Welcome to Tuesday Tips, a weekly collection of epiphanies that make my life better. I feel like I've been living more and more in the Now lately, where I've been sloughing off bad habits with presence. I can't recommend Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now and A New Earth enough, which taught me most of what I intellectually understand about living in the moment.
1. Give yourself fully to whatever you're doing right now.
Give the present moment the attention it deserves. Whether you're doing the dishes, hula hooping, or reading a book, make it a point to say to yourself, "I give my attention fully to this task." Forget all your worries and let the moment carry you away!
2. If you really want something, LET IT GO!
Every time I really crave pizza or really want a hookup to come through, I proceed with my life as if I'm not going to get it. I figure out how to be happy without it. Without fail, as soon as I'm just as happy without it, I get it.
3. Ask yourself, "What can I give here; how can I be of service to this person, this situation?"
A powerful exercise from Eckhart Tolle, becoming the giver allows you to receive. Whatever you want, give. You'll see you're the source of abundance, not lacking it.
4. Treat everyone you meet like they're your best friend.
All of my best friends became my best friends over long periods of time. The first day we met? Hardly memorable. Now when I meet new people, I try to remember that all of my closest relationships blossomed over time, and I never could have predicted the people who I spend the most time with. So each new person I look at as if they could one day be my best friend, and I start looking for all their best qualities to appreciate.
5. Make use of suffering.
All the best creatives do this. Henri-Frédéric Amiel says, "You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering." (Thanks to Emily Michele for sharing this great quote.) Another way to look at suffering is that it's an opportunity to practice your magick. Thinking about it that way can get you excited about your contrast, which leads you to make peace with what is, which means your suffering ends.
6. Get excited about the Now instead of anticipating the future.
Eckhart Tolle explains that, "Anticipation about an upcoming event, which is the ego's overvaluation of future, easily turns into its opposite--letdown or disappointment--when the event is over or doesn't fulfill the ego's expectations." If you're always excited to be in the Now, what happens in the future doesn't affect your well being.
7. When you feel a negative feeling about something, ask yourself if you're unconscious.
I noticed that I was getting a sick feeling when I got emails about money. I usually shy away from dealing with it. But today I said to myself, "Breathe in and observe. Breathe out and observe." I watched my thoughts. I was able to see the thoughts that were making me sick, and then changed them in the moment.
8. Whenever you feel lonely, gaze into the palm of your hand.
Thanks to Thich Nhat Hanh for this suggestion. Not only can you see your ancestors and fellow humans, but you can see everything in the universe if you look hard enough.
9. Try this mantra: "I want what I have."
Rabbi Hyman Schachtel says, "Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have." In a contrasting moment when you're unhappy with things, try saying "I want what I have" to your troubles. The second you warm up to what you're resisting, it'll pass.
10. Focus on your breath and let those thoughts go...
Sometimes I'm in a terrible mood because I won't stop thinking about some terrible wrong. I know that I'll feel better if I stop thinking and be present, but I can't shake the thoughts. Saying, "I don't have to think about that," and then focusing on my breath has been really helping me let go and be here now.
11. Be a nobody!
If you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength.
This quote from A New Earth blows my mind because it helped me see how much of life I have strove to STAND OUT and get noticed and be cool and achieve. This website has often been my platform for TRYING TO MAKE IT. But what if I wasn't trying to be Internet-famous? What if I couldn't add value to my brand? What if I was... nobody? Could I still be happy? Fuck yeah!