How To Live More In The Present Moment [The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle]

Over the last couple years, as I’ve taken an interest in self-development, I’ve been drilling into the areas of my life where I can improve and grow. One of these is my instinct to live inside my head. As many writers likely do, I have an imaginative and overactive brain, so it’s constantly whirring with thoughts. Sometimes it’s hard for me to focus on what is happening in the here and now because of it. I’m physically walking or cooking or brushing my teeth but my thoughts are way off in another place, thinking about other things.

I think it’s a natural human instinct to be like this – we all do it. We all enter autopilot when we are doing something we can almost do off by heart. But that doesn’t make it healthy or good for us. Being mindful of the things we are doing helps us be mindful of our place in the world and how we act within it.

Since I know this is an area I need to improve, I’ve recently started reading The Power Of Now, which is a self-development book all about learning to live in the present moment. It has some really fascinating and enlightening insights into how paying attention to the wandering mind and the emotions inside of us help us reach a sense of peace and acceptance. When we are in conflict with what is going on in our minds and our bodies, this is when issues and illnesses begin to creep up on us.

But, most of all, this book talks about the leaving behind of the past and the future.

Eckhart Tolle says:

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present.”

Psychological time is essentially “made up time”. It’s when our minds start thinking back to past scenarios and future possibilities. It’s when we lose sight of what’s happening right in front of us, because we’re too busy dwelling on what has been or what could be. Of course, psychological time is necessary for many situations, from planning ahead for holidays or creating personal and work goals. The past is often helpful for us to learn from our mistakes. However, when we start living in this psychological time for no logical reason – perhaps we are overthinking or daydreaming – then we are denying the Now (the present moment). And if we are denying the Now, then it is as if we are telling our body that we don’t want to exist in this moment.

When I read this part of the book, it was such a fascinating insight for me, and it made a whole lot of sense. If we are living in the present moment, of course we will have no worries or stresses, because only this moment, right here and now, matters. Anything else going on in our brain doesn’t exist. We’ve conjured it up for no reason. And it’s harming us in the process.

When I think back to moments in my life that I’ve felt the most happy, they all involved me being fully present in the moment. I wasn’t scrolling through my phone, I wasn’t thinking about the future or what has been, I was really enjoying the here and now. And I noticed that these moments always occur when I’m around other people. Why? Probably because I’m not alone letting all my thoughts take over my brain. To replicate these moments in solitude doesn’t come as naturally, as I’m sure it doesn’t to most people, since our minds are always loudest when we are quiet, but it is something I am slowly progressing on.

The feeling I get when on holiday, of detaching myself from any everyday worries, is always such a calm feeling. That’s when the power of now has the most power within me. But what if we, as humans, could detach from this without changing our exterior surroundings?

I think there are everyday habits all of us can implement to help us get out of our own minds and focus on the present in order to overcome any unnecessary stress. For me, I’ve found that yoga has been the most beneficial. I’m focusing on my breathing and the poses so much that I’m tuned out from the world. The same occurs when I’m learning something new, like a new recipe or a new song on the piano. If we can enter a state of “Flow” in our lives, in whatever form that may be, we will find some sense of release, because we are in a continual stream of focus on a task, everything left behind as we conjure up something new and exciting and real and revelationary.

What do you do to help you live in the present moment?

Have you read The Power of Now too?

Let me know in the comments below!


‘Reboot your Health’ by Sara Davenport [Book Review]

As you may have seen last week, I posted my book review of Reboot your Brain. Here is a review of another Sara Davenport book!

Reboot your Health includes ‘simple DIY tests and solutions to assess and improve your health.’ It’s a book for those who are struggling with a health issue they can’t solve, something their doctors can’t help them with, or for anyone who just wants reassurance in their goals towards greater health and wellbeing.

Honestly, I wish I had a book like this last year! I fell ill in February 2019 with fatigue and brain fog and no one, including the doctors, knew what was wrong. I think, when illnesses like these occur, it’s hard to know where to start on the journey to recovery – I certainly had no clue! So I really admire books like Reboot your Health that remind you that you can make a difference to your own health if you put in the work. By making small changes, you can really change your life for the better. And from personal experience, I know it’s true.

Summary

Reboot your Health is split up into different sections. The first section has a chapter on every single organ of the body, from your heart, to liver, to thyroid and more! I read the book from cover to cover, which meant that some of the details were a little monotonous (since they weren’t necessarily relevant to me), but it’s signposted so well that you can dip in and out of the sections that you need!

There are also chapters on food, exercise, sleep and stress. And my favourite part, which was actually the last few pages of the book, titled “Stay on Track”. These pages had such a great overview of what you can do to increase your health and wellbeing, from probiotics to laughter to remembering to say no, that I will definitely be referring back to this every now and again to make sure I’m staying on track!

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to make healthy changes to their life, whether that is for mental health reasons, or physical reasons. We all need a bit of guidance sometimes, and this book is the perfect coach.

 

You can buy Sara’s book Reboot your Health on her website here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5

 

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Goodreads: mymindspeaksaloud

 

‘Reboot your Brain’ by Sara Davenport [Book Review]

This was a very fascinating read, all about the ways you can go about increasing your brain function. It’s for those who may suffer with Alzheimer’s, brain fog, headaches, loss of concentration, exhaustion and more. But it’s also for anyone who wants to optimise their brain and age well. For someone who fell hard with extreme fatigue and brain fog last year, this was a really interesting and beneficial read for me.

It covers absolutely everything you can think of – brain detoxes, viruses, emotional release exercises, supplements, the gut-brain, daily practices, therapy, binaural beats, and more!

The kind of books I like are the books that make you stop and think and this one certainly did. It is full of scientific discoveries – more information than your brain can take in all at once (which is ironic, considering the focus of the book) – but, if read in chunks, you can definitely learn a lot. I found myself writing down a list of things I wanted to try as I went along – certain remedies and exercises that I liked the sound of and wanted to try incorporate in my life, or simply wanted to research more about.

 

Parts I found particularly interesting:

  • How mould can affect your health, as well as metal (be that in teeth fillings, root canal work, etc.)
  • Exercises for discarding unhelpful beliefs, through letting go of emotional and traumatic memories – I really want to try these!
  • The effect UV rays from phone screens, TV’s etc. affects health, and how you can prevent this with protective sunglasses or screen protecters
  • The sheer amount of supplements mentioned in this book – there is something for everyone!

 

Parts I knew about already but recommend:

  • Daily practices – meditation, gratitude journalling, learning something new, prioritising sleep. I actually incorporated some of these into my daily routine last year during my healing process and they really have helped!
  • Binaural Beats – This is something I tried earlier this year and it did wonders for my brain fog. This book reminded me to revisit theta waves in order to access deep relaxation more often.
  • Probiotics – since I’ve been taking these, my digestion has felt so much better. It’s also fascinating how much gut health affects the brain and mental health
  • This book got me to consider some practices I’ve heard of before, but never tried, such as acupuncture, tai chi, resetting TMJ (clicking joints in the jaw) – perhaps it might be worth giving these a try at some point!

 

Overall, this is the kind of book where not everything will be interesting or relevant to you, but when you come across something that is, it really can change the way you look at your life.

You can buy Sara’s book Reboot your Brain on her website here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5

 

img_5446

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Goodreads: mymindspeaksaloud

Join my Wellbeing Newsletter here.

 

Creating a Good/Positive Aura in your Life

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all heard of the phrase “positive vibes”; it’s used so much across social media and in everyday life (inauthentically at times). It’s easy to say that being positive attracts positive things and sometimes it does seem too cliche to be true, but I’ve found that being positive actually makes a huge difference.

The other day in my yoga class, we were told a story about two dogs in a room full of mirrors. The happy dog saw happy dogs looking back at him, and the angry dog saw angry dogs looking back at him. Life is the same; what we give out is what we get in return. If we’re angry, other people will feel that energy and retract from us. That’s why it’s so important to work on your own wellbeing before you can expect anything from anyone else.

This year, I’ve really felt the force of a positive aura. I’ve worked so hard on overcoming a tough 6 + months of being unwell, where I honestly did feel really low, but coming out the other side has motivated me more than ever to self-develop and to combat stress and anxiety (as you might have seen in my goals for tackling stress/anxiety post). It is true that difficult moments in your life make you into a better and stronger person, as I’ve felt this for sure, but it also makes positivity a necessity – sometimes being positive is the only way out.

If you think about all of the people you’ve met in your life, there are probably some people who you instantly felt warmth and happiness from when you first met them – those are the positive people. And because of this, you probably felt more inclined to speak to them or become friends. The same goes with yourself – the better you feel about yourself, the better others feel around you. People are attracted to good and positive auras.

I’ve really felt this to be true lately. A few years ago I was a very negative person – I found it so hard to focus on the good things that were going on in my life and I think because of this I wasn’t attracting anything particularly good in my life either. Since I’ve worked on my happiness, I’ve noticed a change in the way I interact with people – I feel like people want to talk to me more and I feel connected to people more. It’s as if they feel the positive energy I’ve worked so hard to create and it makes all of it worthwhile.

I think it’s easy to dismiss this sort of thing until you’ve experienced it for yourself. I know for a fact that the version of me that existed a few years ago would have read this blog post and sarcastically said “yeah right“. Because when you’re feeling negative, you don’t want to admit that your attitude is the reason life isn’t working out for you, because then you have too much responsibility and that’s scary. But it’s also the truth.

Creating a good and positive aura is not something you can instantly make present in your life. You have to start by dealing with your emotions and your wellbeing and this always takes time, but it also always will take time. There’s never an ending point or result – it’s a constant progression. I’m still progressing now and I always expect to be.

So next time you go to a new place and meet new people, think about the energy each person in the room is giving off. Who are you drawn to? Why are you drawn to them? And focus on your own aura too. How can you share the best version of yourself with the world?

Give out a metaphorical thumbs up to everyone you meet 🙂

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Learning to Say “No”

As I’m nearing the end of my second year of uni (literally how??) I’ve realised how easy it is to overcommit yourself. At the start of university it is essential to make extra effort so that you can meet new people, but even now I still feel like I have to say “yes” in case I miss out on something or hurt someone’s feelings. The truth is, I shouldn’t feel bad. And neither should you.

Lately, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot more about myself. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really fit any extremes; I’m just a blend of different types of people and I think that’s why a lot of the time I seem confusing. When it comes to going out, I love it, but what I’ve realised is that I only love social events if it’s with people that I feel comfortable around or I’m good friends with. And that’s okay. But it means I need to start saying “no” to the events that I don’t actually want to be at. I need to acknowledge the things that bring me “empty” happiness – the kind that is exciting on the surface but is non-existent on the inside – and to try and replace that with things that bring me actual happiness.

The concept of saying “no” seems so simple and maybe you’re sat there wondering why it is so hard for me, but I think – especially at uni – you feel there’s a pressure to go to everything. You don’t want people to hate you. You don’t want people to think you’re antisocial. You just worry way too much about other people. And I’ve reached a point where I just don’t have the energy or time to waste on people or events that I don’t want to be a part of. I think sometimes I come across as an antisocial person to people; I spend a lot of time in my room and because of social anxiety, I’m not the best at talking (but I’m getting there). However, that’s because I like my own space. I like having time to myself to get to know myself so I can write posts like this and understand what I really want. Time to think and order the constant thoughts that knock around inside my brain all the time. It’s also because I have a really low tolerance for fake friends and I honestly prefer spending time with a select few people than huge groups. I love socialising when it comes to my close friends, but I hate it when I feel like I’m there for the sake of it, wasting my time when I could be doing something else. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing what I want and what my priorities are.

So, because of this, I’m going to say “no” more often. If I don’t want to go to something, why should I go just to please someone else? If I would prefer to watch a film or call a friend from home then I will do that instead. Because at the end of the day, it’s only one opportunity out of many. It’s better to do something you enjoy and that actually makes you happy. Otherwise, what’s the point?

365 Days of Happiness [*Gifted* Book Review]

365 Days of Happiness is a book that aims to bring happiness into each day of your life. When I first saw the cover, my brain instinctively thought it was a cookery book because it has a giant cupcake on the front and I’m a little obsessed with food. However, it is just symbolising the notion that gaining happiness can be simple; a piece of cake. Reading this book is one way of learning how to make it simple.img_7694

A lot of the time when you’re in a state of sadness you feel like there’s no way out of it. Happiness seems like gold in a bottle that’s been thrown over a cliff and smashed at the bottom of it. However, a lot of the time this is just our minds overthinking the process or trying to fight it. Instead, a moment of embracing it is a way of finding a solution.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this book. I have a ‘One Line a Day’ book where I write a few lines each day (so I can see what I was doing on the same day the year before); however, I hadn’t actually read anything that used this concept. At first, it was all about getting into the habit of reading it right before I got up every morning. I think this is a good way to use it because it sets you up for the day with positive thinking.

There are times in this book when I feel like the writing is a little cliche. I can be a bit of a cynic sometimes and I’m getting a lot better at being positive, but sometimes I feel like it’s almost too positive, bordering on cringey. Perhaps that says more about me than the book itself, but maybe my views will change as I continue to read it.

Despite this, some of the content is actually useful. It reminded me of things that I often forget – that I am free and have power over what I do and what I feel; that there is a connection and a sameness to all our days although we are different people. One particular day I liked was the focus on creating a personal happiness list. It suggested writing a list of the things that make you feel like you could hug the world and then turning to these things in moments of need. It’s one of those things that seems obvious but we often forget. When I feel upset I automatically retreat or cry or listen to sad music, but instead I should think of all the things I enjoy and push myself out of it. Music is something that has always helped me through things and yet sometimes I forget that it’s there when I’m not feeling myself. I need to create more time in my day for jamming out to my favourite tunes because it always boosts my mood.

I’m looking forward to seeing what else this book has to offer over the course of the next year. Although it isn’t normally my kind of read, I think it’s good to read something different every now and again. New insight into the world and new insight into your mind.