Pressing Pause on your day is essential for your mental health and your sanity. Whether you call it ‘mindfulness’, meditation or just stopping and breathing – there are huge benefits. 

Being in the ‘now’ moment is rare in today’s society. We are generally thinking about the past, or the future. Living in the past too much can lead to depression, regrets and wasting time wishing things had been different. Living in the future – worrying about what could happen (usually ‘bad’ things) or hoping for something to happen (usually ‘good’ things) – can lead to anxiety.

All we ever truly have though, is now. This moment, now this one, and now this one… We can’t change or even touch the past. We can’t control everything to influence the future. Trying to do so is a futile, energy-draining waste of time and effort.

‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhert Tolle is a must-read book on this topic. It’s a genius insight into how we can re-wire our brains and our behaviours to live, essentially, a better life. In the ‘now’ we don’t worry about the future and we don’t feel that the past was a mistake, a missed opportunity or a problem. Whatever your particular world view or philosophy on life, being in the now moment helps you to deal with it all.  There is peace to be found. What a relief!

Pausing is essential because it allows space for us to centre ourselves. Being centred is talked about a lot these days but what does it mean?  To be centred is to not be in the past or the future, to not be too left-brain (logic, reasoning) or right-brain (creative, abstract) focused, not to be too in the feminine or the masculine energy – in other words – to be balanced. This is notoriously difficult to BE. Why? Because we have never been taught or trained in these ways. We are actually trained to be off-balance. DO-ing all the time, active, engaged in left-brained activities. This is one reason that we feel off – disconnected to ourselves and others. Because we never, ever allow the time to connect. 

Ironically, we are the most electronically connected ever – and the least meaningfully, humanly, emotionally connected. Zen Masters and other devotees dedicate their whole lives to this endeavour but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reap enormous benefits by even three minutes of focus a day in the ‘now’. 

When I first started practicing this, I couldn’t manage three seconds! Try it, it’s actually quite tricky.  One way of starting is to observe your thoughts. Watch them come up and try to guess what will be next. It’s an interesting bit of weirdness!  It does demonstrate though, that you are not your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. If you are able to observe your thoughts, who is the observer? Cool huh? This leads to a lot more questions, for another time.

Pausing, for increasing amounts of time takes practice but the ability to just stop… allows you to Play. It allows you to RE-wind and actually to UN-wind. 

When you do this, regularly, and build it into every day – you will find yourselves fast-forwarding towards your goals. In fact, it’s actually the other way around. You will find that you start to pull the things that you want, towards you. 

How? It’s all to do with your energy. Like attracts like – if you put out negative energy, likely, that’s what you get back. The very first step is to become aware of what you are thinking so that the chain reaction of thoughts to emotions, emotions to actions and actions to results is interrupted.  All of that takes energy.  And, if you can observe your thoughts, you can decide to change them. The best way to change them is to focus on a positive thought, memory or a feeling of gratitude. You are then actually training the mind and body to respond differently. The first step is awareness. 

You have a field of energy around you that acts as an attractor field. Some call it an aura – but science now supports what was once seen as new age fantasy.  In fact, it’s ancient knowledge that the Indian and Chinese cultures have long understood. The human energy field can be measured, scientifically. 

Pausing and focusing on our inner world, helps us to recharge the body’s electro-magnetic energy field, which is the physics of how that whole law of attraction thing works.  It’s the physics that we don’t yet commonly accept as fact, and yet, there is something to it. It’s more than just wishful thinking. 

So, slow down, take some time to play and stop working. Take some time to pause and focus on BEing instead of always trying to DO more… you’ll find, paradoxically, that doing less might be way more productive.

For more information visit The Heart Math Institute.


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