Lately a particular life lesson has been engraving itself upon my awareness of how I operate in day-to-day life. This one deals with being here now vs projecting attention into the past or future. I’ve discovered that for most of my life, when something hasn’t been to my liking, my tendency has been to project into the future; “When I get this, I can do that” and so forth and so on. It has been a standard operating procedure for dealing with life. More recently though, I’ve been getting it that this modus operandi has really been about “looking for love in all the wrong places” – better known as seeking happiness in the future.
Let me tell you, if you are looking for a great avoidance technique, I highly recommend this one. It works in a jiffy! I can project myself right out of the present moment in a heartbeat simply by following the ole “things will be better in the future” track. Wishing and hoping and hoping and wishing. The problem is, when I’m done envisioning and getting lost in all the What If ‘s, What Is is still here, begging me to give it attention. Have you ever noticed that whatever you resist, persists?
Catching this tendency seems to be happening more easily now by either returning to the present moment of What Is or just not going there to begin with. And the more I choose What Is the easier it is to remain Here. The reward is worth it. It is making an honest woman out of me and I like who is emerging. I feel more connected to my life and am no longer avoiding my world. It in return is embracing me…fully. The difference? Simply a shift in my consciousness; I now know what my choices are: be here now and be happy or project into the future of What If’s and…well, let’s not go there, shall we?
What Is Choice Exercise — This exercise walks you through choosing to be fully in the moment with whatever is going on in your life. Using your journal or a notepad, answer the following questions and walk yourself through the following exercise:
1. Are you projecting into the What If’s of the future or are you choosing the present What Is? Simply tell yourself the truth about it. Yes or No.
2. Next describe What Is. Write down everything about “what is” right now. As my spiritual teacher used to say, “what is so is so and nothing else is so.” Write down all your thoughts, feelings and emotions about this situation, whatever it is.
3. Now, ask yourself this question: This is what is so, right? Is anything else so? Write down your answer (it is a simple one.)
4. Close your eyes and just sit quietly with what you’ve written. Simply notice if you are feeling any corresponding tightness and tension in your body and just allow it to be there with the thoughts and emotions. Breathe and move into your experience.
5. Ask yourself, “who is experiencing this?” (The answer is “I Am.”) Now just sit with this sense of “I Am” for a few minutes and allow whatever you are experiencing to just be as it is. Now, enjoy being here with you, beautiful You!