by Amy L. Lansky, PhD, Contributor Waking Times
Anyone who takes an interest in meditation and consciousness is probably familiar with the phrases “The Power of Now” and “Be Here Now” — titles of landmark books by Eckhart Tolle and Ram Dass (respectively). By letting go of our constant mind-jabber, which is usually focused on the past or the future, we can find healing power in simply resting in the present moment, exactly where we are.
But at turbulent times like these, many (if not most) of us find ourselves overwhelmed by the uncertainty of our world. What is really going on and what does the future hold for us? It seems like most people’s thoughts and emotions these days are dominated by fears and anxieties about climate change, overpopulation, politics, wars, never ending news about sexual assault and harassment, terrorist attacks, mass murdering sprees, police killings of innocent people simply because of their skin color or ethnicity, and attacks on our civil liberties. Indeed, the media storm that perpetually overtakes us each of our waking moments works hard to feed and exploit our fear, anger, anxiety, and sadness. I have found that any attempt to buffer oneself from this barrage (as my husband and I try to do) can be seen by others as naive or even dangerous.
In other words, it’s quite easy to feel nothing but uncertainty about the now!
In my January 2017 newsletter article I talked about the importance of letting go of this pattern if we really want to see positive change in our world. The truth is, living one’s life in a constant state of fear and negativity merely perpetuates the problems we face today. It only helps to create more of the same. The myth that we need to be “freaked out” in order to do something positive is backward! Yes, you don’t want to hide your head in the sand. But you will accomplish much more positive action by releasing the emotions that trap you in an unhappy state.
How to do that? There are lots of tools out there, many of which I have written about in Active Consciousness and my various newsletter articles. Of course, there’s meditation. Then there’s the Sedona Method, which I recently discovered for myself and have found to be truly life-transforming if you earnestly engage with it. Another is the healing power of gratitude. By focusing on what we are grateful for, instead of what we dislike, we become instantly transformed. Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s meditation series “Manifesting Grace Through Gratitude” can be very helpful in achieving a focus on gratitude.
But here’s the key point of my missive today: the inherent uncertainty of the Now also gives us reason for hope!
All of us here in Northern California (where I live) have recently experienced quite sudden, rapidly-spreading, and horrific wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties. In fact, close friends of ours who were evacuated from their mountain-top home lived with us for a week. Luckily, their house narrowly escaped destruction. So as those who lost everything are now acutely aware of, life can turn on a dime.
Yes, tragedy can strike in an instant. But so can a change for the better. The smallest act of kindness or one person’s vibration of positivity (which inevitably — though perhaps subconsciously — is felt by everyone around them) can have an enormous impact — indeed, impact that is hard to predict. That is the great and positive news about the uncertainty of the Now.
If our world functioned like a machine governed by clockwork-like rules — or even if the most probable outcome always held sway, yes, there might be cause for dismay about the current state of our world. But we are all creators in the Now. The future may be uncertain, but because it is uncertain, it can be tipped toward the positive and become incredibly bright in ways we can’t even imagine right now!
Your take away message today is this: your personal state of mind can have an enormous impact! Certainly, it has a huge impact on your personal health. For that reason alone, it is important to work hard on transforming your state into one that is more positive and productive. It may take a lot of hard work and deep inner reflection, but it’s worth it.
As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s begin by focusing on gratitude — for nature, for the people we love, for the wonders of the world we live in, for the inherent good will of most people that keeps our society functioning day-to-day, for the smile of a stranger, for each act of kindness, for the food we eat and those who helped bring it to us, for the amazing entertainment available to us, for the beauty of a flower, for the rain and sun that brings life, for our very existence! By constantly reminding ourselves about what we are grateful for, we can literally transform the world.