'THINK' Yourself Well

The Only Time I Can Experience Joy and Peace is RIGHT NOW

+ CV Skinlabs Team

live-in-the-now“I think that when you are a breast cancer survivor,” says survivor and blogger Kathy-Ellen, “living in the now is the best way to prepare for the future. Often as survivors we really do hold our breath and wait for the bad outcome in between living. I guess living in the now means no waiting, no holding our breaths and definitely no expectation of another cancer diagnosis.”

There’s no doubt we’ve heard a lot about “living in the now” lately, particularly because of the great success of spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now.

I know in my mind that living in the present is a good thing, but sometimes it’s hard to grasp in our everyday lives. Fortunately, I had a recent experience that brought it front-and-center into my consciousness.

My husband and I took a vacation to Hawaii. I needed to rest and recharge my batteries. We visited the beautiful island of Kauai, full of so much joy in its green and lush hills, it’s waving surf and it’s cascading waterfalls. But you know what I did? Here I was, sitting on this beautiful beach, not a care in the world, enjoying my book, and my mind starts thinking about all the things I was going to have to do when I got home.

You know what it’s like. You’ve gone somewhere to “get away” from it all-and that can be anywhere, from Hawaii to your own back yard-and despite your best efforts, here comes your brain, dragging you back into the very thing you were trying to get away from!

Of course, everything changed for me in that moment. I went from being completely relaxed and listening to the waves and feeling light within myself to feeling tightness in my chest and upper back, heavy in my body, and tense in my jaw and face. The peace and serenity were gone, and I was no longer in Hawaii. I was in New York, in my office!

Eckhart Tolle teaches extensively about living in the present. When we let our minds escape the present moment, suddenly life feels like a burden, instead of the joy it’s meant to be. The next time you’re feeling stressed or undone, I urge you to ask yourself: “Where are my thoughts? Are they in the present moment, or in some other place?”

On the beach that day in Hawaii, I noticed my thoughts taking off into another time. I said to myself, “Britta, what does that have to do with right now? You can’t do anything about that. That’s in the future. Right now, you need to enjoy this moment.”

And you know what? Suddenly I could hear the waves again, feel the light breeze over my skin, and the sun warming my face. Relaxation, joy, and peace returned.

You may say that’s all well and good-easy to do when you’re in Hawaii! And you’d be right! But I’m putting this practice to work back in New York. I’m learning to say, “I love right now. I’m grateful for what I have in front of me. This is my life today, and by choosing to embrace it, I feel free and released.”

Next time cancer is getting you down, try bringing your thoughts back to the present moment. Maybe that pillow feels really soft under your head. Even if you’re in the hospital, maybe the sunshine is warm outside your window. Maybe your loved one’s hand feels good in yours. In this moment, right now, without worrying about the future, how are things?

You may find they’re not as bad as you think. In fact, you may find that in this moment, right now, everything is really pretty okay.

“When you say ‘yes’ to the ‘isness’ of life, when you accept this moment as it is, you can feel a sense of spaciousness within you that is deeply peaceful.” (Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks)

Have you learned how to live in the present moment? Please share your story.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
No Comments