Focus on right now and stress melts away, love surfaces, and life turns to bliss.
The only real moment is ‘now’. The past was ‘now before’ and the future is ‘now later.’ Take it one slice of “time” at a time and life gets really easy. And I put “time” in quotation marks because it’s a human construct.
Supposedly, the sun rises and sets each day, marking a 24 hour period, which then gets divided into 60 minute and second increments. However, the sun never rises, and it never sets. The Earth rotates, and this creates light and dark for us, depending upon whether we are facing the sun. The idea of a day — or time in general — is an illusion.
And, when we look to Mother Nature for an answer or example, we see other animals are living in present tense. They are focused on this moment, eating grass, walking, or smelling the breeze; when the next moment arrives, they are not clouded by conscious thought, ultimately leading to their demise when a predator sneaks up.
It’s our natural state of awareness to use our subconscious minds to live while consciously thinking about any potential threats to our safety. This allows us to survey our environment for any danger, while also capturing key information about our surroundings, forming memories, and interacting with others.
Your subconscious minds take ‘everything’ in. The world’s best supercomputers have a fraction of the processing capability of an anteater’s mind, let alone a human’s. The subconscious mind navigates about 95% of your day, while you consciously think about the other 5%. And, your subconscious stores all information as present tense.
If you are afraid at some point, it remembers to be afraid and then uses snapshots of your surroundings to cue you when you’re back in a similar situation so you know to run from a predator approaching. If, on the other hand, there is no threat to life, your conscious mind is still surveying your environment for threats, and it’s making them up to satisfy itself. It’s telling you the way your partner, co-worker, or loved one is speaking to you is unacceptable and may lead towards rejection, loss, or abandonment.
You sense fear, move into subconscious thought to react quickly, and respond with the present tense memory of the first time you’ve ever seen a situation like this: with your parents, when they first disagreed in front of you. Now, you’re in ‘fight mode’ instead of ‘love mode’ and the tone of the conversation changes.
Instead, think about how this actually started; your conscious mind sought out fear, found it, and then told you a story. You believed the story, now you’re aggressively interacting with someone you care about, and you’re not even aware of how you’re speaking or acting. You are, effectively, on autopilot and stuck in the version of your personality you would never consciously decide to have.
So, what’s the solution? Whenever you come across one of these feelings:
Observe what’s happening in your environment and what may have triggered this feeling. Then, replace it with a new feeling. There are a few great ways to replace a less desirable feeling with a more desirable feeling:
- Method #1: Visit little you — search your memory bank for your earliest memory with this feeling. Then, go back in time as ‘adult you’ and visit ‘child you’. Picture what you’re wearing, what you smell, see, feel, and hear. When the memory is vivid, hit play on the movie of your life, beginning a few minutes before the event that led to fear, rejection, loss, and/or guilt/shame. Just before you get to the point you’re about to take on this feeling, pause the movie and visit your younger self. Explain how this really plays out, how the feeling doesn’t need to exist, and how it’s simply a matter of perspective. By visiting the younger version of you as ‘future you’, there will be instant trust and your perspective can be shared effectively. When the younger version of you is no longer concerned about being afraid, rejected, abandoned, etc., please restart the movie. Let it play and observe how different it feels. You’ve now changed the feeling, backwards and forwards in time, and your subconscious mind acknowledges this change.
- Method #2: Add a new feeling — re-create the feeling, but stay present with it. Observe the feeling, process it with your hands on your heart, and then visualize a loving, peaceful place filled with bliss. This may be an old memory or a new adventure in your mind. By staying present with a feeling and then adding a new feeling — that can take over — your subconscious mind is being reprogrammed.
- Method #3: Hypnosis, to be done with a professional.
You are so cool. All of you is incredible. The way your mind works, what it can do, and how that perpetuates as your reality is an incredible lesson. Once you have a user’s manual for your body, brain, and soul, it all starts to make sense and feel lucky. That’s what we’re doing here: giving you a user’s manual.
Today’s thought exercise: are you living in the moment? If not, what steps can you take today to remind yourself to be in the now, each moment of today, and each day to follow?
Sent to you with love, honor, and in service,
Originally published at drkareem.com on January 12, 2018.