Friday, July 25, 2008

IF THE FUTURE SCARES YOU, THE PRESENT MOMENT CAN HEAL YOU

Creativity coach Tama Kieves is someone who has inspired me over the last several years. She is the author of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love. Tama chose her creativity over her conditioning and left her work as a corporate lawyer to become a writer and international teaching catalyst. Through her own path, she has helped many other people round the world to "discover and live their wildest creative dreams."

I liked this month's newsletter from Tama in particular:


Money has been on people's minds these days. The media volleys the word "recession" around. It's like a toddler learning to say a first word and saying it again and again. Personally, I don't believe that staying obsessed about a future fear, is staying "informed." Actually, I'd call it mental poisoning. You often create what you focus most upon. But even more importantly, fear distracts us from our present moment and the present moment is where our only abundance resides.

Recently, walking with my friend Ann, we decided to focus on the grace of current conditions. Strolling back from a local coffee house, we appreciated the genteel temperature of a metro Denver summer early evening, the drunken perfume of Catalpa trees, the orange of the yearning tiger lilies. I reveled in the rambunctious love of every dog, straining on leash, to meet me. Ann, a non-dog-lover, allowed me my impulsive love affairs. We appreciated decaf coffee, a purple door on someone's home, and the power of the everyday life stories we shared. I started to feel giddy and alive as we had our own Eckhart Tolle- Ram Dass- Be Here Now-kind of moment. We had switched from discussing "the future," our plans and hopes, to being where we were. The future, an unknown that the media often portrays as a formidable mountain lion, gazed at us with yellow eyes... until we backed up into the present where we were safe, and rich beyond compare.

I believe in a purpose to things. I like purpose. I don't like thinking that God just got bored or had a little ADD moment of creating other universes and forgot what she was doing in this one. (I'd hate to think she's journaling, "darn, I meant to do something about that ozone hole. Woops, senior moment!" ) So here's my take on current challenges. The changes in our world do not allow us the "comfort" of walking through our days on auto-pilot, on the way to someplace good, in the future. We've all just enrolled in "Joy 101," some graduate course on how to savor the juice of our current experience and transform our entire lives. It's like sitting in a large Zen meditation hall where the beloved teacher carries a huge stick and whacks you on the back when you slouch with distraction. The pain brings you back to paying attention. Paying true attention, not judging, resisting, or fantasizing, leads us straight into the pearly experience called our present lives. Here we realize we are ridiculously blessed.

Eckhart Tolle explains in his bestselling book The Power of Now: "The moment your attention turns to the Now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace. You no longer depend on the future for fulfillment and satisfaction -- you don't look to it for salvation.... You have found the life underneath your life situation." The wisdom tradition of A Course in Miracles echoes this same philosophy. It teaches that you can never have a miracle in the future. There is nothing in the future that you want or that you don't want. If you knew your true power and felt your connection to Spirit's unending, unlimited love -- all craving and anxiety would disappear.

So you might ask, but what about serious problems? I remember once reading about a 26 year old Buddhist girl. She had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Everyone cried out in horror at the injustice of it, all the life she would miss. The young woman, however, wrote about how she had learned to focus on each moment of her life without reflecting on her past or her future. She said she had reached a state of freedom and rapture that transcended every joy she had known before. She wrote about all the life she would have missed, had this challenge not come her way.

We live in stirring times. I believe our Information Age will provoke many of us to seek out other information, sweet, soft, loving information that comes from listening to the Beloved, the Prince of Peace, the essence of Beingness, our own True Voice. There is a place within you where you can experience no lack, no pain, and no resistance to your present life. Of course, once you enter this kind of present moment, you also have pure access to your wildest creativity, healing potential, and highest intelligence. From this abundance, you will create another future. "My father's mansion has many rooms," says the Bible. Our minds have so many dimensions and capacities.

Our minds are great story makers. They are forever telling the tales of our future and of our past. But you can rest in this moment and change everything you've ever known. Find a small joy in this moment. Focus on anything that you love, and you will not know pain. You are swimming in wealth and goodness, practically drowning. But your focus is on "what might happen." Suspend that focus and find out what is happening right now. You'll be glad you did.

©Copyright 2002-2008 Tama J. Kieves. All rights reserved.

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