Have you ever been so focused on your goal or target that you forget to enjoy the process?
It is easy to focus only on the task at hand, and to ignore what else is going on around you. When I compete in triathlons, they are often located in natural environments. West China has some stunning scenery and a race in Jia Yu Guan was beautiful. The sky was blue, white clouds everywhere and the lake reflecting the sky magnificently. As I was racing around the lake on my bike, I looked across the vista and said to myself, “This is absolutely awesome. How lucky am I to be here right now!” By bringing myself to the presence moment I enhanced my enjoyment of the experience and this I believe also helped contribute to my good performance. One of the reasons I haven’t entered the Shanghai Marathon is that the route is basically running down an urban freeway. Not exactly inspiring. So when I am in these far flung places I really owe it to myself to take the most from each moment.
How can you take the most from each moment? Taking a “pause” or “time out” during your day and asking yourself, “What is magnificent about this moment, right now?”. If you can’t think of anything, just take a few breathes and observe your breathe coming in and going out. If you do this for 30 seconds, you will feel more relaxed and ready to get back to your day. It turns off your mental chatter and suspends the moment.
Do yourself a favour, lower your stress and increase your enjoyment of each day by finding out what is magnificent about this moment right now.
Who they are
Spiritual teacher turned “mainstream” superstar after appearing on Oprah and running an online series of seminars with Oprah.
What they do
Author books like The Power of Now and The New Earth - which combine different schools of philosophy and spirituality. The Power of Now is a heavy read so I recommend you get the audio books (which I did).
What turning point was for me after knowing them
The Power of Now was the first time I really heard a spiritual approach to life that did not carry the doctrines, dogmas and limitations of religious institutions. Tolle seems to take a bit here, a bit there from Christian, Hindu and Islamic beliefs – which makes sense. No one entity has the answers for everything. I started to become more aware of how my emotions ignited themselves – what Tolle calls “the pain body”. It was enlightening to hear about how the mind through thoughts tend to crowd out the “real” me. Having always believed that “you think, therefore you are”, this was an eye-opener. Through Tolle’s suggested meditations I was able to be still and listen to the self-talk that swirles around as thoughts and emotions. This step of reaching awareness was a like a door opening to a new path of progress.
Let me realise I needed to be working in my own business. By creating some space for meditation – usually in a small park near my office. I was able to get close to nature and stop the flow of thoughts. From this new insights and idea arouse. As mentioned in Creative Visualisation by Shakti Gawain, these insights pop up at unusally times and you need to be aware to catch and – most importantly – take action on them. To learn more about every-day meditation I recommed Vietnamese buddish monk Thich Nhat Hanh who has many books on how to create a “pause” in your day while doing everyday activities like washing your hands and walking down the street.