floor. Perhaps your feet are hot or cold, sweaty or itchy.


The reason why sensing the body is important is because it gets us out of our heads and its stream of thoughts, mostly repetitive and boring, full of angst about the past and worries about the future.


However, your body is always in the present moment. This is why many meditative practices start with a focus on one’s breath. Breathing happens automatically without our having to think about it. But if you sense your breath, it brings you back to the present moment.


It has been said that if you want to change your future, you need to change your present. That is the only way because it is all we ever have. If we want our future to have less drama and more serenity, then we have to tap into the peace that is already within us, but deeper than we normally go.


Ralph Waldo Emerson also wrote “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”

Take care of your mind. Be aware of what you are feeding it. Just as we feel lousy if we eat too junk food, so we feel lousy if we feed our minds with junk. Be mindful of watching too much news, of taking in too much social media, of being around negative people.


Replace all of the negativity with good music, good books, good conversations with non-toxic people. Replace repetitive thoughts with mantras and positive affirmations. One of my favorites is: “Trust the love, for love is the answer.”


Can you sense your body? Can you hear the wind? Can you replace a negative thought with a positive affirmation? Yes you can, but like anything worthwhile, it takes practice. Come back to the present moment as many times a day as you can and find yourself awakening to the beauty of this moment.


To Letting Go!


Apophat


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