I wrote a thesis many years ago on Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” Learning to be present in each moment, instead of spending most of my time regretting something from the past or worrying about the future has brought immeasurable peace into my life.
How we achieve this isn’t in thinking about being in the moment though because most of us have conditioned our brains to have a very short attention span via our social media habits.
My daughter has an even shorter attention span as I watch her flip incessantly through YouTube videos so quickly I’m amazed she is catching any of what’s happening.
I also notice though that when she consumes media in this way, her behavior later reflects this frenetic pattern of energy; scattered and erratic.
How we use social media is largely a distraction from the present moment. Social media, TV and gaming have become the new drug of the 21st century. Many of us use these methods to numb out what is happening within us, because we don’t know how to handle all of the emotions our daily lives seem to bring up within us.
This most often happens with people who have never done the inner work to heal their past, so adding more emotions each day which are often just a reflection of the energies we already carry can be overwhelming. This is especially true for our combat veterans, police officers, fire fighters and even our social workers who have witnessed traumas on a larger scale than most of the population. If these people went into these careers without having effectively healed their past, their emotional function becomes more and more difficult the more they are exposed to tragedy.
People who have experienced or witnessed significant traumas also often avoid tools such as meditation fiercely. They do this because sitting down and focusing their attention within quickly results in their pain coming to the surface, so they unconsciously and often involuntarily find a distraction or some other substance to numb the pain.
However, learning to lean into the pain, hugging the cactus, as I’ve heard it called is a way through it.
Any time we use a new tool instead of using our normal coping mechanisms, it can become scary to do it. Also, most people are hard on themselves and give up if they “don’t get it right” pretty quickly.
Give yourself a break. Accept that this is no right way that works for everyone.
You have to find your pace and work through this at a pace that you’re comfortable with, but also accept that the point of this process is to face uncomfortable feelings that you’ve been distancing yourself from for a long time.
One of the best methods I’ve ever found to do this is in Stephen Cope, “Yoga for Emotional Flow.” His voice is soothing and the methods I learned in this audio twenty years ago formed the basics of what I still do today when I have emotions I need to process.
Cope taught me what my emotions were telling me and in learning this, I became less resistant to facing them directly. He also provides three different guided exercises which taught me how to turn my attention within and how to use my breath to focus on feeling these difficult emotional energies.
My favorite exercise is “Riding the Wave,” as it breaks down the process into an easy to remember step by step process.
One of the exercises from this audiobook, “The Daily Body Scan” is available for free on YouTube.
When you have tools, you are more likely to work on all that needs to be healed within you.
Also, just like there is no right way, there is also no set amount of time it will take you to heal as compared with someone else. In fact, you may consider it as a lifetime goal of healing a little bit at a time, with the end goal of becoming more of the real you, instead of the mask you show to the world.
The only way for your life to get better then…is to begin.
© 2024. All rights reserved.
Jeff Scholl is a Certified Spiritual Life Coach through Holistic Learning Centers and a Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Learn more at: https://www.apathtopeace.org/