Thought leader, Eckhart Tolle wrote extensively about the power of now in his book of the same name, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. I reference Tolle’s work in my own book, and I tell you, I found few others who can challenge my thinking like him. The power of now is something I continue to trouble and the other day I had such a tangible impasse with that concept.
I was sitting in the office, working on some administrative task, and my mind just became filled with questions that began to populate my thoughts. The more I stewed on the questions, the more I got filled with anxiety. Questions like, what should I be doing in five years? What is the next step in my career? What is the next right step in a relationship? And others like, will I see change in “this” or “that” situation? -The same questions that can plague us all.
I started breathing exercises, took a walk, and tried to distract myself, nothing seemed to work, until I went back to what best centers me in moments filled with question, that is to ask simply, “at this moment, what do I need to be doing?” Its such a simple question, one that is often easy to answer, and typically, we don’t want to answer it…because the answer is often not sexy, its not the big, bold, undertaking we are hoping for, typically the answer is, “check that voicemail that’s been on your phone for hours; study for that upcoming exam; call your accountant about your taxes; sort the laundry in your basket; or get up and hit the gym.”
When we ask the question, “what do I need to be doing right at this very minute” we are always given an answer, because life is lived in the now. When we begin the practice of living in the now, we offer our declaration to be present, we demonstrate our ability to rely on faith, and we reaffirm our commitment to live in peace.
Will you find love? Will you have kids? Will you receive that next promotion? These are all questions beyond our scope to answer. What can be answered though, is what am I supposed to do now. I find that when I give my power to now, rather than to an uncertain future, or a past, whose outcome has already been shown, I am often gifted with an answer to those big questions that goes beyond my scope to imagine.