I took some time to sit in the park yesterday and just observed my surroundings, I don’t know how much time I took as I left my phone at home (intentionally) so had no way to gauge time. What I noticed when I sat there was that every single person who passed me by seemed to be in a rush. It wasn’t the pace of their walking that always gave it away that they were in a rush, but more so the energy they gave off that made it apparent they were in a rush, not centered and their focus was on something completely other than their surroundings.
From what I observe, it appears that most people live this way….always concerned with what’s next, what needs to be done rather than giving any attention to the present moment. Being robbed of my iphone a couple months ago has helped me with this tremendously, no apps, no e-mail and no browser = freedom. I only had one moment in those couple months where I’ve though “crap, I need that app!” and it was when I heard a song on the radio, some random unpopular station that sounded amazing…..I needed shazzam to tell me the name of it! lol I later checked the station site for a playlist but not luck. In the grand scheme of things though, the benefits of being without my iphone have outweighed the drawbacks.
I also check my e-mail far less often than I used to because of this. With my iphone I probably checked my e-mail every hour and responded to most e-mails right away. Now, I check my e-mail 2-3 times a day and have found that it has not damaged productivity levels. If you think about it, just a few years ago, before anybody and everybody had a smart phone, we didn’t check out messages constantly and our productivity levels were not much different….or possibly better. What has happened is that with contact and information available to us constantly, we have made ourselves busier, cramming as much activity as we can into every minute of our lives. This constant mental activity and “I want it now! attitude” has caused us to lose our ability to work towards our goals and accomplish things in a grounded, structured and paced way. Many times I’ve been guilty of this myself, even before the rise of smart phones, I can remember several times where I would be at school, so caught up in what I was doing, and what I had to do next that I actually walked past people I knew on campus, they said hi to me and I didn’t even see them!!! Focusing too heavily on what we need to do next,we end up losing focus on the bigger picture of why we’re doing what we’re doing and from experience I’ve seen that sometimes, when I’ve started working towards a goal, gotten lost in the details of working towards it and never took any time out to meditate and get in tune with my feelings towards what I’m doing…..I realize it’s not even exactly what I wanted, and by the time I realize that I’ve already gone so far. It’s natural for goals and what we want in life to change, even if it’s something as big as career, or city you live in, things can always change and I think we owe it to ourselves to be present enough to life in the moment to to recognize those changes and respond to them as they come up, rather than when it’s “too late” I quote that because I never really believe it’s too late to make changes or go in the direction you’re inner guidance it pointing you towards…but it definitely becomes more difficult as more commitments and obligations come.
Just like everybody else I still do get a little too caught up in what needs to be done, but I’m able to notice now when I get off center. If you find yourself spending more of your time thinking about, reaching out for or stressing about something that’s not in front of you at this very moment than you are spending being aware of and making the most of what you do have in front of you at the moment, then you are off center.
So, how do you get centered? you learn to work with you energies and meditate. I’ve had a lot of friends say “all that energy stuff is bull shit” and I suppose I can see why many people would think that, considering there are a lot new age weirdo hippies out there these days claiming all sorts of nonsense. Before its corruption by some of the new age spiritual movements, the principles of meditation and working with energies were rooted in ancient Chinese and Indian practices…not in gimmicks sold in new age books.
I didn’t learn how to manage my energy from books, or anything I watched or listened to. It may have been a starting point for me, but I never really made significant progress until I learned how to tune into my own energy and feel how it responds to different people, things, places, situations and how to keep it flowing. It’s not something you can learn on your own, you need to be taught….and I know most of you will think “I can learn on my own, I can learn it from a book” because you’re stubborn…..but, do you see kids learning how to ride bikes from books? or learning to swim from books? As with learning anything that’s of a practical nature, you can’t do it effectively until you actually physically do it and as with riding a bike or swimming, you’re going to learn to do so much faster if you have someone teach you.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon a teacher a few years ago who helped me a lot. If you’re seeking more peach in your life I would highly recommend you learn some of the techniques he teaches and see the difference they make. Give some of his articles a read and see if you want to take the plunge. What drew me to Steve’s work was the practicality of it and the lack of “fluffliness” For me, any websites regarding spiritual practice that consistently tell you to “shine your divine light” or “think positively” aren’t realistic. Anything that deny’s spiritual practice is something that will be hard work in the beginning and require discipline is guaranteed to fail in the long run.
The law of karma is a law of balance, that being said……regardless of how positively you think, or how much you “shine your divine light” shit is going to happen in your life. It’s about learning how to deal with the shit in a calm, centered,present way and learning from it, not about completely removing it from your life….because that’s impossible