By: Dr. Mike Olpin
Life really is quite simple: Focus on the moments; learn from our past, and do things today that will benefit our future.
So, I ask you: What are you doing this very moment to honor these three things? Do you feel like you can focus on each moment, being present and mindful? Have you allowed yourself to heal and grow from your past (even from just a minute ago)? And, are you actively preparing yourself to have a better tomorrow?
Life really is that simple.
If life is so simple, why do we tend to make it so complicated? … As I was contemplating this, I was reminded of some basic philosophies and behaviors that can bring us back to simplicity (if we choose it).
In my training to become a yoga instructor, we spent an entire weekend discussing Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, which describes eight ways that we can live a meaningful and purposeful life (1)– including mindfulness, meditation, nonviolent thought/behavior, surrender to God, and others.
Similar teachings were brought to the forefront of my mind as I was re-reading a book on stress relief (2). I was reminded of Levels of Responding, including acceptance and gratitude (2, pg. 52); meditation; and exercise. It became more apparent that the ways to have a simple (and enjoyable/meaningful) life are being taught within many different names. I have ready a decent number of books, and I used to get so confused as I would read one type of philosophy and then another – thinking they were all saying something completely different. However, I am beginning to understand that many of the same things just have different names. Love is love even if you call it acceptance, nonviolence, allowance, or forgiveness. I was making it more complicated than it actually is.
As we strive to find meaning, purpose, and peace in this life remember, it all boils down to these simple ideas: living in the moment (mindfulness, gratitude, meditation), letting go of the past (nonviolence, surrender), and doing things now that will benefit our future (exercise, yoga, spirituality).
It really is that simple. Let’s try to keep it that way.
- The World is Not a Stressful Place, Dr. Michael Olpin