This book is the ultimate guide to extreme and absolute presence, or if I'm going to go with the buzzword of the decade - mindfulness. And I cannot deny that being 100% in the present moment feels pretty much like an impossibility for me to do, in fact most of the time it feels downright wrong, neglectful and lazy to do. And that is only because I have been so conditioned to pay attention to external things and concentrate on the next thing that is coming or drawing from my past, that I have actually spent hardly any time at all in the actual moment that I was in at any given time. And not only that, but I have also been conditioned to identify myself based on my inability to be in the moment and therefore have limited my true potential. Sounds complex I know, but it all does make sense, so let me break it down for you.
When your thoughts are concerned in the present only you will experience the following:
- Increased awareness of what is happening.
- Strong and focused attention to tasks.
- More enjoyment of life pleasures.
- An ability to perceive without judgement - knowing that you don't have to label or identify.
- An ability to step back from your emotions and observe them.
- A realisation of your potentials.
- Openness, curiosity and acceptance.
- Autopilot reactions to situations based on habits.
- Poor attentional control.
- A flippant and non-appreciative attitude to life pleasures.
- Reliving past experiences and projecting them into your future endeavours.
- Labelling and judging things as good or bad, right or wrong.
- Your brain emotionally hijacking your responses.
- Neglect of your potential.
- A limiting attitude.
What worked best for me was accepting that all of the moments behind me were truly and completely finished. Nothing that I can do now will ever alter the past from what it is or change the past from what it is, so worrying about it or revisiting it internally is both pointless and futile. The past is utterly and completely unchangeable.
The future on the other hand is totally unwritten which means that any thoughts that I have about how it should look or what it should be like are based in complete fiction. Allowing myself to create an illusion about my future is not harnessing my ability to make things happen right now and it is only offering a point of reference that I will feel tethered to completing and if I don't, then I will feel disappointed and pained by my shattered illusions.
No matter how you look at, all we ever really get to have is here and now. This moment and only this moment, nothing more and nothing less than that. By focusing less on your past and worrying less about your future, you will free your thinking and liberate your life from guilt and expectation, which is where most of our disappointments about life occur. Start slowly, try to stop multitasking and give your full attention to one task at a time when you can, get out in nature and think about nothing but where you are and what you are doing for the entire time that you are out. Also, try to bring yourself to the current moment whenever you can, like when you are driving, eating a meal or taking a shower, don't do those things on autopilot or while you're thinking about other things, but instead fully immerse yourself in whatever you are doing 100%. Everytime that you allow yourself be more present in the moment, the better that you will get at it, and before long every moment will be filled with unlimited potential and joy.
But you don't have to take my or Eckhart Tolle's word for it, try it for yourself and see where it takes you, besides you know that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from giving it a go.
Release Date: 1988
Running Time: 168 mins
This movie really fascinated me. Directed by Luc Besson, this French language film is a fictionalised recount of the lives of two contemporary champion free divers: Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca. There is a mystical and incredibly beautiful element to the film that is both visually and emotionally pleasing; filmed in stunning exotic locations across the globe including the French Antibes, the Greek Islands, Peru and Taormina in Sicily, it is easy to see why The Big Blue went onto become a cult classic.
Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo (Jean Reno) have known each other since childhood, sharing the same passion for freediving. As adults, Jacques has an almost dolphin like ability to stay under the water for unprecedented lengths of time, and Enzo has since gone on to become the freediving world champion. Eventually the two men meet up again to determine who really is the best free diver, with both men pushing themselves into extremely dangerous territory.
Jean-Marc Barr is insanely beautiful as the mystical character Jacques, Jean Reno is excellent as Enzo and Rosanna Arquette does a decent job of portraying Jean-Marc's fictionalised girlfriend Johana, but her role essentially feels like it was just created to add more punch to the possibility of Jacques being more than just human.
This is a visual feast for your eyes, the underwater cinematography is utterly captivating and the sound of the sea will stay with you for days after. Let the ocean sweep you away, watch it in the dark on a big screen, and delight!
FINAL SAY: You go down to the bottom of the sea, where the water isn't even blue anymore, where the sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the silence.
3.5 Chilli Peppers