Be with the present to live for the future

Focus on the now

Are you cheating on your future with your past? I have forever been one of those individuals that suffers from post holiday depression where I’ve had such a good time off that when I come back, I become a limp and lifeless lump. Unable to see joy in anything but the holiday photos and the reminiscing of time away from reality. However I’ve had a revelation that has removed all signs of these ‘blues’ and allowed me to actually enjoy being back.

I was on holiday in England and Portugal. There was sun, surf, friends and fun times. There really was all that, I’m not not just saying that for the poetic alliteration! And there was 3 weeks of it, which made it all the more sweeter. However upon thinking of heading home I started to dread being back at work. I stressed upon the dramas at work I’d have to endure. I became anxious over the tasks I needed to progress and the responsibilities I had let go of since being on holiday. But then I stopped. I realised this was a downward spiral of thinking.  I focussed on the here and now. That’s when I realised that my mind was running off on a worry tangent. That those thoughts are all imagined and are only the negative possibilities. I also realised that I have plenty of great things to come back to, seeing my family, being able to spend more time on my business, surfing my local beach. At that point I felt pretty calm and saw the folly of my thoughts.

If I distil this into something more general, it comes down to two simple things:

  • having an appreciation of what you have, whether it be the physical and tangible like your comfy sofa you’ve missed or positive possibility and opportunity like celebrating a friend’s birthday.
  • controlling any foreboding of the future or longing for the past. Its natural for your mind to prepare for bad things that could happen regardless of how realistic it actually is. Whilst its nice to reminisce of good times past, to hold onto it at the expense of the good things that are or could be happening, is fool hardy.

Past, present and future. Of those three things only one is real and tangible however the mind doesn’t focus on that one. Become aware of your thinking, focus on the here and now with appreciation and positivity and those post holiday blues will vanish.

Do you get the blues when you come back from holiday? Or do you feel you worry over the past and future? How do you overcome  it?

How Meditation Can Bring You Laser Focus

I wanted to find an intriguing quote on meditation and found nothing inspiring nor worth sharing.  Any Google search on it will typically bring a mix of guru, spiritual, wacko or religious themes. Any  search for an enlightening quote will similarly reflect a wide range of confusing fluff on how wonderful and soul affirming it is and it makes me sad. Sad for any individual starting out in  understanding the intrinsic value and effect it can have.

I am a detailed oriented, left brain person. I like logic, structure and clear, rational thinking. Characteristics that don’t lend well to comprehending the scratch-the-surface content out there on meditation. However I’m at a point where I’m starting to believe that meditation is as vital as sleep or human connection.

Meditation is a sharpening of the mind where the centre of your focus is on the flitting nature of thoughts. It is a practice of the continual observation of the mind. It is a curiosity of the stream of thoughts that arise unconsciously. Why do I do it? It helps me to be aware of distracting thoughts, therefore allowing me to better  focus on the task at hand. It gives me better control of the voice in my head that will either speak constantly of nothing or speak so powerfully so as to prevent me from acting effectively.

I understand why good quotes on meditation are hard to come by. It is an experience where its characteristics are common, but its meaning and value are unique to each person. Sam Harris who is a closet guru cross neurologist has a great book on this topic called ‘Waking Up’.