Thursday, June 28, 2007

Change in Perspective

I've been inundating this post with a lot of information the last couple days. While I'm still reading "The Power of Now" and writing down more notes to share here, I don't have them with me right now, and I figured we all needed a day off to absorb it all.

My life right now can be compared to an incident I had this morning. I went to the bathroom to finish drying my hair, and I had my shoes on, which I usually don't wear to the bathroom. While nothing in the room had changed, that slight increase in height from my shoes lifted me just enough to make everything look a little different. The sink was a little farther away, my view of the shelves in the medicine cabinet was altered so I could look down on the items there a little more. Just that half-inch created a noticeable change in perspective.

Similarly, while nothing dramatic in my life has changed, my consciousness of it has been elevated, and nothing looks quite the same. For example: yesterday, which was incredibly hot and humid, would have normally made me miserable and terribly cranky. While I did have a couple cranked out moments, I realized they quickly passed through me and instead of festering over them, I felt remarkably calm. I realized that there was nothing I could do about the heat, so I just needed to accept it and get on with my life. In addition, when something did irritate me, I let myself feel my irritation, anger, etc., in that moment; once the moment was over, I felt this sense that there was no need to hang onto it, since it was now in the past and no longer affecting me.

Even more amazing, yesterday also included a disappointing discovery in our house that while not life-threatening, is going to cost us $2,300 that we weren't expecting to dish out. Something like this would normally have me stressing out and cleaning out the box of muffins my husband brought into the house a few days ago. I did have a few moments of anxiety about money and our household finances, but I thought to myself, "We have the means to pay for this now. Things may be a little tight in the future, but worrying about it won't do me or anyone else any good. Our jobs are secure right now, we have money coming in, and I have faith that we will be all right. This may be an unpleasant surprise, but there's nothing we can do but accept it and move on."

It was intriguing how I kept catching myself throughout the day in either past or present thinking, especially about food. I'd be thinking about what I was going to eat for lunch or a snack and stop, telling myself, "That is future thinking. Right now I am not hungry. When I am hungry, then I will think about food." My husband and friends are preparing a big belated birthday dinner for me tonight, and every time I'd start worrying about compulsively eating there, I'd stop myself and remind myself that it's in the future, and not my concern right now.

The real test, of course, will be tonight, when it is the Now. I can't wait to see how I can apply this conscious thinking to one of my worst binge eating triggers. Of course, this is future thinking, too! But I'm working hard to stay in observation mode, not expecting perfection from myself. Eckhart Tolle says it's nearly impossible to eliminate all past and future thinking, but the trick is not to apply negative feelings or expectations to them. He says it's fine to make goals for yourself, but the trick is to focus on what you're doing now to achieve that, not focusing solely on the end product or result. It's all about the journey, not the final destination.

So I'm doing my best to stay in the moment, keep my self aware and awake to what's going on right now, both in me and around me. While this is all a little different, I'm liking the view from up here. I may just have to move here permanently.


Beula said...

It is the change in perspective that makes all the difference. I am glad to have met up with you on this less traveled road.

LMM said...

Change of perspective...such a cool thing to look at. These past few days I have been working on what I have read in your blog; trying to live in the now. I am needing to make a conscious effort to do this but, yes, I do see a change in both my actions and reactions when I am looking at things from the "now" perspective.
Thank you.