“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Imagine if every night you wrote the script for your tomorrow.
You’d tuck it under your pillow and when you woke up, it would begin unfolding just like you envisioned.
The man or woman of your dreams would appear in the Whole Foods aisle you were perusing.
A check for a million dollars would show up in your mailbox, with a note reading “have fun.”
Your friends and family would call you to tell you how great life was and how awesome they felt.
Seems pretty sweet.
But is that what we really want?
I used to put a lot of effort into becoming a great “manifestor.” I thought I’d be happy if and when I could figure out how to make what I wanted come true.
This desire was grounded in the belief that reality wasn’t okay as it was. Something had to change in order for me to fully enjoy it.
I remember crying to a friend because “I sucked at manifesting.” Things weren’t coming true in the way I wanted them to, and they definitely weren’t happening fast enough.
It seems silly, but I was completely devastated by this.
I wanted so badly to feel fulfilled in the work that I did, but I only saw one possible way to make that happen—to coach others and own my own coaching business. I refused to do anything else, even though I was struggling financially and didn’t give myself nearly enough time or money to grow a business.
I also wanted the freedom to travel the world, take my work with me, spend extended time in various places so I could truly experience them, and visit my family whenever I wanted. Again, I only saw that one way to make that happen.
And it wasn’t working.
I felt disempowered, hopeless, and stuck.
The rigid need to make things happen blinded me from the millions of opportunities and beauty all around me. I had missed the whole point of manifesting.
At the time, Eckhart Tolle was my main man. I was re-reading my favorite book of his, and I’m pretty sure it was in his sweet voice when I finally realized “I’m doing this to myself!”
So, I took my blinders off and became willing to see other ways. My vision became 360 and I saw possibilities—not just one, but many.
I can’t say that all of the sudden everything changed for the better, but it did change, and the shaking-up felt good. I was working with, not against, the present moment, and with that came trust and patience.
Within a year, after a random sequence of perfectly orchestrated events, I received an opportunity to work for a company I adore.
Surprisingly, I was and am fulfilled by what I do, and guess what? It allows me to travel the world, take my work with me, spend extended time in various places so I could truly experience them, and visit my family whenever I want. Go figure.
What you truly want can only come to fruition by working with the present moment.
Life is a wild, adventurous ride, and that is exactly what makes it so beautiful and intense.
Some days are filled with beauty and joy.
And others, dreams don’t come true, your car dies, you get rejected, you get a really big, unexpected bill in the mail, or you’re forced to deal with difficult people.
The thing is, you decide how you want to react when you’re caught right up in the middle of the not so pretty stuff. You always have the choice.
This is how we create the reality in which we want to live in, moment by moment.
You may find your reactions defaulting to:
“Life isn't fair.”
“I never get what I want.”
“When am I going to catch a break?”
These thoughts have an intrinsic rigid resistance to what's really happening. They are unaccepting of reality.
By resisting reality, you become disempowered, hopeless, and stuck.
“What you resist, persists.”
Have you ever noticed that feeling fat and calling yourself fat never worked as a good strategy for weight loss?
Or, feeling poor and always saying, “I never have any money!” hasn’t made you rich?
By resisting, you’re actually creating more of what you don’t want because you’re constantly focused on what you don’t want.
The only way to create what you do want is full acceptance of what is.
This is the place where you see possibility instead of limitation. Where you get creative. Where you can see solutions. Where you feel hope and maybe even some peace.
How do you accept the present moment? You celebrate it. You appreciate it. Even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it.
Small acts of appreciation for the present state can cause giant shifts in your life. You become wildly empowered, creative, and resourceful.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It's a moment-by-moment practice. It’s a constant decision to take your power back and remember that you create your life and your happiness, always.
Here are some things to remember when you find yourself fighting the present moment.
It’s okay to feel it.
The more you experience your emotions and the sooner you allow yourself to experience them, the sooner you’ll find yourself accepting the present moment.
Your emotions are there to be felt, seen, and heard. There’s no power in pushing them away, avoiding them, or pretending that they don’t exist, because they will find a way to come out eventually.
It’s a priority to truly experience your emotions. This is an act of celebration in and of itself.
As you feel your emotions, you release them.
Let’s just say during that time above I cried, a lot. My friends might say all the time.
I’ve never journaled more, cried more, released more, or talked it out more. As I’m writing this, I can see how that was the first time that I allowed all of my emotions to be fully okay.
I paid attention to them and I let others pay attention to them. This was beyond powerful and ultimately what led me to face reality and move into a place of empowerment.
Find the silver lining.
There will always be a positive result of whatever is occurring.
Even if it feels completely and utterly negative, I promise you, there’s at least one positive result.
From the most tragic of situations, we can find hope, help others from our experience, and experience compassion.
Always take a moment to find the silver lining and acknowledge it.
Saying “thank you” out loud is so powerfully simple.
Thank you for my humanity. Thank you for this adventure. Thank you for that one positive thing.
By experiencing your emotions, seeing the positive, and having a sense of gratitude, you can work with anything the present moment brings you.
By doing this continually, you are actively creating more and more of what you want in every moment.
Photo by Moyan Brenn