This is an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle’s book Stillness Speaks. I really loved it when I read it and I’ve read it several times since and have gotten something from it each time. Therefore, I thought I would share.
“The mind exists in a state of “not enough” and so is always greedy for more. When you are identified with mind, you get bored and restless very easily. Boredom means the mind is hungry for more stimulus, more food for thought, and its hunger is not being satisfied.
When you feel bored, you can satisfy the mind’s hunger by picking up a magazine, making a phone call, switching on the TV, surfing the web, going shopping, or – and this is not uncommon – transferring the mental sense of lack and its need for more to the body and satisfy it briefly by ingesting more food.
Or you can stay bored and restless and observe what it feels like to be bored and restless. As you bring awareness to the feeling, there is suddenly some space and stillness around it, as it were. A little at first, but as the sense of inner space grows, the feeling of boredom will begin to diminish in intensity and significance. So even boredom can teach you who you are and who you are not.
You discover that a “bored person” is not who you are. Boredom is simply a conditioned energy movement within you. Neither are you an angry, sad, or fearful person. Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not “yours,” not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go.
Nothing that comes and goes is you.
“I am bored.” Who knows this?
“I am angry, sad, afraid.” Who knows this?
You are the knowing, not the condition that is known.”
When we feel we need something to be happy we are causing our own unhappiness by buying into the lie. We can totally free ourselves from any unhappiness we ever experience by knowing that everything we ever need or truly want is already within ourselves. Happiness is a state of mind not a quantity of things or particular circumstances.
Nothing happens in the future and nothing changes in the past. The further away you get from the past the less you remember of it and everything you want out of the future never happens in the future. The only thing that truly exists is the present but our minds usually don’t reside in the present moment. So if our minds are residing in places that don’t exist, what are we doing?
When we “live” in the past we usually recall bad memories wishing we could have done something different at the time or we think about the good memories because we love the way they felt when we were in that moment. Although since you can only be in the present moment if you think of bad memories you are allowing them to sabotage the present moment and if you think of the good memories you are only wishing to feel them again not actually doing anything in the present to experience a similar feeling.
So why do we think about the future? We think about the future by either worrying about what is coming or hoping for better circumstances but there is no need to worry about the future for we can deal with whatever comes when it comes and to worry about it now would spoil the present moment. And if it is better circumstances we are hoping for we have to remember we can only take action right now.
So remember, just be present.
Some very wise words from David Swenson.
I feel that we are constantly making decisions every moment that affects something in the future. Whether it be what you allowed to bother you, what you put off doing, what you said, what you thought, what you did not do, what you did do etc., etc. I also believe bad consequences are not necessarily bad they are just opportunities for you to open your eyes to something. That being said I can’t really believe there are “bad” choices. How could we possibly have this life figured out? How could we say we know why this or that happens or that this or that happened because we did or did not do something?
How many of you can explain completely how your body works? How do you breathe when you are not consciously thinking about it? How does the universe work? How do the planets stay in orbit? How many other universes are there? Can you even imagine other universes? Yes, we have scientists and other incredibly smart people that can explain some of it? But who has all the answers to everything? Or has all the questions even been asked?
Doesn’t it make you think that sometimes instead of figuring out the why and how we should learn to just be? Don’t get me wrong it is fun to learn and try to understand some of these things. Sometimes it is fun to just get your mind completely blown away.
Two of the greatest traits I believe we should have are an open mind and a desire to learn. I think there are so many infinite possibilities that we should never say we “know” we should hang on to what feels right and follow our heart. I also think we should constantly seek knowledge and never stop seeking it. There will always be more to learn that desire to learn more is like the wheels that keep us moving on this journey of life. But like I said before sometimes we should just stop and be. You never know there may be some piece of wisdom just waiting for you in the quietness?
Sometimes we have to stop and listen. Sometimes we do not realize that we are desperately searching for answers outside of ourselves and we have the volume turned up so high that we can’t hear the truth coming from within. Yes, you do have truth inside of you. You have to tune out all the voices that are not yours all the outside influences in order to hear it but IT IS there. We get so busy with our everyday lives and it is easy to do because we have “so much” to do. But sometimes the most productive we can be is by creating a little bit of quiet. Calming our minds and our bodies and listening to our inner voices our true guides. You will be refreshed and have a new focus afterwards. It’s kind of like when your computer has way too many programs going on at once and you just have to shut it down and give it a moment of rest before you can turn it back on.
Do you ever feel like you starting to figure something out and then when you least expect it you find yourself in the midst of something that is the complete opposite of the breakthrough you previously felt you had made? I have and it sucks, although I am learning through those experiences.
What I do when I encounter these situations is to try to look for some wisdom on how to handle it. Sometimes I look to my husband for advice and sometimes I look for advice from people that have taught me something in the past whether it is through YouTube videos from inspiring and motivational speakers or from books that have touched me. Then I try to write down what it is that I am feeling. If it is something someone has done that bothers me I ask myself if I’m guilty of some of those same things myself. I also try to see if there is an obvious way I can change it and then I try to identify some of the less obvious things that I am feeling and determine why it makes me feel that way.
The conclusion I have come too is that I AM in control of the way I feel. If someone makes me feel a certain way it is because I allow their actions to affect my emotions. I try to stay humble in the fact that I realize I could be guilty of some of the same things that aggravate me in others. I also remind myself others may not have the same coping skills as I do and others may not feel that they have control over their own emotions but I can treat them the way I wish to be treated. I can feel towards them the way I would like them to feel towards me and then come to the realization that I am not in control of them but I am in control of me. And then calmly and lovingly regain control of myself and my emotions.