I love to plan and schedule and then stress over the plan and schedule. It's a sickness. I know it's a good thing to have a plan and a set schedule but it can get out of control. That's where I'm at.
I find myself on the yoga mat thinking about the time and my to-do list and calculating how much time I'll need to get each thing done. It's so frustrating and frankly, a horrible way to live.
I am a huge believer of living in the moment. In fact, it's my number one daily practice simply because I find it so difficult. My brain is so active and it wants to plan, it wants to be prepared.
Planning is my default brain mode. Sometimes I am not even aware I'm doing it, that's when it's most dangerous. It's a signal that I am deeply rooted in my ego mind and generally everything I do from that place is going to be sub-par and half-assed.
Since I am an expert on recognizing and living with this affliction, I have devised a list of ways to extricate myself from the clutches of my ego.
1. Notice the ego.
This is huge. If you can see the pattern developing, you are actually seeing the ego at work. The minute you notice it, stop and breathe. Focus on the breath and ask yourself...What am I doing now? Is it necessary to be planning at this very moment? Most of the time it's not. Most of the time you are doing another task that requires your full attention. Divert your attention to the task at hand.
2. Repeat a mantra.
Sometimes diverting your attention doesn't work. Your ego will tell you all sorts of stories, such as, If you don't worry about it and plan for it, no one else will. Or the best one: If I could just figure this out then I won't have to worry anymore.
So generally I like to tell my ego (in a very nice way): life is right in front of me in this very moment and if you don't mind I'd like to live it, so go away.
Or even a more simpler mantra: Life is now.
Repeat as necessary.
3. Take care of the worry.
Sometimes but usually not often, the worry is something you can take care of immediately. If this the case, DO IT! This is the fastest way to eliminate stress. All too often, we fall into patterns of letting things slide especially if the task is unpleasant. The easiest and fastest way to get rid of the worry in this case is to simply attend to the problem. Once you do, you will feel a thousand times better.
4. Engage in the moment fully.
Whatever you are doing, do it with presence. Check in with your body and your breath. Be mindful of every action and be aware of every sense. It will literally transform the experience and your life. String together lots of these fully present moments and you've got yourself a fabulous life.
These simple tools can dramatically shift your time here on earth. And let's face it, there is a limit for us all. Why not engage in every moment as fully as we can? It's time we all experience life as it is, right NOW.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.