I've been thinking lately about the power of the moment. We hear so much about it: "stay in the present; all your power is in the moment; live in the moment; all we have is the now;" and it's all been profoundly punctuated by Eckhart Tolle's guide to spiritual enlightenment - in the oh so popular (thanks Oprah) - The Power of Now. But really, how does that notion parlay into our lives today? What does it really mean for life in the 21st century?
These are exciting times because scientists are now corroborating spiritual theories that great thinkers have been postulating for years. It seems that our minds need proof for what our hearts have known to be true for a very long time - we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. As we said last week, form follows thought. This week we’re exploring how much power we possess in the now. In the moment, we have the power that determines our next moment - it creates our future. Again, it's backwards in the world. We think we have to decide our future, make plans and go from there when actually the reverse is true. We must stay out of the future and power pack our now with as much vitality, happiness and joy that we can; and in doing so we set the blueprint for the next moment and, consequently, our future. We set in motion a chain that not only bodes well for a happier future, but also makes us happy in our present. How much are we postponing our happiness as our lives pass us by?
We frequently live in the past where we tend to judge ourselves right or wrong, or compare ourselves with someone else who has done it way better than we ever could. It has us wondering if we'll ever get it right (compare and despair). That makes our present miserable and sets up the next moment (remember we attract what we focus on) less than desirable. Or, we're in the future of “hope” and “what ifs.” Hope might sound like a positive notion but many times it sets us up for a fall, "why isn't it happening now?" or "I have to work hard, sacrifice, give up things now to get what I want in the future." It never works. That future never comes. It's like waging peace through war - it just doesn't work. We must make a decision to make our present happy and milk it for every bit of life and joy that we can in order to ensure a future of the same. If we deliberately choose joy, we are happy in our moment and we set a precedent for the future.
Scientist Masuru Emoto (The Hidden Messages in Water) tells us that water exposed to positive words, beautiful music and stimuli that is joyful, respond molecularly and create beautiful, healthy, vibrantly formed crystals; while those exposed to negative stimuli create malformed and fragmented water molecules. Pharmacologist Candice Pert, who studied brain biochemistry and discovered endorphins and serotonin receptors, questions the use of brain altering drugs like Prozac and Zoloft. Her research has convinced her that how we think and what we feel generates all the biochemical materials that our brain needs. She says, "We are hard—wired for bliss…our mind, body and spirit are inseparable.” Doctor Christiane Northrup (The Power of Joy) says, ". … If you do not put joy into your agenda deliberately, because it creates these biochemical changes in your brain that are so beneficial, increasing serotonin, decreasing cortisol and stress hormones, making you sleep better, all that. If you don’t do deliberately, what do you do? - You do it by default. You do it through sugar, drugs and alcohol."
As we said last week, we must mind our thoughts. This week I am encouraging you to make a deliberate choice to add joy into your moments. Listen to music that you love, watch movies that make you laugh, find something to compliment in a friend, relative, co-worker. It feels so good to compliment someone. Let's try to suck joy out of every moment. Even if you’re at a job that you don’t particularly like, find something to enjoy. When you are doing chores (to do lists seem endless these days) put on music, dance, make them joyful - this is our lives. Enjoy your children in simple moments. Time passes quickly, and if we're joyful in the moment it will impact us cellularly, biochemically and spiritually causing a happy life for ourselves and others - it is contagious.
I leave you this week not only with a quote, but also with a video that makes me happy every time I watch it. It's a true testament to one man's unmitigated joy and its worldwide contagion. The quote is from Dr. Northrup who said in one of her lectures, "Every thought you think creates a cascade of biochemical changes in your body that are measurable. And every cell in your body communicates instantly with every other cell in your body. And every cell in one of your bodies, believe it or not, communicates instantly with every cell in my body. And I’m thinking the energy shift that we do [tonight] is the best hope for…the war in Iraq, peace on the planet, cleaning up all kinds of pollution…this is the only thing that will change anything."