I believe in seeking truth wherever it may be found. I choose to be open in a way that allows that to come into my life in whatever shape or form. That decision has opened a portal that has brought truth into my life in the most amazing and unexpected ways—seemingly small moments that change everything.
One of these moments of awareness and truth came in a yoga class—a statement uttered by my favorite yoga instructor. She is a wise, awake soul. She often speaks little bits of truth that seem to hit me with the force equivalent to an ocean wave crashing on the shore—leaving everything new and different, more real, bright, and in truth than before. We were moving through the poses and she said, “Be here.” She expanded a little by drawing our attention to becoming completely present, and the importance of the grounding effect that has in each pose. But this truth went far beyond being present in the poses. It was profound.
During a deep search for light during a particularly dark time in my life, I came across this idea of being in the ‘now’ through the insights of Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now. My life at that time, tied into to my unawareness, resulted in me primarily existing in flight or fight. My life was overrun with stress and fear and uncertainty. My adrenals were shot. Something had to change. I had taken bits of the wisdom from my mother and her learning of the power of “I am” and began to explore and expand upon that. From this space, a door opened to an awareness that shifted my life in remarkable ways; ways I had somehow almost forgotten until that moment in yoga that brought my awareness back to this truth.
Tolle (1999) shed a light on the stress I was experiencing (and had experienced so much of in my life) in a way that illuminated the truth so that I was able to see it clearly. “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there,’ or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It’s a split that tears you apart inside. To create and live with such an inner split is insane” (p. 84).
When we are in fear and anxiety, we are existing in the future. And how often do we spend precious time ruminating in memories of yesterday? Sad or happy memories, it doesn’t matter. The point is if we are not present in the moment, in the now, we are missing it. We are missing life. When we live that way we are disconnected from what is, from ourselves, and from all that is divine because He exists in the now. In an instant, those words from the scriptures found in Matthew stood out to me and I understood the power of the real truth held within them: “Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself….Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin” (Matthew 6:34, 28). There is unspeakable peace and power in living in the moment and trusting it with every fiber of our being; it is the pinnacle of faith—the essence of what it truly means.
I have worked on this, becoming aware and present. It is easy to do when our life is good and the present moment in-and-of-itself is wonderful—like when you are at the beach sticking your toes in the sand. Yes, those moments are easy to be present in. But what about the ones where you are on your knees? When the moment you are in seems unbearable? What then? The truth, my friends, to move through that moment is in fact found by becoming completely present in that moment; the power is found in accepting and surrendering to what is. It is insanity to resist what is. It already is. Surrendering is not weakness. “There is great power in it. Only a surrendered person has spiritual power. Through surrender, you will be free internally of the situation. You may then find that the situation changes without any effort on your part. In any case, you are free” (Tolle, 1999, p. 83). Freedom comes when we are unattached—when we have no need or fear tied to the present situation. When we are in total faith of all that is; faith in our own divinity and connection to the Divine—this is when we are in our power. This is the power of being present.
One caution, our acceptance of a situation does not mean we are saying that a bad situation is okay, or that we will allow it to continue. We have the ability to choose to change it, but it can only be truly changed by first acknowledging and accepting what it is. Speak up. Create a boundary. Make a change. This is key—otherwise we are a victim to what is and are existing in it while resisting it, which is madness and will literally tear us apart from the inside-out.
“The opportunity that is concealed within crisis does not manifest until all the facts of any given situation are acknowledge and fully accepted. As long as you deny them, as long as you try to escape from them or wish that things were different, the window of opportunity does not open up, and you remain trapped inside that situation, which will remain the same or deteriorate further” (Tolle, 1999, p. 157).
It is difficult for me to describe the power I have found in this truth. Accepting what is and choosing to be present in the now, changes the next moment, and the next, in magnificent ways. This is where peace resides. This is where real joy is found. When I realize that I am existing in the past or projecting into the future, I can state those words, “Be here,” and I shift immediately.
I promise you will experience a shift if you explore this and experiment with those words. This is how we can really live.