Living in the present moment is living in a world without stories, a world without attachment to thinking that says things and people should or shouldn’t be a certain way. This kind of thinking lives in the unconscious realm of learned beliefs about life, learned brain tracks. These are the stories we tell ourselves, and others, usually without even realizing that we are telling a story. It’s just how life is, seen through our eyes.
The question “Is it true?” is one of the 4 basic questions Byron Katie uses in her work which she simply calls ‘The Work’. I have used her worksheet (you can download it at www.thework.com) extensively over the years. It has brought sanity to a world tortured by my thoughts. I still experience tortured thinking from time and tome and still I go back to her worksheet. The thinking has changed over the years, much of it released back into the land of illusion from whence it came. But mud still gets stirred from the bottom of the bucket where it has settled and I find myself reaching for the worksheet.
And sometimes I just become aware in the middle of a story I am telling myself or someone else, that I am telling a story. Last night I was telling some friends all about how hurt I had felt that a close friend had ignored my birthday (not forgotten – ignored), and in the middle of my dramatic story (after all that I had done for his birthday), I burst out laughing. They stared at me. “It’s just my ego telling this story.” They joined in my laughter. Who hasn’t caught themselves doing this? And how long we sometimes go playing a story over and over in our heads. Oh the conversations we have. And how very addicting they are; so hard sometimes to stop going back repeatedly to the story.
“Is it true?” is such a great question to bring us back to the Present Moment. And completing those 4 questions on Byron Katie’s worksheet helps consolidate the Truth.
Stories from the Outside World
Then there are the stories we hear from others, stories that are based in their perceptions of the world and what they have learned along their life’s journey. Depending on their stature, the power we perceive them to wield, and how their information aligns with information we have, we may accept what they have to express without necessarily running it through our own ‘truth meter’. Not believing what a person who has great influence in the world has to say, can take a great deal of courage and faith in our own innate intelligence.
So if someone writes an article about the evils of eggs, that’s what it is; an article about the evils of eggs. Is it true? Maybe, maybe not. The bigger question is am I attached to the my understanding of that article? Is it just an interesting opinion or theory? Science goes back and forth over the centuries as we know. New discoveries are made daily, many of which contradict previous discoveries. This particular article might contradict all I know and believe to be true about eggs. That doesn’t mean it isn’t based in truth, or that it is. This is particularly true of TV and news outlets.
The only way for me to know the truth for myself, is to be in the Present Moment and ask myself if the words I am reading, (or hearing or thinking) resonate? Do they point to a truth that may be beyond my understanding? Or do I need more information before I can make a decision? In order to be able to do this, I need to be able to trust my Self. The mind wants control and drowns out that still small voice very easily. So in the end, it is just practice, practice, practice. Which is why a discipline is also called a practice, because that is what you do – practice until your practice becomes a habit. Habits stand you in good stead when the mind is causing disruption. You know what to do and you do it. Just like morning bathing and makeup or shaving routines. So too we must develop practices that take us into the Present Moment as a well-established habit.
Resonating with Infinite Intelligence
It is easy to be swayed by reasoning of the mind. We are taught, especially in the western world, that mind is superior to heart.
Yet there can be no greater knowledge than that of Infinite Intelligence. Often the only way we can recognize that voice is by paying attention to how it feels inside the body, how it resonates in our energy field. To acknowledge how someth
ing is feeling, how well it resonates, we have to make a space to hear and feel and see. Stop, listen, feel and look.
Create an open space of possibility – your choice to believe a story or not will not change the truth of that story, just your experience of it. Detachment feels so much better than reaction.