The present moment is your friend not your enemy.

I am reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Toile. The title and the fact that the book is on Oprah’s top 10 reading list is why I decided to read it.

For one reason or another most people are struggling with the added stress of the pandemic. There is comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in the struggle but it doesn’t make the challenge any easier.

Eckhart’s words are familiar to me from a past leadership retreat, other books and experiences. However, it’s worth reading the book. I’ll also share a few of the lessons now that you might find valuable now.

Three ways to make friends with the present moment

1/ Focus on the next step

Years ago, I climbed Mount Rainer with a leadership group to learn the lesson of “the journey“. The climb is long, parts of it are hard and scary and parts of it are unpredictable. It’s symbolic of life.

To climb Rainer, we had to learn to rest even if we didn’t feel like resting, to refuel when the group stopped even if we didn’t feel hungry and thirsty and most importantly, to focus on only the next step rather than the summit.

If you focus on the scary parts or the parts that may never happen, you’ll probably worry yourself sick and/or give up. That’s the anxiety that you may be feeling now.

Let go of your scary thoughts and worry that aren’t serving you. Instead, focus on only your next step.

2/ Stop overthinking

Reportedly, most people walk around talking to themselves. Some talk out loud and others are talking in their heads.

Eckhart refers to it as the parasitical mind because the stories that play on repeat in our minds are not serving us in the moment.

Everyone makes mistakes or wishes they could have done something in the past a little better. However, what is done is done. Learn the right lessons from the past but know that you can only apply those lessons in the current moment or as Eckhart says, the Now.

Some also worry about what may or may not happen in the future. Anticipate and plan for likely scenarios now so that you’re prepared for those future events. But don’t overthink it or you’ll get stuck.

When you stop replaying the past and/or worrying about the future, you’ll be focused on what you need to do to move forward.

3/ Align with your life situation

Your life is not your life situation. You may have issues with your current situation but your life is more than the issue.

First, think about the moment. What are your issues in the current moment? You may have an issue that needs to be addressed or you may not. Acknowledge the moment for what it is and do what you need to do now.

Rather than fighting your reality, align with your situation. By doing so, you’ll probably experience life in a more friendly and productive way.

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