Embracing the Now: Finding Peace and Happiness in What Is

Embracing the Now: Finding Peace and Happiness in What Is
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Mindfulness increases self-control ; since you're not getting thrown by threats to your self-esteem, you're better able to regulate your behavior. That's the other irony: Inhabiting your own mind more fully has a powerful effect on your interactions with others. Of course, during a flare-up with your significant other it's rarely practical to duck out and savor a raisin. But there's a simple exercise you can do anywhere, anytime to induce mindfulness: As it turns out, the advice my friend got in the desert was spot-on.

There's no better way to bring yourself into the present moment than to focus on your breathing. Because you're placing your awareness on what's happening right now, you propel yourself powerfully into the present moment. For many, focusing on the breath is the preferred method of orienting themselves to the now—not because the breath has some magical property, but because it's always there with you.

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Perhaps the most complete way of living in the moment is the state of total absorption psychologists call flow. Flow occurs when you're so engrossed in a task that you lose track of everything else around you. Flow embodies an apparent paradox: How can you be living in the moment if you're not even aware of the moment?

The depth of engagement absorbs you powerfully, keeping attention so focused that distractions cannot penetrate. You focus so intensely on what you're doing that you're unaware of the passage of time. Hours can pass without you noticing. Flow is an elusive state.

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Want to Read saving…. From Embracing the Now: As it turns out, the advice my friend got in the desert was spot-on. Brown of the University of Rochester. The first requirement for flow is to set a goal that's challenging but not unattainable—something you have to marshal your resources and stretch yourself to achieve. Between the lines are links to helping us become more aligned with what we truly are as opposed to spinning around lost in mental noise. Awakening Now Free Mini Course.

As with romance or sleep , you can't just will yourself into it—all you can do is set the stage, creating the optimal conditions for it to occur. The first requirement for flow is to set a goal that's challenging but not unattainable—something you have to marshal your resources and stretch yourself to achieve. The task should be matched to your ability level—not so difficult that you'll feel stressed, but not so easy that you'll get bored.

In flow, you're firing on all cylinders to rise to a challenge. To set the stage for flow, goals need to be clearly defined so that you always know your next step.

Embracing the Now: Finding Peace and Happiness in What Is by Gina Lake

You also need to set up the task in such a way that you receive direct and immediate feedback; with your successes and failures apparent, you can seamlessly adjust your behavior. A climber on the mountain knows immediately if his foothold is secure; a pianist knows instantly when she's played the wrong note. As your attentional focus narrows, self-consciousness evaporates. You feel as if your awareness merges with the action you're performing. You feel a sense of personal mastery over the situation, and the activity is so intrinsically rewarding that although the task is difficult, action feels effortless.

We all have pain in our lives, whether it's the ex we still long for, the jackhammer snarling across the street, or the sudden wave of anxiety when we get up to give a speech. If we let them, such irritants can distract us from the enjoyment of life. Paradoxically, the obvious response—focusing on the problem in order to combat and overcome it—often makes it worse, argues Stephen Hayes, a psychologist at the University of Nevada.

The mind's natural tendency when faced with pain is to attempt to avoid it—by trying to resist unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and sensations. When we lose a love, for instance, we fight our feelings of heartbreak.

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The Now--this moment--is the true source of happiness and peace and the key to living a fulfilled and meaningful life. Embracing the Now is a collection of short. The Now-this moment-is the true source of happiness and peace and the key to living a fulfilled and meaningful life. Embracing the Now by Gina Lake is a.

As we get older, we work feverishly to recapture our youth. When we're sitting in the dentist's chair waiting for a painful root canal, we wish we were anywhere but there. But in many cases, negative feelings and situations can't be avoided—and resisting them only magnifies the pain. The problem is we have not just primary emotions but also secondary ones—emotions about other emotions. We get stressed out and then think, "I wish I weren't so stressed out.

The secondary emotion is feeling, "I hate being stressed.

You Are Not Your Thoughts

It doesn't have to be this way. The solution is acceptance—letting the emotion be there. That is, being open to the way things are in each moment without trying to manipulate or change the experience—without judging it, clinging to it, or pushing it away. The present moment can only be as it is. Trying to change it only frustrates and exhausts you. Acceptance relieves you of this needless extra suffering. Suppose you've just broken up with your girlfriend or boyfriend; you're heartbroken, overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and longing. You could try to fight these feelings, essentially saying, "I hate feeling this way; I need to make this feeling go away.

You do yourself a favor by accepting your feelings, saying instead, "I've just had a breakup. Feelings of loss are normal and natural. It's OK for me to feel this way. Acceptance of an unpleasant state doesn't mean you don't have goals for the future. It just means you accept that certain things are beyond your control. The sadness, stress, pain, or anger is there whether you like it or not. Better to embrace the feeling as it is. Nor does acceptance mean you have to like what's happening. What happens next, what you choose to do; that has to come out of your understanding of this moment.

If you feel anxiety, for instance, you can accept the feeling, label it as anxiety—then direct your attention to something else instead. You watch your thoughts, perceptions, and emotions flit through your mind without getting involved. Thoughts are just thoughts. You don't have to believe them and you don't have to do what they say. You've probably had the experience of driving along a highway only to suddenly realize you have no memory or awareness of the previous 15 minutes.

Maybe you even missed your exit. You just zoned out; you were somewhere else, and it's as if you've suddenly woken up at the wheel. Or maybe it happens when you're reading a book: These autopilot moments are what Harvard's Ellen Langer calls mindlessness—times when you're so lost in your thoughts that you aren't aware of your present experience. As a result, life passes you by without registering on you. The best way to avoid such blackouts, Langer says, is to develop the habit of always noticing new things in whatever situation you're in.

If You Want To Be Happy, Accept Life As It Is And Let Go Of What You Cannot Control

That process creates engagement with the present moment and releases a cascade of other benefits. Noticing new things puts you emphatically in the here and now. We become mindless, Langer explains, because once we think we know something, we stop paying attention to it.

Meaning, you have no business poking around in matters outside your control because life is bigger than you and will impose itself upon you each time. It has many millennia of experience and a toolbox of tricks, compared to your humble few decades of life. At Ease with What Is. Whilst I do not discount their tireless work and research, I am of the opinion happiness is accessible once our thoughts are in harmony.

It is our thinking that gets in the way of achieving happiness, not having a bank account full of money, fancy cars or luxury homes. Whilst these are good things to have, they wear off after a while and are meaningless if you cannot find peace and contentment within. Man is responsible for his problems because he creates them through his thoughts. Nothing outside you has meaning save for the meaning you give it. Yet the meaning you give can be inaccurate if viewed through a distorted lens.

This is neither right nor wrong, but one aspect of the picture. This is an ideal point to reinforce the main point of this article. Your happiness lies in reframing events to accept what is and let go of what you cannot control. We can even find its terms satisfactory. We do not have to shake our fist at heaven. We do not have to demand an exemption or take refuge in a belief system that muffles the wallop of the givens by promising a paradise without them.

We can craft a sane and authentic life by saying yes to life just as it is. Gina outlines the ego's mechanisms so clearly that it becomes difficult not to recognize, accept and thus heal them in oneself. All of this is in the service of greater peace, greater joy, and eventual liberation. The messages may be conceptually simple but in an ego and mind-dominated time and society, they are easy to forget. I enjoy reading Gina's words to remind me of what I know in my own heart to be the shining truth. Jul 27, Shelby Ford rated it it was amazing. This book was simply amazing. It isn't geared toward any particular religion, which I think is quite remarkable.

It definitely puts everything about life into perspective and teaches you how to embrace every situation as a positive one and opens your eyes to viewing days that would seem only mediocre, into loving experiences.

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I feel a sense of balance and wholeness after reading this book. Definitely a book for anyone. I will add that there is a lot of repetition in this book. May 24, Albert Jones rated it it was amazing. I think the book is magnificent. Gina Lake's insights into our egoic human natures, and the difficulties we cause ourselves by living in our egos, ring true.

by Gina Lake

Her ability to penetrate to the core problem of human existence, and the solution to that problem, is astonishing. Jan 04, Kathy rated it it was amazing. Awesome, intriguing, and well written. Peace and Happiness Well worth the read. Gives you a lot to think about. I wasn't expecting a lot but was definitely pleasantly surprised.

May 27, Izzy Thomas rated it it was amazing. Great insight, comparable to Tolle's book, but the latter half was long and redundant. Overall, a good book. Aug 01, Dianne rated it it was amazing Shelves: How important it is to be present to each moment. We only get this moment once. Sep 14, Tim rated it really liked it. Complements Eckhart Tolle's work wonderfully. I got a lot out of it because of Tolle's influence. Linda Dedvukaj rated it really liked it Apr 30, Issiah Toner rated it it was amazing Jan 07, John DeVito rated it it was amazing Nov 20, Bill rated it it was amazing Jun 18, Khanh Thuy rated it it was amazing May 17,