“A great deal of what people say, think, or do is actually motivated by fear, which of course is always linked with having your focus on the future and being out of touch with the Now. As there are no problems in the Now, there is no fear either.” - Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

How in touch with the “Now” are you, right now? In recent weeks I have caught myself eating my meals so fast that it quite literally startled me. I have also found myself driving my car faster and with far less mindfulness than normal to get to my point of destination. Have you felt any of that going on in your life? For many people, these emotional times of change are fear driven, with an attachment to the future, focusing on how uncertain life tomorrow may be. The reality is tomorrow has always been uncertain; perhaps we just weren’t as obsessed with it as we are now. For many, there is quite an attachment to “the way it used to be.” I refer to these attachments to the future and the past as “time bandits,” because they rob us of our ability to be present and accounted for in the Now which is where true inner peace and power await us. It makes good sense to “glance” at the future and the past once in a while, if for no other purpose because it can serve as a good point of reference; however, we should not stare at it because it will suck us right out of the Now.

As with all circumstances we meet with along the pathway on our journey through life, there are lessons we can learn from our current experience. It requires the ability to “freeze frame” our life, stand back and become a conscious observer of our own thoughts, feelings and actions, noticing where they are taking us. One might ask: What are some of the telltale signs that suggest I may have been overwhelmed by these time bandits? In The Power of Now Tolle writes: “To alert you that you have allowed yourself to be taken over by psychological time, you can use a simple criterion. Ask yourself: Is there any joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing? If there isn’t, then time is covering up the present moment, and life is perceived as a burden or a struggle.”

It is by no coincidence that joy, ease and lightness are also three of the primary intrinsic qualities felt within by anyone who is consciously aware of Spirit’s Presence. This, coupled with Tolle’s statement makes a good case for the premise (and promise) that God is eternally a Now Presence. Think about it: God is not known as the great “I was” or “I’m going to be”, but rather, I Am. It becomes much easier to make the surrender to the Now when we know that Infinite Presence (Intelligence) is there to guide and support us. Sort of gives new meaning to the saying, “I Let go and let God” doesn’t it?

As a mindfulness practice, become the conscious observer of your thoughts, feelings and actions today. Notice how much of your energy is being stolen from you by the time bandits of the past and the future. Make a conscious choice to step into the Now, and do so by breathing consciously. Watch your in-breath and your out-breath as they effortlessly flow. Begin to experience the joy of simply being alive in this holy instant and feel the energy of ease and lightness wash over you. Notice that any sense of struggle or burden is lifted and carried away. For the next 24 hours make your affirmation, “I let go and I let God.” Enjoy the Now, for the reality is that is all you have. All else comes and goes -- the present moment is the only window of opportunity you’ll ever have to witness, appreciate and experience that which is doing the coming and going. Life in the moment is quite a show! Don’t allow the time bandits to cheat you out of it.

Author's Bio: 

Throughout his lifetime, Dennis Merritt Jones has been on a quest to inspire and lift people to a higher expression of life. His personal vision is to guide people to their purpose, knowing that when a person is fully awakened to who they authentically are and why they are on the planet, they begin to naturally share their gift with humankind and, in the process, create an enriching life for themselves and the world around them. Dennis believes each one of us has the capacity and, ultimately, the responsibility to contribute something positive to this world, leaving it a better place than it was when we arrived. His teachings promote a contemporary, life-affirming, spiritually logical and positive outlook on life, which are reflected in his writings. He says, "A positive thinker grounded in his or her spirituality is the most powerful person on the face of the planet."

Dennis has been a respected contributor to the human potential movement and the field of trans-denominational spirituality as a teacher, author, lecturer, and musician for more than twenty-five years. He travels conducting workshops and seminars that draw seekers at all levels of spiritual practice, including those in the cultural creative movement. He has the ability to touch and awaken what lies within the hearts and minds of everyone - a desire to know that their life matters and that each one has a gift to reveal and share with the world. His skill rests in his ability to bring people passionately into alignment with their purpose. Dennis is the author of The Art of Being ~101 Ways To Practice Purpose In Your Life, released in April 2008 by Tarcher/Penguin Publishing.