Where Is Now?
I’ve been slowly reading a book called The Power Of Now by Echkart Tolle which surprisingly I am finding resonance with. I say surprisingly because I tend not to like spiritual concepts forced on me. I prefer to arrive at my own understanding and conclusion through introspection. But as I read this book in the small chunks of time I have here and there – which is actually better because it has allowed me time to digest, question and integrate what I’m reading – I see an emergent pattern in my life.
The times when I am most internally calm and centred are the times when I produce my best images – the times when I make my greatest intuitive leaps – the times when I am profoundly happy with what I’m doing. Yesterday it suddenly occurred to me why I love being up on the Bruce Peninsula at my family’s cottage – its the one place where I tend to lapse into this mindset easily and automatically and thus the place where I produce good work.
The essential premise of Now as I understand it – you stop thinking and existing in the future and the past. You stop obsessively planning and dreaming that things will be better when… and stop reminiscing how things in the past were great when… Instead you concentrate on this moment – now – how it feels to be here now – what you are doing now. This is a simplistic explanation but this concept in essence forces you to be present in the moment which is exactly what I need, to be calm, focused and happy about my creative work.
It is of course difficult to do, particularly when you lead a busy life with constant deadlines and crazy schedules. But, its kind of like the thin edge of a wedge. If you can find a crack where this idea can take hold it will gradually and inevitably split you wide open – I think – hasn’t exactly happened to me yet, but I am beginning to see things differently and starting to revert to a calmer state I once occupied many years ago. A state I long to re-attain – where I was calm, focused and happy. Ahhh, you caught me – reminiscing about the past.
Okay, lets just say I have been here in this state of mind/state of being before and I want to stay here now. Its a delicate balance – at least at first – but perhaps it will become second nature – like walking which took some work to master at first but eventually became second nature. This time, instead of stumbling upon this state of mind by accident, without knowing what or how to maintain it, I am methodically approaching with a clear mind on what it is and how to stay here.
Hopefully that will be enough for me to make it a permanent existence. To be calm and zen will certainly be better for my health, not to mention my artistic growth.