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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Now What?

For years I’ve been trying to train myself on how to live in the Now. But lately, between Oprah’s Life Classes and Eckhart Tolle’s books, plus the fact that my life seems to be coming unglued on a consistent basis, I have a new sense of urgency about it. It all sounds so enlightening, and yogilicious! Unless of course you’re the type of person who has allowed your mind and emotions pretty much free reign…then you’re in trouble.

The mind is like the older sister with a big ego reading the rules off the game box; knowing that her kid sister can’t read she adds a few rules of her own, to give herself an edge. The emotions are the little sister. She believes everything the literate older sister tells her and blindly follows her rules. These two engage in the game of life, with the dominate mind bullying the emotions. The result is a power struggle between two brats, neither of which is capable of running the show. The Now is the patient parent waiting for the two to exhaust themselves.

Being in the Now wouldn’t seem so difficult if it wasn’t so quiet. Why does Now have to seem so….um…boring? You know what I mean. Right now my left calf aches, and my chipped coffee cup is on the table. I can see the hairs on my arms…and I feel restless…like I want to do something. Something stimulating and exciting. Ooops! I’m doing it again…projecting into the future. Of course this makes me feel guilty so I reel myself in, as disappointed as a kid leaving his favorite fishing spot, and tell myself that if the Now is where I’m meant to live then I had better learn to enjoy it.

I sit up a little straighter and inhale deeply, hoping to invoke my inner Being. My eyes fall upon a pile of mail sitting on the counter: bills, ads, and a Netflix envelope. What movie was it that I ordered? FOCUS LEAH!!

I try again, this time keeping my eyes closed. I’m here. Now. I can hear the clock ticking; time is pinching its way into my meditative bubble. It must be at least ten by now. My mind races to the shopping list of chores waiting for my attention. I feel the prickle of my Inner Critic’s breath on my neck…she’s getting ready to speak. “You need to clean this messy house, and then take care of all those tax forms...”

She’s a bossy bitch with a tight bun and shiny shoes. I ignore her demands, staying seated in the Now, but she’s ruined the mood. I can feel her words decaying, and squirming around in my stomach like worms.

Emotions but no thoughts? Thoughts, but fighting emotions? How do I get in the now? I’m starting to sweat…STOP!!!!!!!!!! Try again.

Back to the Now; within the rhythm of my pulse and the swallowing of my spit. The nitty gritty Now, where my mind paces within the confines of my skull, seeking an escape into the universe with its yawning jaw waiting to swallow the Twinkies, and the brooding mountains staying put, needing to lose weight, guarding their secrets; the showy oceans frothy with pride, flirting with the mailman and overwhelming the edges of my soul; the treetops with their messy hair, a covering to the thirsty earth; the earth, moist soil, grassy hills needing mowing, and thorn-choked fields, strangling their way through life. Taking what isn’t theirs, I need to get that book back to the library, killing the weak, yet growing towards the light all the same.

Huh? What the hell was that? Was that the Now, my mind/ego, or my emotions? Oh snap! This being in the Now stuff is like trying to bottle a breeze. Perhaps I’m trying too hard. Anyway, that coffee smells awfully good, and I still have a good hour left to sit and enjoy myself with my writing before I have to move on to my chores. I love being here in my house with my coffee, my words…and myself. It’s as though nothing else exists.

Life is good.


JANU said...

Most of the time, I too feel the same wanting to do many things at a time then deciding to do nothing.
Lovely post again.

Shreya said...

Life is what you take it as. Life is still a mystery. I can relate myself from this post.

Leah Griffith said...

Janu, it's funny how we can complicate such a simple matter;)

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Shreya! Yes, life is a messy mystery that we must blend with, go with the flow, and accept. I had fun with this post. It's amazing how we over-think things;) Thanks for the post. ;)

Dangerous Linda said...

WoW! That was a wild ride -- haha!

I sometimes have profound experiences of 'being in the Now' and believe in the importance of this practice.

I also have come to believe that human nature pushes us toward the future and that's also O.K. -- even admirable. This was really brought home to me by a book I read a few months ago, Finding Flow. It continues to have a strong impact on the direction my days are taking. If you're interested in learning more, refer here:

Savira Gupta said...

The NOW... maybe we put too much emphasis or focus on being present or being here in the now....
I look at it as a practice... similar to meditation... if the mind wanders than let it just observe it and then reel it back in.
So to be in the now to me simply means to enjoy and be aware of what I am doing at that moment and if my NOW wants to wander then let it... eventually the practice will become stronger. Did that make sense?

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Savira, you are right we do put too much attention on it. Today's post was me making fun of myself in my search for peace and rest in the now. Of course at the end of the post I land in the Now without even trying...that's the irony of it all. It's so simple really if we stop thinking about it so hard.
I love what you just wrote and you're right...eventually the practice will become stronger.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Savira has a great point about meditation and reeling the mind back in. It is something I need to work on as well. I always feel pulled in so many directions that when I am able to sit and focus, my mind is all over the place.

Your posts are so well written, Leah. I really enjoy your blog.

Leah Griffith said...

Karen, I think they call that the monkey mind.'s a pain in the butt. I think I'm making progress but I know I still have a long way to go;)
I appreciate your compliment Karen. It means a lot coming from you.

Bec Owen said...

I think you nailed it right at the end, there...just enjoying your coffee, your house, being with yourself...Being relaxed about all of this is so important.

Just think happy thoughts and enjoy!

Great post xo

Brooke said...

This was an awesome post! Love how true this is! I love how you think. Love that I can chase the Now with you--which I actually beginning to think is the point of the game!

Susan Deborah said...

Everything has a phase, right? The phase passes and we are able to do things. It alternates. Life goes on.

Joy always,

Rimly said...

That was funny Leah. After reading Eckhart Tolle's Power of Now I tried doing the same, concentrating on the now but like you said that mind is such a brat and our emotions, dont ask me!! So what I do now is try and enjoy what I am doing right at this writing a comment on this interesting post of yours. Bye now I gotta go and get lunch ready!!! Was that already thinking about the future and not being present in the NOW?

Corinne Rodrigues said...

I loved your 'Now' - it sounded a lot like mine! Don't the past and the future seem more exciting when we're trying to be in the present? :)

Leah Griffith said...

Exactly Bec, We make things too complicated;)
That was the whole point to my post!
Thanks for "getting it" *grin

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Brooke! We've been chasing all sort of things together. I plan on responding to your email after I get my quarterly taxes done...I can't flow until it's off my plate later today. No Now for me until then! LOL!!
Hugs and more hugs,

Leah Griffith said...

Susan, that is so true. Like Linda said we need to flow and not fret. Just be. Rest. It all sounds so peaceful. I am making progress and I'm so grateful for that.

Leah Griffith said...

Yes Rimly you were projecting. LOLOL!! Yeah, it takes practice. I feel a whole lot better knowing that I'm not the only one wrestling with those two brats. Perhaps I need to step back and just be...ah yes! Thanks coming to see me!

Leah Griffith said...

Good Morning Corinne. Yes, they do! LOL! It's a tough habit to break isn't it.
I was practicing being in my body...feeling it from the "inside" and when I looked at my own hand it looked like the hand of an it wasn't mine. I could literally feel the distinct difference between who I am as a spirit and that I am not my body...very strange, but satisfying at the same time.
We'll get there;)

Bongo said...

The NOW is ever present torturing me..too much noise in my busy head..I HATE the now....As always.....XOXOXOXO

Leah Griffith said...

Miss Bonnie, it's not the Now that's tormenting you it's those two brats. I hate that too! LOL!! Learning to quiet the mind is probably the most difficult thing to do, but do it we must.

forjenssake said...

You are living in "the now." Now is now and even if your mind wonders through the past or future it is still the now. There is no other way to live but, in the now. Well maybe there is but, it would be difficult to function and in some way it would still be the now. Get that? I tend to ramble and often times my words sound so poetically genius in my head and my fingers mess them up when I type. Spending too much time worrying about whether you are living in the now or not will drive you crazy, just live and me done with it... much more soothing to your mind and your emotions.

Leah Griffith said...

Jenni, you put it perfectly. Now is all we have, all we ever will have. And you're right over thinking it will only drive us nuts.
This post was a parody on how we make simple things complicated but how life generously places us where we need to spite of ourselves.
Thanks for your thoughtful post.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Loved this, Leah! I especially liked your reference to our mind as the big, bossy sister and our emotions as the little sis - what a great image that creates!
This was the perfect parody!


Leah Griffith said...

Hey Miss Martha! I'm glad that you "got" it. I was beginning to think that I'd assumed way too much when I wrote it ;)
I like poking fun at myself...that comedic human nature that each of us has. What would life be like without laughter...flat!

Mary said...

What an analogy of our mind and being in the 'now'. I have never thought of it as sisters LOL, but being the younger sister of two, I can certainly relate!
What an excellent post! I enjoyed my visit and am now following :)

Julia said...

Oh,'ve got me laughing out loud over here. This part totally cracked me up:

"She’s a bossy bitch with a tight bun and shiny shoes. I ignore her demands, staying seated in the Now, but she’s ruined the mood."

I love it...I love that you've named her, given me an image to work with. What's funny is that when I first read it, I read it as "a bossy bitch with tight buns," so now she has tight buns to go along with her tight bun. Hilarious.

I absolutely love how you play with words. And I can so relate to that busy-skipping-all-over-the-place mind...I think you & I have a few things in common. :)

Your words on my blog lately have left me all mushy inside, seriously. Thank you, new friend.

Leah Griffith said...

Julia, she definitely has tight buns...she is perfect after all! LOL!!! I do rather enjoy poking fun at myself and life. I just came off a long serious spell...wrote a lot of poetry during that time;)
Julia, you make me mushy. You're just so fricken sweet and kind. You bring out the light in me.

Julia said...

Ahh...Leah. My heart is now a big pile of mush too. I seriously adore you.

P.S: Your light is very easy to bring's so right there. Right here in the NOW.


Leah Griffith said...

Julia, I believe that's what has drawn us together. The light. Only we've got this certain thing in we came from the same planet. Maybe that's it. We were sent here from the same planet. Brooke too;) Either way we're here NOW and NOW is all we need.
I'm heading to MA tomorrow, so wish me well.
<3 Leah <3

Jodi Chapman - Soul Speak said...

Did you slip into my mind for a brief moment before writing this? ;) Seriously, it captured so beautifully all of the madness that occurs when simply trying to be still, slow down, and be. At least what I try to do all of these things. Thank you for putting the inner struggle into such beautiful words. You are brilliant.

Leah Griffith said...

LOL! Jodi, birds of a feather <3 We're all so similar sometimes that our parts could be interchangeable.
Thanks for the visit and thoughtful post.
Have a beautiful weekend sweetie!

Kathy said...

Hi Leah! When I first tried to meditate, my mind was sooooo busy, and so irritating, that I repeatedly gave up. I happened to meet a Buddhist monk who became a dear friend and he encouraged me to do guided visualizations... mountain meadows, clouds etc...and calm the mind that way. After many months of that, I was able to sit more quietly, even without the "visualizing." My philosophy is to use what words...and that works for me. (my mind has calmed considerably from sitting...) I used to ask him how he could stay in the present moment and wasn't it kind of boring? He says he enjoys the present moment and isn't bored.
I was just listening to the Donovan, Catch the Wind (ohhhhhhhhhhh.....soooo beautiful) and imagining the quiet spot inside of me as he sang the words...using my imagination works for me.... : ) (Btw...Leah, thank you for all of your wonderful comments on my blog...I love them! )

Leah Griffith said...

Kathy, I need to try that...visualizations. I do visualize Jesus sometimes, he tends to calm me down...he's so mellow and cool. Sometimes I picture all the garbage and negativity flowing over a waterfall before it reaches me. It looks like a muddy mess of a waterfall, but this works too. I have so much to learn.
Kathy, I enjoy your presence and your words. You my dear are an amazing lady.

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