“The present moment is what it is. Always. Can you let it be?” –Eckhart Tolle
Today I sat down on the floor of the Barnes and Noble across the street from Rittenhouse Square, in front of the New Age section. Most of the time I don’t seek out books on spiritual topics, I just let them come to me via my mom or the thriftstore. But today, when I wandered into the bookstore, the only shelves that called to me were the ones lined with books on angels, healing, miracles and love.
Sitting in the middle of the isle, my back to the sexuality section and flanked by Christian thought, I leafed through “Miracles of the Mind,” “A Deeper Surrender” and the hefty “Urantia.” Then I reached out for “Stillness Speaks” by Eckhart Tolle. I have his “The Power of Now” which I love but is also sometimes too dense for me to read more than a page at a time. But “Stillness Speaks” is simple a series of snippets, each one communicating a single thought.
The above quote leaped out at me, because I’ve been having trouble living in the moment. I get scared that there won’t be enough for me, that the future won’t hold good things for me. I get so concerned with the status of my future and so worried that it won’t be a productive, joyful or successful one that I can’t recognize the loveliness that is my present. I get focused on the fear that things will be scarce instead of abundant. These fears hold me back from experiencing the now, the moment in which I’m existing.
I’m trying though. Trying to heal my anxiety with love. Trying to give up my fears of scarity with sure knowledge that there is always enough, always abundance in all good things.
The craziest thing is that in my life, I’ve never really experienced scarcity or lack. My family and I have experienced much fear surrounded our anticipation of not enough, and yet, we’ve always had everything we needed (and then some). When my father sold his business the summer after I graduated from high school with no plans for a follow up career, I felt certain that it indicated the coming of lack, debt and sure poverty. That I wouldn’t be able to go to college. My mother and I would lay weeping in our little upstairs guest room, she on the bed and me on the floor, so convinced that our lives were wrecked, ruined and that soon we would be homeless and starving. Eventually, it did become necessary for my parents to move to a less expensive neighborhood during that time period, but the house they live in now is equal or better to the one we lived in while I was in high school. The homelessness did not come to be. We have never starved, we’ve always been able to pay our bills (sometimes with some creative use of credit, but hey, that’s what it’s there for) and our lives have always been loving and joyful ones.
So why have we been so shaken by the possibility of scarity when we’ve never actually experienced it? I really don’t know. When I actually put it in those terms, my intellectual brain can’t rationalize the fear, and yet it has existed. The things that are the most necessary, the support, love, care and faith have always been there, in abundance. Why was I so fearful the face of all those good things?
I live in a apartment, but yearn for a house. Typically, as I drive through neighborhoods I’d love to live in around Philly, I start to panic, filled with fear that I will never be able to afford a house that I’d like to live in, that I’ll stuck forever in my apartment (which is actually a terrific space in a desirable building and neighborhood in Center City, hardly a place to be stuck in). These are thoughts that are choosing and assuming scarcity instead of abundance, and so I’m doing my best to turn them around when the crop up. Yesterday, as I drove down Spruce Street, gazing at all the lovely row homes, craving an existence in one of them, instead of feeling fearful that I would never have an opportunity to live in a house that I loved, I tried to assume that I would. To picture myself moving and cooking and living in rooms that I loved. And it helped.
So today I continue to choose to live in the Now that Tolle advocates. I’m releasing some of my fear. I don’t think I’ll be able to get rid of it all today, but every day that I make it a goal, it will get a little bit better and a little bit more natural.
Wish me success.