Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tip #50: Be in the moment

I have already written about the power of now (and the book of the same title by Eckart Tolle), and how I have found that, although extremely difficult, it is a simple solution to make us feel more centered and satisfied with our lives, regardless of our circumstances.

There is also another lesson from Tolle (this time from his book A New Earth) which I feel I need to work on and thus, I write about it here as a friendly reminder to myself (like all tips really are), which is also connected to being in the moment.

According to him, we need to add a consciousness flow into our everyday activities and there are three ways in which we accomplish this. He calls these the "three modalities of awakened doing" and they are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. He believes that if we are not in any of these three states, we are instead creating suffering for ourselves and others. The way I understand it, we do suffer when we worry about things to come or past events, and we also make others suffer when we are not happy with ourselves, because, likely, we have not accepted our situation.

But these three modalities deserve a bit more explanation. In a way I see them as levels, from more neutral to ideal. So in my view, these would be the modalities in our everyday life:
  • Not accepting (I have made up this one): This is when we create suffering for ourselves or others. I do know I have to watch out for this, particularly when dealing with my children who may end up paying for my busy life. He suggests that when we cannot accept something, we should either stop it or change it. I'll try to remember that.
  • Acceptance: Tolle reserves this modality for those tasks that we do not want to do but still have to be done, like, for example, changing a flat tire.  He says that accepting it means that we are at peace with it.
  • Enjoyment: For most other things, we can try to bring joy to our actions. According to him, enjoyment should replace want as a motivator for our actions. And this joy should not come from the actions themselves, but from ourselves, so we will stop needing things or people to make us happy. We bring the joy to them. He believes we can bring joy to most of out everyday actions if we are really present when we perform them and I have to agree that I have definitely noticed that certain tasks, like walking to school, are much more enjoyable when I don't let my mind wonder.
  • Enthusiasm: It is this modality that it is preferred. According to him "enthusiasm means there is deep enjoyment in what you do plus the added element of a goal or a vision that you work toward." He compares this enthusiasm with stress, but this is the other side of the coin, negative energy. Enthusiasm, on the other hand, can be the positive fuel for our projects.
Well, I'll let you all that to ponder. I definitely need to work on all this, but they make sense to me. What do you think?

Lots of love to everyone.


  1. What a weird thing I just did. I wrote a convoluted response to your post, and then I got distracted by your book recommendations and clicked on Not the Last Goodbye, and then I lost my comment!

    Menos mal!

    So all I am going to recapture is the first part:
    Did you take that stunning photo?

    PS, I might want to borrow Not the Last Goodbye, if you can lend it.

  2. Oh, now I want to see the convoluted response!!

    But, yes! I took the picture with the iPhone the morning after Sandy. I think that's what made it so eerie.

    And yes, you can definitely borrow the book.

    Thanks for all your comments!!