By Dr. Eric Perry, PhD
Image Credit: Pixabay
“There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” ~Anonymous
What if all we are is a fleeting and fragile physical manifestation of our thoughts; unconnected floating ideas that bind together to form the physical representation of your self and the world you live in?
The moment of complete awareness of the self is a sacred one that should not be wasted in anguish and confusion. Every moment is an opportunity to be fully aware and reconnect with your living force. One can create these moments of reconnection by pausing for any amount of time during the day and fully engaging in your self. Rushing through your days in a caffeinated trance will leave you feeling empty and mourning the loss of your day. The next day may start with you feeling at an anima deficit which will spiral into a feeling of playing catch up in your life. The culmination of this trance-like existence will be waking up when the credits of your life are playing. You might be left wondering, “What was it all about?”
This does not have to be the script of your life. Learn to pause and take in what is going on in your world. Take a moment now. Pause, take a breath and embrace the space around you. Take an inventory of your thoughts and how you are feeling. These occasional mental timeouts will allow you to disconnect from autopilot and take the controls of your life. Being truly aware and engaged in your life may result in you feeling every bump in the road of life, but see this as confirmation that you are living and experiencing everything life has to offer.
I take a pause at every available opportunity. The usual silence and solitude of an elevator offer me instant refuge from the world. The small elevator space instantly becomes a temple of sorts. This forced pause gives me a moment to acknowledge how I am feeling and lets me reconnect with self. Often times, if others are in the elevator, I notice there are some who are not as comfortable with the quietness and may try to engage in conversation in order to break what may be the perceived loud silence of the elevator. I wonder what would happen if they reframed their discomfort of the elevator and chose to see it as a small sacred place where they can be in silent communion with a group of strangers.
There is a fascinating study by John-Dylan Haynes, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany that questions the consciousness of our decision making. The results of this study suggest that your brain makes up its mind up to ten seconds before you realize it. By looking at brain activity while making a decision, the researchers were able to predict the choice people would make before they themselves were even aware of having made a decision. According to Frank Tong, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, “The results are quite dramatic since ten seconds is a lifetime in terms of brain activity.”
This illuminating study challenges the idea of how conscious we are when we are making decisions throughout the day. It suggests that our brains are making decisions before we have any conscious awareness of what is taking place. Perhaps, the brain is acting on autopilot and is only waiting for us to disengage from it and take over. The next time you are faced with a decision, pause and reflect on your choices. By actively practicing being fully present in your life you can shed the chrysalis-stage of your existence and begin to live a full and rewarding life.
I hope you enjoyed this article. I would love to hear your thoughts and insight on this topic in the comments section below. This article is meant for educational purposes only.
The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a therapeutic relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a mental health professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific mental health questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology
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