Living in ”The Now”
So, you have learned about the two main parts of your mind. Now I want to tell you about a particular state of mind.
‘’Mindfulness is like a muscle that you can build. To build it we need to become aware of something which is called Auto Pilot’’
Auto pilot is a state of mind that allows us to multitask every day.
Often we can go about our days, doing what we need to get done. Filling our time with every day necessary tasks like working, getting dressed, driving the car, eating meals or cleaning. We are doing these things without ever thinking how or why and we are still able to focus our minds on various other activities. Our senses are always on and giving us information and feedback, but when we are in a state of auto pilot, we are simply not aware of them.
”Scientists say we are in an autopilot state on average about 50% of the time we are awake”
Having this running can be both a good and bad thing. Without this function in our minds, our thoughts would be completely cluttered, and our life would be extremely difficult to live. It allows us to multitask, but most importantly it enables us to save brain power.
Auto Pilot happens when we switch off from conscious thought and we start taking actions completely unconsciously, being controlled by our subconscious.
This can become a problem if it is overused. People who over use this state of mind may develop the habit of rushing through everyday life without ever taking any notice of it. They can be rushing to get to what they perceive is the exciting stuff later.
The phrase “Live for the Weekend” comes to mind here. Let’s not forget that life happens Monday to Friday too.
When they do this, it is not possible for them to take in all the amazing things that happen to them throughout their day. This makes it much harder to acknowledge and be positive towards these moments, or smaller experiences they have in their lives which they are grateful for. With some awareness they can start to appreciate things much more. This even includes the little things and moments which happen to them on a daily basis, that may have seemed insignificant to them previously.
”Mindfulness is essentially the opposite of autopilot”
Mindography helps you to relax your mind, build more awareness of your experiences through your senses, thoughts, feelings, actions and it also aids you in controlling when to use and when not to use auto pilot.
Sometimes we all simply need to be fully present and experience life in the present moment‘’the now’’, focus on our positives, while acknowledging and accepting any negatives we may have, without any judgement.
This is an awesome video by Project Better Self’s Youtube page. It shows a great view of Autopilot.
What is being fully present or living in the now?
‘’In The Now’’ – Being Fully Present in Life
(This is one of the core features of Mindography)
Being fully present or ‘’in the now’’ is something that has also been spoken about by philosophers and theologians for millennia. It is said to be ”the ultimate state of being”. All we ever really have in life is the moment we are living right here and right now.
“We exist in an endless stream of now. Time is moving along, but we always experience time in the present moment”
Being in the now is easier to achieve once you understand a little about how your mind works. It is when you make a conscious decision not let your mind take control of your experience.
”Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” – Eckhart Tolle
When experiencing ‘’the now’’, you are not distracted by unnecessary influences which may draw your attention away from what you are doing. You are using all your senses, going with the flow and accepting what comes your way without ever trying to control it. Your mind isn’t wandering and focusing on regrets from your past or worrying or fearful towards things which may or may not happen in your future. These things do not exist in the present moment.
”The moment you are living right now.”
In the now, you are experience life, not judging or labelling it. You are aware that you are thinking and acknowledging how you are feeling, but you are not leaving these things take control how you are acting. This helps you to see situations for what they really are and not what you believe they could or should be. This helps you to enjoy these moments more.
Obviously thoughts can and will happen. The first step is to understand that these are only thoughts. Become a witness to your mind, your thoughts and your feelings. These are all separate things and do not define who you are in this moment. See thoughts enter your mind like a passing cloud and then floating away again as you move on.
- You are not your mind
- You are not your thoughts
- You are not your feelings
Thoughts are something that can happen in your mind without your control. By being a witness to how your thinking and understanding a little about how your mind works, you are separating yourself as a different being to these things.
By doing the simple act of exploring with your camera to take a photograph, you are using your conscious mind, grounding yourself to the here and now, focusing intently, not being distracted by outside influences and living in present moment.
”Wherever you are, BE ALL THERE.” – Jim Elliot
People who experience ‘’the now’’ also experience these benefits.
- Increased happiness.
- Increased life satisfaction.
- Increased Optimism
- Decreased feelings of anxiety, depression & fear.
- Better concentration and focus.
- Better execution and attention to details that matter, especially under pressure.
- Vastly improved listening and memory skills.
- Ability to distinguish what is important and what is not.
- Ability to work smarter.
- Better conflict resolution.
- More persistence and increased learning abilities.
- Wiser decision making.
’We are human beings, not human doings’’ The Dalai Lama
Following your simplified practice is how you will be mindfully focusing all of your attention in the present moment and the experience you are having while you are out with you camera.
Spend some time today practicing mindful presence in you life. Focus all your attention on the present moment, aim not to be distracted by unnecessary influences and remember if your mind wanders bring your focus back to the present moment or an anchor of your choosing.