The Power of Now

Looking back on a piece I wrote many years ago, and feeling it still holds water. 

Who am I, you, they, etc.? Human being, spiritual being, student, teacher, Mom, Elder, storyteller, fire builder, garden worker.

Recently, I came to a space in my life that I had long waited for. Like a second chance to make things right with my loved ones, be at home in my body, be blissful, be at peace with my particular situation.

At the moment, I am enjoying living that manifestation of the NOW. 

This brings to mind all the pain involved in the waiting process. Waiting for something to give, someone to appear, a certain situation to arise, waiting for the energy to bring about change. 

I thought about this a lot, remembering waiting for something when 9 years old and was told I had to wait 3 years to be a Girl Scout, which seemed like a lifetime to me, a third of my life.

Then, waiting for my body to catch up with all my girlfriends to be a woman. Then, waited to finish education, meet someone, have a relationship, have kids; the list goes on and on. 

If one is not waiting for change, one is looking back and regretting or enjoying nostalgia.

Apparently, we are masters at fitting ourselves into the pain mold, and even better at avoiding the joys of being present in the NOW.

Have you heard of Eckhart Tolle? His name has come up lately in several conversations with friends, so I had a reread. He wrote a book a while back called The Power of Now.

He was quite popular for a spell (and still is) due to his New Age revelations of spiritual awakening and the process of living in the NOW without pain attached to the past and the waiting game. He presents a method of self-observation and behavioral realignment.

Here is what he says about time and space:

“Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past: the little me and its story. This false self is never happy or fulfilled for long. Its normal state is one of unease, fear, insufficiency, and nonfulfillment. It says it looks for happiness, and yet it continuously creates conflict and unhappiness. In fact, it needs conflict and enemies to sustain the sense of separateness that ensures its continued survival. Look at all the conflict between tribes, nations, and religions. They need their enemies because they provide the sense of separateness on which their collective ego depends. (This sounds like a particular political figure.) 

The false self lives mainly through memory and anticipation. Past and future are its main preoccupation. The present moment, at best, is a means to an end, a stepping stone to the future, because the future promises fulfillment, the future promises salvation in one form or another. The only problem is the future never comes. 

Life is always now.

Whatever happens, whatever you experience, feel, think, do – it’s always now. It’s all there is. And if you continuously miss the now – resist it, dislike it, try to get away from it, reduce it to a means to an end, then you miss the essence of your life, and you are stuck in a dream world of images, concepts, labels, interpretations, judgments – the conditioned content of your mind that you take to be yourself.

And so you are disconnected from the fullness of life. When you are out of alignment with what is, you are out of alignment with life. You are struggling to reach a point in the future where there is greater security, aliveness, abundance, love, joy.”

Food for thought.

I cannot claim my experience has been as Mr. Tolle describes. Certainly, there are moments of conflict, doubt, etc. However, these moments pass easier with less pain attached to them.

One thing is for sure, reactions stem from FEAR or LOVE. You can decide next time the stuff hits the fan; where is this (stuff)coming from? Fear being negative, possessive, fearful… or love, being positive and all the good (stuff.)

For the most part, I am content to be in the moment. I have waited a LONG time for its coming.

Thanks, Eckhart.


  • Krystal Frost

    Krystal earned a degree in Asian Medicine from the University of Guadalajara, then Bastyr University for an acupuncture specialty, and has served our community since 2004. She has written a health column for the Mirror for over 20 years. Many thanks to my readers over two decades!

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