Fitness Magazine

Week 25 Challenge - Past, Present Or Future?

By Nadine
This year I decided to challenge myself to reflect on various Yoga and Buddhist aspects throughout the year. The challenges come from a variety of places including readings in Deborah Adele's Yamas and Niyamas and Thich Nhat Hanh's Heart of the Buddha's Teaching and Happiness.
This week, I challenged myself to observe how much time I spend in the past or future, as opposed to the present moment. I knew it would be a lot but I surprised myself with some discoveries.
The past? I found I spend time in the past in one of two ways. I relive a discussion but take an alternate route. Sort of like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books I read when I was young. I redo a conversation with a different outcome. Definitely not a productive use of my time.
The other way I spend time in the past is actually both past and future. I envision a conversation in the future where I'm telling someone about a story in my past. Do you follow that convoluted path? Well entrenched in both the future and the past, but definitely not the present.
The future? I definitely spend more time there, certainly in both the instances noted above but also just imagining different scenarios and conversations. And a lot of it is work-related (office work, not Yoga work).
So what do I do about it? Well, I've found this week that when I'm off on a work tangent, I ask myself the simple question "are you at work now"? Since the answer is inevitably "no", I let the work thoughts go. It's been helpful, but I think it will take a lot of practice to let go of that habit.
I also had an interesting discovery. I spend a fair amount of time reading fiction each day. I always thought of it as an escape from the present moment. However, what I've realized is that it is instead an escape from the thoughts in my head. And much of the time that means letting go of being stuck in the past or future. Therefore, even though the book really brings me into a different world, I've felt it to be an improvement over where my head was generally before I started reading.
Next week is the half-way mark for the year (Week 26). However, I'm also taking a break from blogging for about 1.5 weeks after my upcoming Tuesday post. Therefore, I won't blog my 26th week of the challenge. But I will be evaluating the challenge, what my original direction was, where it's gone and any shifts I want to make in the challenge for the last half of the year.

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