Now if you want to be a pain in the ass you can argue that we are always present and that thinking about the future and past doesn’t change this. If these are your thoughts then good on you, give yourself a clap, now bugger off.
Let me be self-indulgent for a moment. After personally suffering from depression for over 22 years my mind used to take me to various dark places each day. Without knowing what I was doing or how it was occurring my focus would always lead me to the negative. Furthermore, a part of me was addicted to this focus and would chase down the pain. Over many years I tried resolving this issue consciously by asking positive questions and delving into my own psychology. At times this was successful as certain elements would last with me for (on rare occasions) years, though it would never last. This was because I never worked on the bigger picture nor did I know what the bigger picture was. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no, I am not alluding that there is one simple answer here.
It took a smack across the face of presence to begin the real change in my life. It allowed me to appreciate simple moments, basic concepts and what appeared to be meaningless chores. It was a form of acceptance regarding who I was. Although I was aware that many of the greatest speakers and psychologists had been writing about the importance of mindfulness for some time, I always saw it as a fad or something not for me. Yet no one could explain it to me in a way that I needed it conveyed. It was only after an awakening that I realised that I heard what people were saying yet in the end I missed the point completely.
So before I finish this blog and get right into exactly what presence is, I thought I would give you a quick example of it.
There is a reason why the greatest artists and minds of our time come up with their best ideas on the toilet. It’s hard not to be present whilst releasing baggage from your inner colon. And it is in that split second of complete presence that the mind resets. The funny thing is this. Because the pattern has been interrupted it’s now not as easy to get back to exactly where you were originally before you lost some weight. It’s like when someone interrupts your rant whilst you are in an intense conversation. The emotion and passion you had originally can be hard to re-obtain once again even though the topic of discussion meant EVERYTHING to you a few seconds earlier. This is a great example of presence. This is an example of looking from the outside in (like a third person perspective) and distancing yourself from your emotion which is tied to your ego. A better way of explaining it is this. You’re no longer directly controlled by the path you were on, but instead, you’re now at witness to it.
So the next time you sit on the toilet please think of ‘The Lonel….’ Actually no, focus on something else. Yea, think of something else…
(I will continue this discussion in the next blog)