Coming Back to Now

June 13, 2010 § 10 Comments

I was talking to a friend who is facing a crisis and it made me think about a few years back. During those days, my career and relationships were on the rocks. So I found some ways to stay in the present moment, to give some relief, and the strength to go on.

Solving Puzzles
That time included a lot of travelling in my case. So to prevent my mind from running into the past, I kept a pen and a piece of paper with me, and solved magic squares. Starting from 3×3, I went on to 7×7 to 11×11. Not only did it prevent needless thoughts, it also gave a sense of accomplishment when a higher order square was done. Made one feel good.

Five years from now
When some little trouble surfaced, I asked – “What would its significance be, five years from now?”. It put a lot of things in perspective, and reduced pressure. No energy wastage on what was not important.

Kids
This was the time when I really started enjoying their company. They never ask questions like “What are you going to do next?” , “Why did this happen?”, “Why did that not happen?”, etc. The most important problem could be the wheels of the new toy car. They don’t carry burdens of the past, and draw you into their small but exciting worlds.

Labour
Again, grueling physical labour helps. Once, we had a flat tire and I changed it singlehandedly. Jacking the car up, nuts, bolts and the dirt. It was exhausting, and satisfying.

10 things NOW
As another measure when I found myself thinking of the past and the painful memories I would mentally note 10 things which were happening at that exact moment. For example, a bird chirping, people talking in the distance, a hammer pounding somewhere, etc. This was a big help in coming back to the present moment and thus a source of clarity and ease.

I must admit that these are only of limited help in dealing with the big issues, but in tough times, every bit can count. Hope that you never need them but if someone does, they might benefit. They will help one in staying afloat till the storms pass. And that is what is needed until you are ready to rebuild your world.

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