We can’t avoid any of the three kinds of moments, but we can learn to get the balance right so that we are living more in the present moments of possibilities and less in the passive and painful moments.
We can learn how to this with a clear road map and much practice.
The three kinds of moments are:
- Present moments in which I am fully awake and choosing how to live.
- Painful moments riddled with tension, second guessing myself, and wishing things were different.
- Passive moments in which I am distracted or tempted by trivialities.
It helps to realize that none of these are good or bad. They are all part of life.
Painful moments cannot be avoided, although I am concerned that more and more people are trying to avoid the painful moments by spending too much time in the passive moments—distracting themselves. But, ultimately, if I spend too much time in the passive moments I will create another kind of pain—a life without meaning.
Passive moments are necessary, in part, to give us a respite from the painful moments. Sometimes, we just need a break, we need to distract ourselves. But if we do this too often, before we know it two or three decades have passed by and we find ourselves asking, “Where has my life gone?”
When we live in the present moments of possibilities life slows down. Each experience, each day becomes fuller and more satisfying. Living in the present moment of possibilities reduces anxiety, mind chatter, and wasting our precious energy. It is a salve for much of our suffering.
Living in the present moments of possibility requires us to stop labeling moments as good or bad, and instead, recognize how to value each moment for what it offers. Painful moments offer lessons and growth. Passive moments offer opportunities for contemplation and making choices that reinforce our deeply held values.
How to be in the present moments
That’s the question, “How do I spend more time in the present moments of possibilities?” If this subject interests you please click here to read the full-length article. But in short, the key is to realize that our moments are created based on the ways in which we make meaning—the ways in which we interpret the events in our lives.
Most people never think much about how they make meaning. It’s not something we were formally taught. We just adopt our ways of making meaning—from our parents, surroundings, teachers, and yes, the counselors we choose to work with.
I’ll share with you one example of a way of making meaning that mostly produces painful moments. It is based on the belief that other people make me feel the way I feel. They make me feel sad or mad, inadequate or judged. And this is the most common model in our culture. You can hear it when people speak. They say things like, “You make me so angry.” “You disappointed me.”
But this is not the truth. It is just one way of making meaning. In the world of Reology we don’t make meaning in this way, we don’t believe that other people make us feel good or bad. We believe that we make ourselves feel however we feel. As soon as we switch to interpreting events through this lens we experience fewer painful moments—far fewer.
Instead, we experience more present moments of possibility, because we realize that, “I am making myself feel however I feel, and I am also in a position to make myself feel another way.” The locus of control is within me. With practice I can learn to determine how I feel—moment by moment. As soon as I take responsibility for my emotions, rather than believing that other people are responsible for how I feel, I immediately feel more in control of my life.
The quality of our lives is a direct result of how we make meaning. Reology is a method for realizing and remembering that we are making up meaning—of everything that happens—moment by moment. This very realization brings us into the present moment of possibilities.
Would you like to live in the present moments of possibility? Many people say “yes,” but when they realize this means giving up blaming other people and self-victimization, they say “no” to the present moments of possibility. Saying “yes” leads to one extraordinary moment after another.
If you want to learn more about how to live in the present moment of possibilities, visit our website and download any of our free articles. The foundation of Reology is learning a different way to speak, one that brings us into the present and wakes us up.