Reading Eckhart Tolle, or listening to him while I ride in my car, always brings me such insight and revelation. It seems like even though I have listened to the audiobook a few times through now, each time I hear something new and different. This week has been no exception.
This week was a particularly powerful one in terms of cracking open some old, closed off beliefs and letting them go. I feel so expanded from where I was just a few days ago, and therefore the light that I am allowing to pour in, and out of me, is extraordinary. One of the powerful thoughts for me this week was about letting go of outcomes.
I have grown up as a human being believing deeply in how things will turn out for me. That seems most common around expectations, when I have a belief that I want a person to act in a certain way, and my almost assured disappointment every time, because the person does not live up to my expectations. I set up that person, and myself, every single time. However, the other area that is an expanded version of personal expectations, is having a dream or goal in my future and doing what I think I need to do to work toward that dream or goal.
The problem isn’t in the dream or goal itself, mind you. It is perfectly okay to desire to have something come into your life and to aspire to it, or at least, get excited about it. The problem for me is in living out my moments as merely steps to that goal, doing things just for the outcome. For me to view the work that I do merely as a means to an end- whether that be for the weekend, the paycheck or both- makes it not very fulfilling and pretty tedious. So, my focus has been on NOT focusing on the fruits of my labor.
In his book “The Power of Now”, Eckhart Tolle talks about the saying “karma yoga”, which means, to be in the moment, and live your life, without regard for the outcome. In other words, to live your life without being focused on the goal, the fruits of your labor. To just live your life as is, in every moment, as fully as possible. And, because of that presence, the “fruits” will come of their own accord. Great stuff, but challenging for me on most days.
Yet, I have to say, it brings pure satisfaction to my life. On the days, and in the moments, in which I am as present as possible, rather than in it in order to get somewhere else, I feel so satisfied. When I meet with a client out in the community, and I listen to them as a fellow human being, and not as a mental health diagnosis that I have to “help” or “fix”, I feel so inspired and hopeful. When I keep releasing myself from guilt about not doing this or that, as planned, I have more fun and embrace my spontaneity. I love myself more deeply and judge myself, and others, less.
Of course, I get lots of opportunities to practice, every single day. And it is not about perfection. Yet the results that I keep getting, just by remembering as often as possible, to be present, and to catch and accept when I am not, are astounding. I feel so much more alive, connected to those around me. I can’t see what happens next.