I bought the audio version of Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth some time ago but only listened to it over the past few days when I drove to Pennsylvania for a long weekend. It was just what I needed to hear! Tolle even suggests that that is the case: you read the book when you are ready for it. And Tolle narrated the audio version so as I navigated the car through the horrible traffic around DC, I felt like I was in a one-on-one seminar with him, listening closely, occasionally rewinding, trying to be intensely present to what he was saying.
I have had the glimmers that Tolle talks about. For instance, I find myself hurrying to finish folding the laundry and I think, “Why am I hurrying?” I slow down and just try to be there as I fold the laundry. Or, I find myself annoyed over some silly thing with my husband and I find this voice saying, “Why are you annoyed?” I have a wonderful husband who seems to already understand the notion of just being present in all you do. He works hard to grow our food and create a peaceful life for us. These glimmers, I realize, are the moments when I was most conscious.
My main issue in terms of the ego is worry: Am I working hard enough so I will be successful? What will I do for money now that the grant is over? What SHOULD I be doing right now? And, as part of that glimmer, I’ve found that if I just stop worrying and do, I get a lot done.
Right now, I am experiencing an odd sort of stress. After many years of working very hard with very little free time, I have lots of free time. Sure, I have a to do list but nothing that must be accomplished even in the next two weeks. So, I am struggling inside with this. It’s Thursday and my next job is to scrub my kitchen floor. But other people are at work, earning paychecks. Well, I did that for a long time and right now, I’m not doing that. So, that means that if I look at my schedule and upcoming events and I have time and enthusiasm for scrubbing the kitchen floor, I should do it. I don’t dwell on the past as much as I worry about the future, but for today, I am just going to try to be present in my life.