I will firstly begin to apologise for words that I have and probably will say in the future which may make things sound easy. When writing a blog, doing a podcast or video it’s hard to explain topics from everybody’s personal perceptions. And as much as I try to remain neutral and open minded to see things from others points of view it is quite impossible to speak to 7 billion people’s opinions, not that they all read this blog haha.
I am writing this blog and acknowledging people’s struggles because of the new age marketing which has businessman and egocentric entrepreneurs saying ‘you just need to be mindful’, ‘you just need to be present’, ’if your depressed watch this now’ and ‘if you do this you have mastered life’. Well, as you and I probably know (and I am assuming you do if you read blogs such as this) things are not that simple. And before I go off and try to explain some of these complex ideas whilst attempting to break the information down to its smallest and simplest form, I had to give some of the readers out there the acknowledgement they deserve.
About 4 years ago I had an awakening yet before I had this experience I would have told people recommended mindfulness to go F#$k themselves. And that’s putting it politely. The complexity is that you can’t tell someone with monkey brain who may have anxiety, depression, frustration or be suffering loss to simply be mindful. There is a ‘gap’ between these two states that most people often forget about, or possibly, the teachers out there have never been through it themselves. So what is the gap then?
The gap is the leap between A and B. It’s when you’re so submerged within your own pain, emotions and ego (this just means a reflection of your own state) that the idea of being present (or mindful) is a ludicrous suggestion. And due to saturated marketing from new age hippies doing 3 month yoga courses from Rishikesh or Mumbai in India, the actual positive aspects of being present are being mixed in with the lies that Coca Cola is good for you. Yet I digress.
Although it may sound like wisdom to advise people that are struggling to be mindful and present it really is of no use to someone who is not ready to hear it. In fact, it can be dangerous. Telling people it is simple and that results can follow straight away (although I know people are trying to help) can make the students feel like failures if they can’t achieve what others are saying is simple. This makes the student (who is already feeling bad or depressed) feel even worse. Therefore, my task during this chapter on ‘the present’ is to try to explain this topic scientifically, rationally and spiritually so that when and if people are ready they can understand this belief system from a perception best suited to them.
Before I get to that though, the reason of this blog is to say that I understand that none of this stuff is easy and sometimes we are just not ready for it. That is not to say that we will never be ready for it as you may be ready tomorrow, though it’s arrogant of me or anyone else for that matter to ram it down your throat if it’s not invited. I know about this because I’ve personally seen it from this point of view. Since then, I have tried my hardest to remember how lost I was in the past and to never say to people ‘if you just do this your life will be better’. Facebook is unfortunately swarming with motivational NLPer’s that make you and I, the reader, feel bad for not believing in their simple once off techniques. Even after all my own studies and beliefs I still get guilt tripped by some of these Guru’s at times. It’s what I get for being a massive introvert. Yet, I have found that ignorance and what can appear to be arrogance from the Facebook warriors is often nothing more than a lack of understanding. They have not been through what you are going through, no one has, we all walk our own personal journey. So I hear your frustration!
So, I’, hear to cut through all the s#$t. It’s also a personal challenge for myself to see how much I retained through my own studies. As always, progress takes time and patience which within itself can be difficult, but if you are doing this right now I applaud you and respect the steps you are taking in self-development and knowledge. It takes time though I believe that there are answers out there for all of us.
Therefore, if you permit me, let’s get right into it by asking the question, why is being present so darn important anyway?