A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Sunday, 24 November 2013

On The Power Of Now

Every Friday lunchtime at school I go to a Philosophy/Ethics club which is just open to and run by sixth formers. They come up with the topics, usually in pairs and present them to us for us all to discuss. A couple of weeks ago I went to one about Eckhart Tolle's book 'The Power of Now' which is about the power of living in the moment and appreciating the present instead of getting caught up on the past or in the future which we so often do as humans.

From here

Now I cannot claim to be an expert on this subject because I haven't actually read Tolle's book yet but I found what the girls at school told us and the discussion that emerged from it incredibly interesting and it hasn't quite left my mind since. Firstly we talked about how we tend to be always complaining about things; typically British in that we so often end up complaining about how terrible the weather is as well as many other things. Sometimes it's an easy conversation/small talk topic with someone you don't know and other times we're just complaining for the sake of it.

Now we're all guilty of complaining and it's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just our human nature. Why should we be positive all the time? I agree that optimism tends to make us happier but a moan now and then to get some things that are irritating you out of your system probably won't do any harm. What really interested me was when we got on to the topic which is apparently discussed in great detail in the book that we never really consider that usually nothing is lacking to us in the present. We are very lucky in our society compared to others.

If you are sitting there, wherever you are, and you just think to yourself for a moment 'what is actually lacking from my life at this precise moment in time?' the truth is, or at least was for me anyway, that there wasn't really anything. Of course things could be better, they almost always could be, but when I was sitting there at my school, having just eaten lunch and talking about a topic that really interested me, I realised that nothing was actually lacking from my life.

I might rather be at home with my friends or Harry, watching a film and relaxing, not having to go home and write an essay but when I do have to do that, nothing is actually lacking from my life; I have a computer and books and through writing the essay I'm learning, I'm not in horrible pain or starving for food or in a life threatening situation. And this has actually really helped me over the past few weeks. It's coming up to mock period and I was a bit stressed out about it all last weekend, but the truth is, when reminding myself to think that nothing is actually lacking from my life in this exact moment I am much happier and that's great.

From here

I don't mean to imply that we don't have problems, because of course we do and they're significant and difficult as always, but through thinking in this way it's helped me to worry less about stuff. Anyone who knows me well knows that I could worry for England (I get it from my mum annoyingly), I just find myself worrying sometimes and can't seem to stop. But the past couple of weeks since discussing this, every time I start to I remember to think about the precise moment I'm living in and that I really am okay.

I'll definitely add this book to my reading list as although Tolle looks a bit crazy to me on the surface, the book sounds like it will be really interesting. I'm sorry if this was just a complete blur to read, I hope it makes sense and that if it does you find it interesting rather than concluding that I'm a crazy lady! But even if none of what I've written makes any sense, I do think that every once in a while we should try to not get so hung up on the future because it's not here yet, or on the past because there's nothing we can do to change it, so we should just concentrate on the now to try and be our best selves.

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