I’ve just been reading Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth, and tucked away right in the last few pages is a little gem I think is worth highlighting.
Throughout the book, he talks about the only moment to be living in is the now. The difficulty I have experienced with this is that sometimes, particularly when upset or thrown off balance, it is very hard to reconnect with the present, because I am thinking about the past or future, and usually disappearing down a well trodden pathway of panic or doubt.
At the end of the book, he talks about three ways of being that will have you stay in the present, when your ego will not get in the way, and run your life unconsciously. They are acceptance, joy and enthusiasm. You need to be vigilant that at least one of them operates in anything you are engaged in doing, or your ego will take over. If you are not in one of these three states, you will be creating an experience of suffering for yourself and others.
Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. This means you are present, and at peace while you are engaged in something. The example Tolle gives is changing your car tyre late at night on a wet roadside in the cold. Most people may not enjoy this or be enthusiastic about it, but by accepting that this is what there is to be done right now, you can be at peace while you do it.
Enjoyment is what you experience when thoroughly engaged in the present moment in whatever you’re doing. Expansion and positive change is much more likely to come into your life if you can enjoy what you are already doing.
Enthusiasm is the deep enjoyment of what you do with the added element of a goal or vision to work towards. Have this as a way of being and you will find an enormous intensity and energy behind what you do.
And if you cannot accept or enjoy what you are doing – stop it. Take the responsibility to choose your state of consciousness.
This is a very abridged version of what Tolle is saying, and I apologise for any misinterpretation, but I thought it well worth passing on. Reading these four states has helped me simplify things greatly in the last week or so.
From time to time, I can be engaged in a task I don’t want to do, so my mind starts wandering to how ‘I shouldn’t be doing this – it’s not fair, or it’s someone else’s responsibility’ etc. If I stop and ask myself ‘is this something I want to stop, accept, enjoy or enthuse about’?, the resentment and ‘heat’ diminishes, because I am consciously choosing how I want to relate to it.
Brilliant! Have some fun playing with this – you never know you might enjoy it!