Living in the moment is hard when you mind is a time traveler.
When I have to make decisions, my mind takes my future on fantastical scary adventures where I am most certainly not the hero, more like the Star Trek red shirt, doomed!!! I am not a person who decides something by gut feelings. Contrary to this my gut is always uncertain. What if I decide the wrong thing?
This comes about because when thinking about the future, instead of working with a clean slate or past successes my mind likes to use past (perceived) failings to draw conclusions of a negative nature. This as you can imagine cause me unnecessary stress and has in the past stopped me from doing things that I wanted to do.
So, what do I do to temper the time traveller in me? Through mindfulness practice I can now step back and see what my mind it doing. Rather than trying to shut the uncomfortable feeling down such as fear I will…
- I acknowledge what is happening, that I am not in the moment and making up stories.
- Take a moment to investigate my thoughts and see if I can find the trigger. This can help to work out where the fear is coming from.
- I ask the question, is the situation in my control or out of my control
- In control means that I can take action. I will put together a and do it, because I know that I am scared, I can push through this fear and do it anyway.
- Not in control will be that my action is to sit with inaction – this is very hard but with practice can be done. To do this you may have to sit with feeling very uncomfortable for a period of time, so talking to a friend or writing in a diary can be a good option. Externalizing your fear is a good way to see it for what it is and help you get through a tricky time.
On good days I can do this quite quickly however sometime I don’t and I have a little chicken moment. But you know what that is OK because I get through those moments too.
The bottom line is the future is going to come and we need to participate in activities that will make this place a we want to go.