Lao Tzu tells us, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”
None of us like someone else putting us down. Most of us like someone building us up. Yet, can we take one without the other? Wayne Dyer said, “What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”
What really matters most is what we think of ourselves. That is what drives us more than anything else; albeit, sometimes it may drive us to drink. . .
In last Saturday’s post, I talked about a fresh approach to being present that I stumbled across on YouTube, which led me to sign up for a course on learning to be more present more of the time. What I have found is that it is amazing how often I am not present, but in my head going over the 65,000 thoughts I’ve thought repeatedly almost every day in one sequence or another, the majority of which isn’t worth thinking or listening to in my self-talk–that incessant self-chatter of one thought strung to another to another.
Just this morning, I was making breakfast and then standing there eating my delicious egg, bacon and cheese sandwich, and enjoying the first cup of coffee, and I realized that during those several minutes I must have had many hundreds of thoughts already. Those thoughts were not the least bit helpful to me or my path in life. Indeed, they were focused on what is not yet right, what may never be right, how I failed to follow through one more time, and how hopeless that looks. How I’m old and out of shape and not living the life I used to dream about, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH! It was a disgusting mix of self-defacement.
Then, I come into my office to sit down and endeavor to write something inspiring and uplifting here. What a juxtaposition that is. Yet, it is so every single day. At some point, I let go of the self-defeating rhetoric and peruse some great quotes to lead me toward the magic of inspiration. By the way, you know that inspiration, to be inspired, is to be connected with God, right? It is a delightful place to be!
This course by Josh Pais is helping me in a very practical way to get out of my head and all those self-degrading thoughts and into the present by focusing on what is around me in detail, and what is going on inside my body in detail, while breathing deeper than normal, and matter-of-factly bringing me back to the present whenever my mind interrupts, which is a given, and is often in the beginning, by saying aloud or to myself depending on where I am, “I’m back!” As I do so, I am back in the present and experiencing life as it is.
Life as it is. That’s an interesting phrase. It is the present. This does not stop us from desiring something else, wanting something more, setting goals, moving toward goals to a path that is more to our liking. But, on the way, if we are engaged in life the way it is, or in other words, enjoying the journey, allowing the unfoldment, we are in the present along the way.
Our self-chatter is always on if we are not present. It is our presence that is of value to ourselves and what we are doing and how we do it, as well as to others around us, how they receive us, hear us, see us. How often during your day are you present? How often in your head with those 65,000 repetitive thoughts? Next time you find yourself in that thought-loop, try saying, “I’m back!” Then do it as often as you need to in order to come back to the present.
The Present Is Where Life Is. Everything Else Is Off In La-La Land.
Spread Some Joy Today–by breathing and paying attention to this moment.