Hello, beautiful friend,
I am curious, how do you find yourself this day?
I myself have been wholly distracted this morning; it was a task to get myself to sit down and get to work!
Not because I didn’t want to show up and commit to my morning practice, studies and ultimately this post being shared, but rather because I was allowing myself to become caught up in what was coming next in the day.
I couldn’t be completely in the moment with the task at hand because my mind was occupied elsewhere, jumping ahead of itself, concerned with a future commitment way before it was necessary to engage with it.
Do you ever notice yourself doing this too?
Or perhaps it is more that your mind replays past events, over and over on loop, which, of course, has the same affect … it pulls us out of being fully engaged with right now.
Do you ever feel that you are seemingly concerned with the present activity or interaction, and yet there is a sub text, a narrative running in the background of your mind?
“By uniting my will with that of my creator, I naturally remembered spirit and its real purpose.”
- A Course In Miracles
For most of us, we are not going to be disappearing off into the wilderness, or meditating full time in a cave, we are navigating living fully here and now, to the best of our abilities, amongst life’s myriad of potential distractions.
It takes being fully committed to the practice of training ourselves to return to this moment, where the past and future cannot exist. Especially if we have families, careers, relationships and a whole host of other pulls on our attention.
So, I found myself navigating this well beaten track this morning.
And now, with a freshly brewed coffee, the diffuser billowing its calming scent of Frankincense and my favourite classical music playing in the background, I am here. With you. Present. Phew!
I have been enjoying this process of studying a systematic course day by day. It feels like a beautiful bright and bold anchor for me in amongst the fluctuations of my life.
As a woman who enjoys living flow, spontaneous and responsive, it is a way of exploring myself afresh, within the parameters of the course material. And so far, unusually, I am not feeling confined by the process.
As I reflect upon this, I realise it is because of the way I am sharing the journey with you. The course material provides the structure, the riverbanks, and the process of writing in this manner and sharing it with you via my website and social media gives me the creative freedom that lights me up so.
This brings me to today’s lesson, Lesson 8 of A Course In Miracles.
My mind is occupied with past thoughts.
“The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions.”
- A Course In Miracles
On page 13 of the companion study book for ACIM it asks us to sit with closed eyes for a minute three to four times today, to examine our thoughts, as we have done in previous exercises.
In this process we simply observe the thoughts we are having and name them clearly in this manner:
I seem to be thinking about _____________________.
I seem to be thinking about [name of person], about [name of object], about [name of an emotion].
But my mind is occupied with past thoughts.
We practice with our eyes closed as this is an inner journey of discovery, we can understand with direct experience, that as we cast our minds eye upon any of these thoughts that we may indeed see them clearly as images in our minds, of course with our eyes closed we know that these thoughts are not true, no matter how vivid the thought is in picture and detail, because it is not in our surroundings.
I hope this makes sense!
We also know, through the various fields of study, practice and thought, that if we can see it in our minds and have an emotional response to it, our mind doesn’t know that difference between reality and imagination, therefore, our nervous system fires off as if the event is actually happening in this moment, even if it is a replay of a past event.
For example, if we have had the actual experience of being chased by a Saber Toothed Tiger and we replay the event later in life, our whole body/mind/nervous system will fire off as if it is a real event in current time.
When we are on a healing journey it is imperative that we do the inner work, and train our selves to return to the present moment, to calm our nervous systems and create a new platform for the onwards journeying of our souls in this physical embodiment.
I believe that if we focus on the past, then we are at risk of recreating that same set of circumstances in our future. Which is absolutely fine if that is what we desire! If not, then we can recreate our next experiences at the level of imagination, emotions and energy.
With my love for you, and for who you are in becoming!