One of my favourite authours and leading edge thought leaders is Eckhart Tolle. His books ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth’ has had a profound impact on my life. He spoke so eloquently about Present moment awareness, the importance of truly being in the moment and how our ego and monkey brains (my interpretation) can play tricks on us. One of the quotes that I have been contemplating lately is “..formal meditation is, however, no substitute for bringing space consciousness into every day life.”
What is meditation really for? And what is space consciousness? Why is it so important to have this spaciousness or consciousness in our lives? I’ll give it a go here y’all, and maybe this will resonate with you, it sure did with me.
Every day, from the moment we wake up we are bombarded with things to think about, things to do, things to buy, to do lists, emails, phone calls, things to watch, and we analyze in between each transaction or interaction if we did it right, how we could do it different, why it turned out the way it did etc. The list really could go on for pages.
The question is not whether these things we do are right or wrong? But instead, on whether or not we offer a space in between any of those thoughts, actions or emotions. In the Not creating space, we start to become robotic beings that react to each circumstance without much self-reflection and ultimately cause our selves more and more stress. There’s good news, bringing spaciousness, consciousness or mindfulness to your day doesn’t require a 30 minute meditation in an uncomfortable crossed legged position on the floor, with crystals surrounding you as you chant Om. But instead, it’s as simple as waking up in the morning and stretching by your bedside for 30 seconds as you offer gratitude to your day. It could mean brushing your teeth and not thinking about rinsing or the next meeting, but just experiencing what each brush stroke on your teeth feels like. Creating space. Maybe you get into your car, and before turning on the ignition you take a deep inhale and exhale through your nose and out your nose.(to calm your nervous system). At lunch time, instead of starring at your crackberry or i-device, you get out outside for 5 minutes and look at the scenery (that you probably never paid attention to) that surrounds you every day. To bring more spaciousness into your home routine, maybe you wash the dishes without a to-do-list running on repeat, or sit in silence for 2 minutes while you experience your breath before bed.
Here’s the secret to bringing all this mindfulness and present moment awareness stuff to real use. Create segments throughout your day. Just as I did above. Morning, driving or travel time, lunch, evening and before bed. By starting with just a few of these segments you start to build a deliberate path to present moment awareness, building healthy habits for your every day life. After all, you already have daily habits whether you’re aware of it or not. In this way, you get to check in, choose and take action without reactivity, and maybe stop a dysfunctional or stressful habit you’ve been practicing for months or even years.
With these techniques, you can start to imagine a Mind and a life that looks more like a tuscany villa with ample space to move and live in, as oppose to a cluttered closest sized room with the looks of a hoarder. You get to choose, and it’s a darn great space to live in.