Learning to Be in the Now

Power of observation

Cool that you are reading this. I do not yet know who I am writing to. I am just writing the words that are given, as they flow through me. I am not planning this post. I do not know where it will go. I am curious to find out, though. Being present in exactly Now, with no plans, is actually pretty strange. I did not understand what that means at all, just a short while back. It sounded like a lot of theoretical thinking to me.

Now there is a pause in writing…I am kind of waiting….waiting to hear where the flow will take me next. I have an urge to try to plan this. My mind tries to take control. Oh, it knows so well to do that. To plan, to control, to manage, and to make everything look good. Respectable. In order. Of good quality. It is much easier to be in control and to plan ahead, than not be in control. Not know where the hell everything will go. Where will I go? What will I become? Is there any contribution to whatever I produce right now? I don’t know.

A pause, again. Again my mind tries to step in charge. It thinks it is getting the hang of the situation now, and seeing, wants to at least now jump in the head of the wagon. To actually make something out of this. Something respectable. Something worth while. Something, going somewhere. And again, I let go. It is an incessant practice. I get to practice this every day. The controlling part is so well practiced already. Knows its ways. Can manage, has proven efficient. Why then let go? A pause. Do I even know why to let go? A momentary fear: perhaps I don’t know. Why then am I writing this? The mind invents endless questions, worries, troubles, obstacles, and reasons Not To Let Go.

But I, the “big I”, persists. I let go again and again. It feels like the “Big I” is this loving and safe embrace, and the “I” that wants to be in control, is about a 3-year-old kid, who struggles to do stuff her way. Has a strong will too! Who am I really, in the middle of these two? I am both. My consciousness, my multidimensional mind, contains both of these states. Or these processes, as they are not just states. They are states, but yet they also contain dynamics, like processes or computer programs that can be activated precisely in that state. A particular program may be triggered in one of the states but not, perhaps, in another state.

Stuck again. A pause, and I am not sure where this will go. Usually, I would not write about the pauses. This time though, it is the process itself that I am writing about. Or this is how I interpret it now, after the fact.

The analytic mind

Our minds love to interpret what we experience. We invent a story of our life. We describe experiences in a certain way. These are all after the fact. When we experience in the Now, the experience is huge. In so many different ways, it is undescribable. Later, we remember some aspects of it, and build a story line, involving categorized events and event sequences. That is the sequential, analytic, logical mind.  In the now, there is the parallel, multidimensional mind.

Categories. Would we not be better off without them altogether? Categorizing people as black or white, or political views as right-wing/republican/conservative as opposed to left-wing/democrat/liberal does not do justice to the reality. Yet we create these categories. Then we make inferences and predictions based on these categorizations. The more a particular instance differs from the category prototype, the more likely the inferences will go haywire. But this is the way our mind works: it does an imperfect job of describing a very complex experience in just a few categories, and then forgets most of everything else it perceived. Most of the stuff we perceive, we never even become conscious of. We concentrate on the categories as if that in itself was our perception. It is not. We even fight over categories. We fight over where the category borders are. How to name them. How to describe what they are about. We write our laws referring to these categories. Such as ‘citizen’ and ‘immigrant’, and what are the criteria of belonging into one or the other.

A pause, again. It is frustrating – I still don’t know where this will go. I deliberately refuse to plan, to even guess. I am pretty confident, that if I try to plan this, it will not be as fresh as if I just stay in the present.

When we think in the logical, analytic, categorical mind, our mind works in the space of existing programs. The paths well trodden. Being there, we will create whatever has been seen before. We will create a repetition of what we have already observed. Perhaps it will be a somewhat novel combination of old stuff. But mostly, it will be an average of old experiences. That is the most likely outcome, when working in the analytic mind. It will find a ‘solution’ based on past experiences. But what if we wish to find something new? To take a road not yet taken? To invent something totally outside the box? Outside of all boxes that we ever saw? What good is it to take old paths, if you wish to find a new continent? Finding your way out of the categorical mind is the first, essential step of creating something. Letting go of control, of planning, of guessing the end result.

Yet, the need to be in control is strong. I’ve always been in control. I’ve controlled emotions, their expression, what I say so I don’t hurt, bother or alienate others. Controlled destiny, controlled in relationships, controlled others around me. It is very easy to be in control. And one can get very good at it too. Letting go is much more difficult. It is scary too. Where is there safety, if one is not in control? Isn’t being in control the ultimate and absolutely necessary part of being safe? For a while, it was. But then, kids happened. Kids are beyond expectations, beyond anything that can be controlled. Birth, giving birth, is outside of any kind of control. Actually, trying to be in control makes giving birth that much more difficult, painful, and longer-lasting. Being in control, and being in your own power are two very different things. Control is like the weak human behind a 6-pack of horses, somehow trying to hold their reins. Being in your own power, is being the horse. Being able to run yourself. Having all that power within you.

Rational or worth while?

I keep asking: is this text rational? My internal I answers, “No”. Well, is it worth anything? The answer is “Yes”. Being rational is about does it make sense analytically, is it well structured, organized, planned, in control, going somewhere. Worth something, is a question that relates to an outcome, a change, perhaps even existing in a state that is perceived as “good”, or “valuable”. Can we get to a better state? Perhaps. Some might. Then it is worth it to write this. Is it good for everyone reading it? No, not that. Being good to everyone is not really possible. You bow at some people, and show your butt at others (a Finnish saying). Try not to please, it will get nowhere. Is it worth while to me, to write this? Yes. I become more aware of myself, of processes within me, while writing this. Awareness is always good, and increasing awareness is worth while, always.

We are near the end, my internal observer tells me now. Great. I was getting tired. Were you? I still don’t know what the value of this text might be. Perhaps I might find out, later. And then, I might not. I take my chances. I decide to trust the internal flow that took me here. The internal observer who, when I turn to that part of myself, says that everything is good and OK and worth while exactly like this. And who loves me, just the way I am. In the middle of things, not understanding everything. Not knowing next steps. Not always making the right choices. That is OK, all of it is. We get to be here, and learn. That is great. That is amazing, actually. We don’t need to be ready now, or ready ever. We get to be not-ready, and still OK. Not-ready, and still get to do things. Try out, how does it feel if I do this? Oops, broke everything. Interesting. Now I know 🙂  There are words for this, I now recognize. Self-acceptance. Even self-love. Yeah, good words, for describing this experience. There was a time when I did not know what it is like to feel this. I am grateful and happy that I get to experience this now. Not having it different, would I now recognize that there is a difference? Of course not. I needed to experience lack of self-love and lack of self-acceptance, to know what self-love means. If there is just one kind of experience, with no differentiation, is it really an experience? We need to experience both ends, light and dark, to even recognize light. Thanks for the dark, now it is time for some light!

P.S.

Before I have the courage to post this, I am scared. I am scared, that despite all the flow moments, and the guidance, it will go awry in some way. I check again from my greater I: Is this OK? Am I OK as this, also? Yes. I am still OK just as I Am. No need to be anything, anything “more”, anything fancier, anything more ready. I am this just in this moment. That is enough. I am safe, and loved, and perfectly fine. And so are you!