A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend about a book she was reading.
Its called “The Power of Now”. It is a new age type book about living in
the present moment. That book has changed quite a few lives since the
release in 2010. I picked it up while it was on sale on Amazon and it is
well worth the read. One of the things that struck me was how it makes me
look at life a little different.
The concept of living in the now isn’t very complicated. Enjoying the
present moment as it is the only moment you can truly live. Eckhart Tolle
makes the point that there is no fear in the now. It is only the worry
about the future or the past the creates fear. Thats a pretty powerful
idea all by itself and one that I used to conquer some of my fears but I
wanted to talk about another concept that I really learned in his book.
“The Power of Now” has a lot of concepts that aren’t complete spelled out
for you. It leaves it to you as the reader to figure out how things fit
into your life. One of the things that really stood out to me upon
reflection was the concept that you are not your emotions. Tolle spends a
lot of time talking about a concept known as the pain body. The easier way
to understand the pain body is to look at it as the ego. You have this
certain set of experiences that tell you how you should act and what
things you should avoid. You have learned these from previous experiences
and sometimes they are very helpful. One instance is where you touched
something too hot and it burned you. Its a very good idea not to touch
something too hot so that you don’t get burned. Another instance is where
somebody hurt you really bad when you confided a secret in them. While it
might be a good idea not to trust that person again, will you ever be able
to trust somebody else quite the same?
We have these collections of experiences that teach us to act and form
habits. The concept of the pain body or ego controls our behavior but
there is something else. Your ego is not you. If you had a different set
of experiences, would you be fundamentally different? There is no doubt
that experiences shape you but there is also the fact that you control how
those experiences are perceived. Somebody with a positive attitude will
observe the same event in a much different light than somebody with a
negative attitude. Sometimes this is referred to as reframing a situation
or event. It is really powerful to deal with negative perceptions of an
event that happened to you.
Once you grasp the concept of this then you can start looking at your life
from an unbiased point of view. Watch as you get mad. What does it feel
like? How did you let yourself get angry? Is that reaction what you want?
These questions point out that you are in control. Not your emotions. It
is really cool to look at yourself without the ego involved because you
learn so much about yourself. It is a really good skill to develop because
it will teach you how to control your actions and keep your cool when
things get tough.