We all have approximately 100,000 thoughts moving through our existence every day. They come and they go. They naturally have a beginning and an end but our mind has a propensity to follow them and identify with them
So a thought will come along, our mind identifies with it, engages in a story that’s associated with that thought and pulls us into the past or into the future.
And typically when we move into the past on a past story, it can induce regret or remorse; or even anger or frustration about something that’s happened to us in the past. We may feel sad, or even depressed.
When we engage in forward thinking, our projections into the future can often result in stress, worry or anxiety about what we ‘think’ might happen.
And sure, we can have fond memories of the past and exciting projections into the future, but the reality is that all of it is distracting us from life here and now. And this is all that counts, here and now.
And surprisingly, our mind is not actually here and now very often in any given day. We’re off somewhere else. Our body’s here, but we’re not. We may be thinking about something that happened five minutes ago, or we may be concerned about what we’re going to do later on today.
We’re loosely aware of what’s going on around us, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to function throughout our day, but we’re not fully engaged in what is unfolding in front of us. Consider what it’s like when we drive in a car – either as the driver or as a passenger. We drive along but we’re actually unaware of much of the surroundings we are driving through because we’re caught up in a story in our mind that has lead us away from here. We don’t notice the detail of the countryside or neighbourhood we are passing through because we’re distracted by a story that is unfolding somewhere else in another time or place.
So we invite you to use these clues and exercises to become more aware of your thoughts. Notice when your mind has wondered into the past or future and once you’ve become aware that you’re caught up in a story, begin to notice you have a choice to let go, and in that letting go you reveal now, this present moment, which is an experience of happiness and joy and peace.