On Becoming Aware and Present

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In 2008, I participated in a ten-part series presented by Oprah Winfrey and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. Oprah and Eckhart took millions of viewers on a chapter-by-chapter journey through A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Eckhart’s seminal work).

Their intention: To teach viewers how to focus and become more aware and present.

Since that time, I have reread A New Earth several times and also picked up Eckhart Tolle’s other book, The Power of Now. I highly recommend both books.

Whenever Oprah hosts Eckhart on Super Soul Sunday, I make a point of watching and taking notes. I was inspired and entertained by the following interview segment from the November 12, 2012 broadcast:

Oprah: How do you accept an unpleasant situation, if change is not possible?

Eckhart: You must accept a situation, even if change is not possible. The basis for effective enlightenment is to come in alignment with the present situation. When you accept the “isness” of life, greater intelligence arises. If you are angry and resist the unpleasant situation, you will remain stuck in it.

Oprah: How do you calm the voice in your head?

Eckhart: This question implies you know that your mind can’t stop. This is a good first step. Take the energy away from these thoughts, by asking yourself if you can feel the energy in your hands. Wait and you will feel it. Then move to your legs and other body parts. The inner body serves as a wonderful anchor for a sense of presence. This allows you to be distracted from your other thoughts.

Oprah: How does one clear the mind of bad memories?

Eckhart: Recognize that these memories are thoughts only in your head. They are not realities because they have already happened.

Oprah: How do you have fun?

Eckhart: I enjoy the present moment wherever I am and that’s fun for me.

Oprah: Are you happy?

Eckhart: I am in a state of peaceful aliveness.

Oprah: What do you believe in?

Eckhart: I believe in nothing in particular. LOL

Oprah: What are you grateful for?

Eckhart: I am grateful for always this moment…the now, no matter what form it takes.


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In the Final Stretch

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Tomorrow is the last day of the NaNoWriMo challenge. While some of us have achieved (and maybe even surpassed 50K words), others are in the final stretch, working hard to reach that final goal. Wherever you are on the NaNoWriMo journey, take some time to have a three-minute laughter vacation.


In Praise of Absurdity

Today is National Absurdity Day, a day created to celebrate ridiculous historical events, have fun, or let all the silliness out. Whatever you decide will be fine since you are celebrating a day devoted to absurdity.

But if you’re struggling with this concept or needing inspiration…

Here are 10 quotes extolling absurdity:

Some stories have to be written because no one would believe the absurdity of it all. Shannon L. Alder

Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable. Albert Camus

In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
Miguel de Cervantes

Be not afraid of absurdity; do not shrink from the fantastic. Within each dilemma, choose the most unheard-of, the most dangerous solution. Be brave, be brave.
Isak Dinesen

The world stands on absurdities, and without them perhaps nothing at all would happen. Fyodor Dostoevsky

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. Albert Einstein

My turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd point of view, that it breaks out in spite of me every now and then. Lord Byron

Never underestimate the healing power of silliness and absurdity. Steve Maraboli

A prophet or an achiever must never mind an occasional absurdity. It is an occupational risk. Oswald Morley

That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another. Adlai E. Stevenson