The secret to happiness is being able to enjoy the moment.
Elisha Goldstein systematically teaches how to find clarity in his book, The NOW Effect: How this Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life. Using these same techniques described in his book, Goldstein was able to escape a life of addictions. He gained peace and a sense of control in his life.
We have thoughts, but we are not our thoughts. We have feelings, but we are not our feelings. We have bodily sensation, but we are not our bodies. Viktor Frankl noticed, "In-between stimulus and response there is a space." Whether you call it a "space", a self, or the soul, one thing is certain: There is a being collaborating with these systems.
When you believe your thoughts as facts, you are letting your thoughts control you. When you fear your feelings or bodily pain will over take you so you try to numb or hide from them, you are letting your feelings and body control you. You are then on autopilot.
In moments of clarity, you are able to separate yourself from your feelings, thoughts, and sensations. You are able to be aware of them, notice them, and accept them. Then something magical happens-- you are able to choose what to do next. Goldstein calls this a "choice point."
Did you know imagining doing something changes your brain as if you actually did it? Creepy and cool...
Through meditation and mindfulness practice you can grow the parts of your brain that can soothe the body, quiet the mind, and roll with the feelings. Research shows meditation increases good feelings and anti-bodies, which means you get sick less frequently.
Life was a little sweeter for me this week. I was kinder and more playful after trying out the mindfulness techniques. I plan to keep this a regular practice.
So, what's to lose? Get mindful and find the freedom of choosing your reactions to life.
Check out "The Now Effect" on YouTube for some free guided meditations.
Stephanie Patterson, M.S., LMFT
Located downtown San Luis Obispo and downtown Atacadero, CA