What’s In Your Litter Box?

letting go of the past to embrace the present

An acquaintance of mine once told me that if you have one foot in the present and one in the past you are dumping on your present. When you break it all down you find that the past no longer exists that is because well… it’s passed. There is nothing you can bring from your past except an experience to learn from. The future too does not exist either and focusing too much on future based thinking can create fear and dread. The Dalai Lama once said “it is not death that man fears so much but, what happens afterwards” and nobody know for sure what happens. That is the kind of future based thinking that keeps us stuck and diminishes the perfection of living in the now. Once you begin to allow yourself to live in the exact present without worrying about your future or dwelling on your past the world begins to unfold before your very eyes like a beautiful blooming lotus. Think about clinging to the railing as you ascend the stairs. As you arrive at the top what would happen if you didn’t let go of the rails? You would stay stuck at the top and never reach your destination. One rail is the future and one is he past. Just let go.

We all carry baggage from our past; our failures, blunders and occasions that were so good we believe they will never be better. I call this the litter box. It is time to scoop out what is in that litter box and create a fresh start. Here are a few tips on letting go of the past and living in the present.

Know your options. There are only three options when it comes to resolving the past. Remove from your memory, make amends and change it, or accept it and move on. Throw it away. If there is something in your little box that is particularly stinky, embrace it feel if fully and then throw it away and flush.

Eckhart Tolle once said “Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.” Allow yourself to let go of the worries of the past and the dread of the future and embrace the positive right here, right now.

Replace your thoughts. Notice when you begin thinking about something that takes you out of the present moment. Then shift your thought process to something more pleasant such as a new passion, hobby or habit.

Immerse yourself in a group activity. Enjoying the people in your life may help put your problems in perspective.

Use meditation or yoga to bring yourself into the present moment.

Learn a new skill or hobby and never dwell skills you never mastered.

Make a list of your accomplishments and add to it daily.

Get physical. Exercise decreases stress in your mind and body as well as increasing endorphins, chemicals that make you feel good and in the present.

Focus all your energy on things you can control, instead of focusing on things you can’t.

Identify past blunders or joys and celebrate what the experience taught you.

Ink it. Write everything you want to express in a letter. Then burn it.

Laugh it out. Laughter is completely based in the present. Research shows further that laughter soothes tension, improves your immune system, and even eases pain. Break out a joke book, watch some funny videos on YouTube and start the chuckle.

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