This happens every so often. It happens to everyone and we all have different ways to deal. Since getting angry, feeling lonely, fighting frustration, and obsession seem to be failing me in the self-help department I’ve decided to flip it and reverse it. To say I’m seeking enlightenment makes me sound like I’m going to give up my first-world lifestyle in lieu of a life lived at a secluded monastery on a high Tibetan mountaintop (which actually sounds pretty amazing!) I mean practical enlightenment that I can practice and carry with me everyday in this insane place we call America.
About 10 years ago (give or take) I was first introduced to the Eckhart Tolle bestseller The Power of Now by a friend who recognized that I was in a state of constant struggle in my life. Things weren’t particularly rosy at the time and I wasn’t handling it well. Reading this for the first time I was struck by the absolute true-ness to his teachings and the ease with which I was able to take back some semblance of functional adulthood in application. But without practice, you lose your abilities. I let the practice of presence slide, which is incredibly easy to do when you are surrounded by those who are just as f*cked up as you are.
That was about the time I began practicing yoga. I felt good in those days. But again, I let that practice slip away. Part of it was financial. Part was because I had an unwanted admirer. I loved my studio, the teachers, the feeling I would get before, during, and after class.
A lot has happened since I first started to think about enlightenment. So much has happened. And now I’m seeing that this is a pursuit that I absolutely must continue. Changing my mindset in how I react to my life situations and all the stresses that come up from health problems, to relationship issues, to busy times at work will only make me a happier and healthier person. If my being would spring to life by simply practicing presence, stillness, and non-reactiveness then why on Earth wouldn’t I!? It is free, accessible at all times, and changes everything. It is already within my power to do.
I’m re-reading The Power of Now. I’m also practicing meditation every day. I’ve been going back to my beautiful yoga studio. I’m cultivating an extensive reading list of books to read. I’m de-cluttering my digital life. I’m strengthening myself from the inside. I’m opening myself up to the things that are and following through with presence and grace to reach my goals. This is a lifelong journey.
So light your incense and bang that temple gong. It’s about to get metaphysical.