I heard recently these following thoughts:
Worrying about the past is called "regret"
Worrying about the future is called "anxiety"
Being present in the moment you're in right this second is all you really have!
I often try to remind myself of this when my thoughts simply become meandering noise. As I am awake right now, and have been since 2 am... jet lag is kicking my ass tonight as I'm overseas in Guam for the weekend working and having a look around.
Attitude of gratitude ... remaining present and seeing what IS, instead of what ISN'T in my life. This is really the only way to find happiness in our day to day lives. To appreciate the wonder and beauty of our lives... Look at how much society teaches us to focus on what we may not have. How much are we trained to yearn and long for better, faster, stronger, more fit, and more (what society calls) beautiful? We log onto any social media outlet and see the utmost expensive, the utmost lavish, the "perfect life". How easy it can be to get lost in what we aren't, where we haven't been, and what we don't have. How do we turn this around? Flip that thought process 180 degrees. What DO you have? No really!!! What do you have? If you're saying nothing? Well, is that really true? If needed.., start with the utmost basics of life. Do you have food, shelter, water, and the very breathe that sustains you? Yes. Are you warm? Do you have family or loved ones around? Maybe they annoy you a little (or a lot), but you still have them. Open the window, or look around you...do you see anything that is beautiful? Walk down the road and look at the next living thing that you come across... A plant growing in a pot. It's at peace, and simply loves "being" and existing...in perfect alignment with the laws of nature and the universe. Can you close your eyes, stop those noisy thoughts, and simply feel that "oneness" with the rest of the universe? That universal harmony that is happy in the space and moment that is being given to you right this second? That is where happiness is found.
I have struggled over the years to learn more about that stillness of spirit... How do i calm this storm that rages inside my soul? Over my recent reading and meditation, I have (in my mind) learned to define 4 layers of life...
This roots back to a question my Mother asked me years before her passing. She and I were talking and she asked me... "Who is Matthew Reese Davis?"... I was a bit puzzled by the question and responded with "I'm a Father of two kids, I am a presenter and teacher, investor, beginning film producer,..." She stopped me, and said... "Matt, those are thing that you DO...that's not what I asked... Who are YOU...?" I was without words, because I had never thought about things in that light.
I didn't have an answer... I have wanted to have an answer, but I guess I honestly didn't know. That question was then filed away in my mind, unanswered, and yet still wanting to know the answer; but resolved that I would be learned in time.
As I have read various books lately... this topic has begun to come up again, and the answer has begun to at least take form and take shape in my mind.
We are not what we do. We are not what we feel. We are not even what we think either! Go deeper!!
The consciousness that is aware that you're even having thoughts? That someone that is watching thoughts flash across the movie screen of your mind...?
THAT IS THE REAL YOU! Who is that?
For years I have wanted to get to know THAT being. That is the creator of this mortal experience. That is where stillness can be found. Thoughts,..they meander here, then bounce over there, and are sometimes all over the place...other times they are very focused on a specific task at hand. Emotions come and go... sometimes we are happy, sad, confident, shy, proud, ashamed, and these things called emotions can be all across the board too! This is not who we are either! The things we do...that's only the outward result of the thoughts and knowledge and emotions we have.
YOU - THOUGHTS - EMOTIONS - ACTIONS - THE LIFE YOU LIVE
Each level is really dictated by the prior level!
The life you live is a result of your actions...
Your actions are a result of the emotions you have...
The emotions you have are a result of the thoughts you entertain and allow...
Your thoughts are are result of The REAL YOU!
Once you are able to reel things back to THAT level... that is where stillness is found. That person is you... That entity is still and at peace... That being can just...."BE" and is comfortable just being itself! Present... HE/She doesn't have anything to prove, can't BE...anything but what He/She "IS"...
Why is this significant? Because in the silence of meditation, when you are alone with yourself. Where can stillness and peace be found? Only by putting aside the things you DO...putting aside the emotions that you feel...putting aside those noisy thoughts that plague our minds...and being silent. Wipe the drawing board of your day completely clean. THEN, you are able to create again with a clear clean slate. Forgive what went wrong prior to then... Allow tomorrow to figure itself out later... You are in that precise moment, and that is ALL THERE IS. Choose (it IS your choice) what your life will look like today! You are able to choose what thoughts you will begin to entertain, grateful and good thoughts lead to positive emotions. If you're feeling "off" or not the way you want to feel... then check your thoughts. Thoughts, lead your emotions... emotions cause action... and actions create your day...week...life! It starts with YOU...the REAL YOU!
Sadness can be such an overpowering emotion and it can spiral into depressions, then deep depression, and then we find ourselves unable to even get out of bed for the day. "What's wrong with me?"...we ask ourselves. Then we seek a doctors' advise... we don't feel like the doctor did their job if the doctor hasn't thrown a prescription pill at us...a pill is suppose to make us feel better. Falsely masking our true authentic selves. These pills then have side effects, so we get other pills to counter balance the side effects too? This becomes a pill reliant society that is simply masking how we REALLY feel. Is true peace possible? I believe it is.
Can we peel back the layers of actions, emotions, and even thoughts...to just be still for a while..? To experience the quiet peace of just "being"..? Then choose with what we wish to fill up our mental, emotional, and actual space...? I again, believe the answer is YES! I believe we CAN!
At first it's hard. For me, very frustrating as I began sitting in silence in the morning, and trying to quiet my mind. My noisy thoughts had such a hold on me. Thoughts lead this and that way, and all over the place. Just like anything though, we eventually learn to go deeper, which is more quiet, and then we learn to go even deeper...and the deeper we go, the quieter it becomes.
Let's fill our minds with the goodness of life, and it truly does begin with our thoughts... Peel back to your center (it takes time and practice)...learn to be still - present - honest. Then choose to fill up your mind, heart, and life with the goodness that IS within our reach. Creation happens twice... 1st in our minds...then 2nd in the real world.