Living distracted; distracted living – all the time. Physically here but otherwise there. The mind succumbed by random trips – beholding the past and the future again and again.
These trips aren’t planned; provoked by just being. No packing, no ticket, no TSA search – not even a water bottle in hand. Mind trips come and go at-will. The offspring of a virgin day.
Some trips cover short distances – to relive or re-do a recent meeting or to fantasize about an upcoming occasion. Other trips are to distant times. Still bothered by what occurred or should have been. “I should have spoken up – better that I didn’t.”
Mind travel loves three places: Trips to the past, trips to the future, trips to judge. Trips to anywhere but here. Where is here in my life?
There is science – neuroscience to all this travel. When I’m here, they say my brain is in its task-positive network. My brain is a network. Comforting. Here, allegedly, I’m at my best – aware of what’s around and what I’m doing. Triumph with what’s at hand. Problem is, we don’t spend much time in that network.
In a face to-face competition my brain’s other network, the default mode, wins the time of possession award by a 4:1 margin. The brain’s default network sucks up my time, loves to wander around and stick both feet in bear traps. I suffer and all around me do too.
Stay here; we’ll figure this out with some help from Eckhart Tolle. So I’m here but my brain takes me there (past, present or another chapter in the fantasy book The Joy of Judging). Seems we are all experts at this reality so there is no need to prolong the explanation (i.e., pain).
Consider how to reduce the “auto-pilot” influence and power of the default network – the network that robs us of the beauty, resourcefulness and power of the life in hand. The preciousness of seeing and being in the current moment.
I’ve dubbed this Occupy Now.
First, as Tolle might say, hone your skill as an observer. Observe the invasion of the thought snatchers. Observe what’s occurring. Observe how the thoughts about the past, future and judging run about at will. By observing, Tolle suggests, the occupiers begin to dissolve.
Consider the useless thoughts you experience as an invasion force – an enemy of your true self – a barrier to your better thoughts. These run-around thoughts are in you but are not you. You are the observer. This is awesome!
Second, Occupy Now can occur when we recognize that the thoughts that spring from habit, fantasy, wishful thinking, conditioning and regret are indeed pointless, useless, meaningless and unworthy of your existence. Best of all, they are not you. A thought that occurs has no right to claim it represents you. Just a brain flatulent – just passing by.
In the past, I’ve allowed myself to be seduced by ideas such as “We live in our minds.” This heresy implies that if I think it I own it (I’ll blog about this another time). This is living as a lamb to the slaughter.
Third, Occupy Now is difficult because we spend an inordinate amount of time sizing up events and other people. Chill. Stop reacting to and judging every detail in your life. Instead, simply acknowledge what is said and seen. A simple “Hmm” will suffice. Judging and assessing everything takes up valuable life time. The imperative for renewal occurs when neither the brain nor the mouth judges. Welcome the emerging you in place of useless conditioning.
Finally, as you see and reject what your mind is full of, consider what will happen with your new mind. You might adopt a wait and see attitude. You now have room to grow right now – you now experience your emerging resourcefulness – you now get time back right now – you have happiness right now.
By seeing and waiving good riddance to your old ways of thinking (your untransformed self) you now have the joy of Occupy Now – you see and experience your own self – what God created – more clearly and completely.