To awaken where you are, right now, today one must seize the present moment. Eckhart Tolle encourages his readers to realize they only have this very moment to enjoy and teaches them how to think and feel in a way that allows them to live each day to its fullest. The clear, uplifting prose makes the book a great introduction to intentional living and spirituality, for those new to mindfulness.
My key Takeaways from “The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle
Takeaway #1 Live In The Now
We tend to live in the past or the present, daydreaming or worrying about what our future will look like and dwelling or reminiscing on past events rather than focusing on what's happening right now in the present moment. Nothing ever happens in the past or the future, it happens now. Big problems are problems of the future that we have lumped together, small problems are problems of the present moment – Stay present and tackle each small problem as it arises. By staying in the present moment we can find inner peace and improve our lives.
Takeaway #2 You Create Pain
Pain of the heart and mind is usually a self-created inner resistance to what is happening around you that you cannot change. You feel pain when you are unhappy with how things are in life yet you don't feel strong enough to change them for the better. A part of your self needs pain in order to survive, it can thrive on feelings of misery. Let this need for pain go on for too long and you can become dependant on it, you identify with the feeling of pain and have a need for it in your life. Saying that, we cannot avoid pain altogether such as when someone close to us dies. By remaining present you'll have the strength to accept this pain for what it is and move on from it when the time comes.
Takeaway #3 The Ego Stops You From Being Happy
People don't want to be miserable but so many are. Where does this self sabotaging behaviour come from? The ego is to blame. It's destructive and controls your thoughts and your behaviour often without you even noticing. It zaps your happiness because without misery it cannot survive. The ego is responsible for all the drama, all the times you've overreacted, and all the times you've picked a fight over something trivial. To leave your ego behind and become a happier person you must separate yourself from your mind, leaving the judgement behind and instead pay close attention to your body.
Takeaway #4 Stay Alert
If you're alert you're living in the present moment. Being alert is like being in a state where you're actively waiting. You're not off daydreaming or planning the future, and you're not reflecting on the past, you're just waiting for the here and now, ready for whatever comes up. You must listen to your body when you're actively waiting because it must be ready for anything – When you're ready for anything you're alert waiting and watching for that thing to happen so that you don't miss it.