Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grateful for The Power of Now

There’s a lot of free-floating anxiety around lately. The stock market plummeted 777 points in one day, then rebounded much of that the next. Money is becoming harder to come by for mortgages and other loans. People are moving what’s left of their portfolios to safer investments. It’s hard to navigate gratefully through the rocky shoals of this crisis and the maelstrom surrounding it when your retirement fund looks like it is disappearing faster than the polar ice cap.

But I take comfort in the knowledge that as sure as the market falls it will come back again. It may take years to get to the levels we became accustomed to seeing. Growth in our economy may stagnate further since businesses and banks are closing up shop, and lending requirements are tightening. After a time things will settle down. Retirement accounts may not look quite so comfortable. Things may cost more and be less available. Jobs will return slowly to the market. Our housing will be worth less. Heck, that may not be so bad across the board. Real estate skyrocketed to ridiculous levels that are unaffordable by most. We’ll get through this the way we’ve gotten through other difficult times. Being grateful helps.

I remind myself that I am grateful for the roof over my head, and for the meals on my table, grateful for my friends and relatives who listen to my fears and who share their thoughts, grateful for the women who write with me each day on this blog for they keep me focused on what matters. I'm thankful I can connect with other people and not just the nightly news. I’m most grateful that I can switch off the television and turn to other things. All around me are things of beauty and acts of kindness that give meaning to my life. The golden light of autmum is stunning from my window. It stops me in my tracks several times a day and beckons me to be still for a few moments and breathe. Life is within and without.

Lately I’m also grateful for the lessons of Eckhart Tolle. I don’t read self-help books usually, but his book, The Power of Now, was recommended by a friend. Tolle lays out strategies for finding inner calm and suffusing your life with it. He's great for reducing stress, great for allowing you to become you by shutting out the constant hum of thoughts. Staying present in the now and not slipping into the past or the future, definitely is a good idea at any time, and is even more of a challenge for me right now when birth and death hover on the horizon. Thank you Eckhart Tolle. You’ve managed to help me find restful sleep many nights, managed to help me to shift my focus to what matters. Read this book! You will be amazed at the simple and pure lessons it teaches and I bet that like me, you too will be grateful for his wisdom.


Kathryn Magendie said...

I haven't read it - like you, I rarely read "self-help"...but, perhaps I should check it out.

I do yoga - that calms and "centers" me - as cliched as that sounds, it's true.

That and my serene long as the developers are kept at bay...

Terri Tiffany said...

I think you are right about staying present in the here and now--we won't fear what hasn't happened yet! So much to be grateful for today.

Patresa Hartman-DMACC said...

Yes, I really liked P.O.N. too. It's a great meditation. And so so so valuable in anxious times like these. (YES! Such collective anxiety! Can't you just feel it? Oy!)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Grateful for you too, friend. I find it helps to breath deeply and inhale the good/beautiful/calming scenes and times when they appear. Just to slowwww down a moment and be fully in it. My appreciation factor jumps higher than the crazy DOW numbers when I do so. We're so used to flying from one thing to the next, bombarded with bad and negative things while trying to juggle, it's no wonder we are a bundle of walking, vibrating nerves. We need to retrain ourselves to focus on the good. Let go of the not-so good, so we stretch out the better stuff for longer periods each day. :)

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