One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be the ever-increasing rate at which we are moving, a rat-race of which we find ourselves a part of. Most of us, today, crib about lacking time. We are too busy (read terminally busy) to have enough time to do what we want to do or when we want to do. “I wish I had a few extra hours” is a common refrain. But what we need to think about is, if the time is really short for us or if we are not able to manage time. Everybody on the planet gets 24 hours a day but how one utilizes those hours differs from person to person. Almost all successful people place a very high value on their time and they continually work at becoming better organized and more efficient. As an administrator one needs excellent time management skills to not only to avoid disorganization and disarray at his workplace but also to have a career marked with high achievement and success.An administrator has a lot of actions to perform on a daily basis but unfortunately, most administrators face the challenge of managing time well. The reasons could be many.
Generally speaking, in our relationship with time, we compulsively pick over the past in order to learn lessons from it, and then project into a hypothetical future in which those lessons can be applied. In this shuttling between the past and the future often the present moment slips by without our realizing so. The fact of the matter is neither the past exists nor the future. These two exist only in our minds. There lies tremendous power in the ‘present’ which exists between a vast past and an infinite future.No wonder the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 foreign languages. Tolle wrote, “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence”. To gain this power of present one has to be consciously there in the present moment or else the moment is gone before you even realize it.
Tug of War – Past vs. Future
The past and future are merely reference points to understand what we have learned and where we can take it. They never meet; they never cross each other’s way. Past is that which is no more, and future is that which is not yet. Both are non-existential. But often people get stuck in the past events –good, bad, ugly – thereby unconsciously empowering them to influence the present. Unable to let go of the past bad experiences and worrying about the future we are thus creating those same experience ahead. When the past memory has been pleasant, it is the attachment to that pleasantness which is rooted in fear of not being able to experience it in the future. So, expanded bliss in the future goes out of reach, each time we set the level by re-affirming and projecting the past. Either way, growth is stunted.
The present is where we are, the central and the neutral space.Henry David Thoreau said, “The meeting of two eternities, the past and future…is precisely the present moment.” Understanding what it is to be in the present moment becomes easier when we understand what it means to not be present, since this is the state we have become habitual of. When you aren’t being present you become a victim of time.We tend to live our lives on a very superficial level. Our mind is pulled into the past or the future, or both. We move from one scene of life to another – eating, watching television, getting married, changing jobs, buying a new car or house, etc. without ever stopping.Of course, it’s natural to spend moments of thought in the past or thinking or planning of the future. Identifying impending dangers through associations with things that have happened in the past is important for self-preservation. There may be times when an administrator needs to think something through — perhaps a business decision, retirement planning, or how to communicate his feelings and desires to his office staff. But when our lives become dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to past events and potential future outcomes, standing peacefully rooted in the present becomes increasingly rare.
So, how do you know if you are in the moment? It’s simple – if you are aware of your thoughts and emotions, then you are present and in the moment. If you create what you want now, you’ll naturally move into a future of what you want.
Benefits of Being in the Present Moment
• You’ll use the moment wisely with precision and intention to get what you want. Only awareness can do that. If you want life to be different in the future, then the time to act consciously is NOW.It also means to make the optimum and best use of this moment. So instead of browsing tabs on the internet browser and only struggling to fix what to do first, let’s take 1 task at a time and complete it before we start the next one.
• You live in a constant state of joy when you’re in the moment. This is because in the ‘now’ your old emotions, dislikes and problems cease to exist – they cannot exist. Why? Because they all have a reference of the past bad experience or future prophecy of failure or the unexpected.Even thinking that the last moment did not go well is thinking of the past. Thus, we have to be in the natural consciousness of the truth and righteousness, so as to bring value to our every moment and our acts within that moment. Spirituality helps us build this natural positive and elevated consciousness. It is then our every moment is spent worthwhile and we need not repent, or trap ourselves in the memories of the past or fear of the future. This makes us stabilize in the state of constant joy and bliss.
• You care for yourself. You decide what is good for you in the ‘now’. You won’t blindly do what others do, you won’t do what they think is good for you or feel that you must do to impress others – friends, seniors, subordinates, bosses or colleagues. Whatever you do when you are ‘now’, you do it for yourself. So, bringing out positivity in the moment by realizing the moment, is to care for yourself as our ‘now’ shapes our future. A good ‘now’ is equivalent to a better future.
Moreover, any pain or illnesses or diseases tend to disappear when you are truly in the moment and are fully aware of what you are thinking.
• You achieve more in your day because being in the moment actually saves time. When we are in the present, the mind is calm and one’s efficiency increases, as we don’t take time to grasp things, remember or recall what was said to us- which often happens when we were not present in the present when instructions were being given or something was explained to us. Plus, we don’t need to waste our time to pull ourselves back into the present from past or future, to do the task, as we are always there. This would mean you can actually save time and this saved time could account to a couple of extra hours, say for instance2 hours a day. 2 extra hours per day, multiplied by 5 days per week, equals 10 extra hours per week. 10 extra hours per week multiplied by 50 weeks per year would give you 500 extra productive hours each year. 500 hours translates into more than twelve 40-hour weeks, or the equivalent of 3 extra months of productive working time each year.
• You’ll never get tired when you are in the present moment as you only have one thing to deal with. It’s not true to say that ‘work drains our energy’. On the contrary you will have more energy when you are able to achieve more and you are more confident and ready when the next task arrives.In fact, too much thinking about past or future could be exhausting.The only key is to have full focus on the present and give it your best shot without worrying what will the next task be.
• You are free in the ‘now’. In the past or future, we fear what others think of us and their opinions are important to us. But in the ‘now’ none of that matters – we allow others to think what they want, be what they want – and we allow it for ourselves too.
• You are open-minded and humble. When new information arrives and you’re in the ‘now’ it’s exciting and like an adventure. You’re open to trying it. A closed mind comes from fear and fear lives in the past. Eckhart Tolle wrote in the book Power of Now, “Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live.” Also, there is no winning or losing in the ‘now’, everyone is equal
Being in the Present Moment through Rajyoga
Rajyoga attends to all aspects of our being – body, mind, emotions and the Inner Self. Awareness of self establishes you in the present moment without our skating across the surface of life. It lets us be in touch with the core. Ideally, the thoughts that run in the mind should be exactly those that I would like and I want. We do exert this control, that we possess, over our thoughts, but it is not complete and it is only occasionally. The more we become completely engrossed in our daily routine, the more our thoughts tend to become reactions to what goes on outside us. That’s when they go out of control and our lives move in an unfocused way. As a result, things don’t work out as we might have desired. Then we develop a habit of blaming other people and circumstances, or we justify our pain by telling ourselves we are not very worthy or powerful enough. Often, these two inner strategies go together. The trouble is, both are cover ups, preventing us from going for a long-term solution.
The secret of awareness is to just watch everything that is going on in the body and mind – as a witness. You do not resist, but watch your bodily movements and thoughts as a detached observer.
In Rajyogconsider your mind as a stage, and each thought, feeling, emotion as a scene in the film of your life. They will come, don’t try to control anything, let them simply fly away on their own. Simply observe how your thoughts pass through your mind. Don’t identify with any of them, only observe. Look where they take you. Just observe what happens inside you without judging. The thoughts flow through your mind as if they were clouds that are crossing the sky until everything is clear and open. The mind is becoming calm, making itself peaceful like the surface of the sea when it is serene.
Now, be conscious of the sounds that are produced around you… Stay here and now as an observer who sees and feels everything from a point of light, a point of calm and peace, behind these eyes. Feel the calm… the tranquility… that comes from within you… Look around you… Observe without interpreting or judging… Feel the silence that is created through the power of concentration. Consciously, create a positive, peaceful, elevated thought that you repeat slowly in your mind, leaving a space of silence between one thought and another, while you keep the focus on that point…
I am a being of peace… I am at peace… I feel the peace… I am light… I am a being of light… My nature is of light… peace and silence… I am feeling the silence between one thought and the next… I listen to the peace… a silent peace… calm.. This peace and silence attracts the ocean of peace… I feel the attraction towards my home of silence and peace… a world full of soft golden light, beyond the sun, moon and stars… In this peace and silence, I strengthen myself… my mind rests in that calm and quietness…
I experience a light, the Supreme Light, the Supreme Soul who fills me… He recharges me… renews me… heals me… frees me… I am free… completely free… now I am at peace… I leave my mind in silence, as if I were floating on a sea of peace for a few minutes…
Once you begin working on the present moment with the intent of improving your life you begin to utilize the power of now – you leave the past in the past, you don’t concentrate on the future and instead you start living in the present moment doing everything that you can to improve your life now.