Living in the Present Moment

Many of us have heard the expression “living in the present moment” or “living in the Now.” Spiritual teachers tell us to treat each moment like it’s our only one in existence. Eckhart Tolle teaches that living in the present moment means having awareness and presence in our current reality. Edgar Cayce discusses how we can implement this concept into our every day lives on a regular basis.

In the “Edgar Cayce Companion” book Edgar talks about how in order not to be swayed by uncertainties that come our way, and as we all know life can be very unpredictable, we need to contain an unshifting ideal. What he is not referring to is a set belief on how things should or shouldn’t be. In the book “Courage, the Joy of Living Dangerously” the author, Osho teaches that when you function out of assumptions the conclusion protects you. There is a big difference between a conclusion and an ideal. When one comes to a set conclusion about his reality it gives him security, safety and establishes a well defined comfort zone. A comfort zone is the egoic mind believing that it is a separate entity. The illusion of believing that we are separate identities causes us to find something to latch onto whether it’s a certain image, status, money…etc.

Edgar Cayce refers to an ideal that will always exist no matter how high the tide. For Osho it was the courage to function without conclusions which instilled in him the power to be alive, open and spontaneous. Edgar doesn’t specify which ideal he’s talking about because he wants you to find it in yourself. He holds very high beliefs on the notion that “Direction must come from Within.” It’s inevitable that the more we are aligned with our higher self-our piece of the Source, the more we will want to merge with the source of which that piece came from. What comes with that is feeling the connection with the rest of the universe as they are all pieces of the same Source. In essence, living in the moment means to attain the awareness of feeling a closer connection with your higher self. This will manifest in increased appreciation for all internal and external circumstances that surround you at that very moment. So why do so many of us find it so difficult to live in the present moment? Edgar Cayce explains it best: “the individuality of a soul must be lost in the personality of God.” The ironic part is that the more we become individuated and trust in our innate natures via our intuition via our piece of the Source the more we practice “dvekut” which is the Kabbalistic word for becoming one with Source.

We live in this world to develop the capabilities of being able to discern between forces and energies that can either shift us towards our Higher Self or away from it. Once we master the power of discernment and choose to follow our intuition then we inevitably merge back with the Source that we came from and that we essentially are. It has been said in every religion that the meaning behind this game we call life is to will our way back to our original Oneness by the powers of choice and discernment. In its totality our souls will only become One again after fully realizing and being conscious of what being One is not. It is through experiencing the reality of opposites that we are here to fully appreciate exactly what it’s contrasting in the vastness of time, space and limited conditions.

Living in the present moment is appreciating and recognizing something for the first time like you’ve never done before. If we think of the word “appreciation” it bestows the message of receiving a new found level of awareness resulting in the feeling of gratitude. If we think about leaving our comfort zone in order to live in the present moment it can feel scary for us because it is a form of forsaking our established identities. But if we realize that living in the moment is actually connecting back to our true core nature, that which we really are, then we can readily shift to this new paradigm of perception.

We are exactly where we are supposed to be right now at this very moment even if we are not living in the present moment. The world gives us several opportunities to rediscover ourselves through the reality of opposites. This is a crucial time to ask ourselves what our intent is behind everything we do. Honesty and the right intentions can help us shift to a state of higher consciousness, or in other words, of living in the present moment.

Negotiation Tip of the Week “Negotiation Wins And Value Are In Your Mind”

“Negotiation Wins And Value Are In Your Mind”

You win a negotiation in your mind based on the value you assign to the outcome.

We give meaning to what occurs to us and we act accordingly. Thus, if we say we won something we’re usually filled with the ecstasy of victory. If, on the other hand, we sense a loss, we find ourselves filled with regret, dread, or even fear. In the latter case, we don’t feel like we came away with the maximum outcome we could have achieved. To the degree we find ourselves obsessing over what we deem a loss in the negotiation, we may attempt to unravel the agreement or worse, just not abide by the agreement.

To the point, while you’re in a state of evaluating to what degree you won or lost the negotiation, the other negotiator is assessing the same sentiments. Thus, if she has a sensation of loss, she too may be considering how she’ll atone for the position she’s in.

In your negotiations, always consider the value perspective the other negotiator has per the value she sees in the outcome of the negotiation. You should go out of your way to make sure she sees the value in the outcome for her side and she perceives the outcome to be fair and equitable. If that sense is not prevalent, you could be laying the groundwork for the reopening of the negotiation.

Here are a few things you can do to assure the perception of value is embedded in your negotiations.

  1. Let the other negotiator know that you respect the time and effort that she’s committing to reach an amicable outcome; emphasize amicable. If done in the beginning of the negotiation, such a perspective will send a subliminal message that she’ll surmise to mean you’ll be fair. That will set the grounds for a less cautious negotiation on her behalf.
  2. Early in the negotiation, give her a concession/point that she had not expected. Be mindful not to make it too great a concession or one that will place you in a disadvantaged position. The goal is to show in action the words you stated in number 1 above.
  3. At the conclusion of the negotiation, thank her for the agreement that you’ve reached. Then, ask for her honest opinion per her level of satisfaction with the outcome. Don’t be fearful of opening Pandora’s Box. If you are fearful of doing so, tell her that you’re not opening the possibility of renegotiating, you just want to make sure she’s happy with the outcome, and be pleasant (i.e. smile on your face) as you do so. If she says she’d like to have had ‘X’, you can state that you’d like to have had ‘Y’.

Even when you don’t achieve the expected value and outcome you sought from the negotiation, the world won’t come to an end. If you look for the gains you’ve made you’ll find some to be thankful for. So, in your future negotiations, look for that degree of insight you gained from having gone through your prior negotiation and seek the benefits from it that’ll add value to your next negotiation. Be it ever so minute, that will be your value from having engaged in the prior negotiation. That will also be the platform upon which you will enhance your negotiation abilities… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

As Soon As the Spiritual Opportunity Presents Itself to You, Seize It!

Over the years you come across sayings that you jot down on a piece of paper, or even worse, forget to note, and later wish you had as you cannot remember or recall them accurately.

When it comes to spiritual sayings and spirituality this is very true.

In many places there has been such a dramatic change in the Church of Jesus Christ that these words take on a new and apposite application. Instead of preaching the good news that sinners can be made righteous in Christ, and escape the wrath to come, the gospel has degenerated into the pretext that we can be happy in Christ and escape the hassles of life. In some places where there is ‘preaching’ that can be the impressions given and it is not only misleading but spiritually highly dangerous.

Keep looking up, with your face down. How relevant a word that can be. No matter how hard your walk in life is, if we keep looking up and looking to the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ, we will discover the help and strength just whenever we need it. Thousands have discovered that to be so true over the centuries.

I recall hearing, or did I read it somewhere, that one day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord.Moody’s reply was “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The lady replied, “I don’t do it.” Moody responded “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”

Do we not always find that there are those who are so willing to criticise but so reluctant to speak and witness to Christ and testify as to how they were ‘born again’. Of course, they may never have experienced that essential spiritual necessity of being ‘born again’. Jesus spoke about it three times within a few sentences.

Joy is the by-product of obedience, and yes that is true, but only partially true. There are many thousands of disciples of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, being persecuted for their faith in these present days, and I know not what type of joy they have as they endure such hardship and pain and separation from family and fellowship. How would I react in such a scenario? The thought of how poorly I might respond can cause me to tremble.

My greatest thought is my accountability to God, and again that is true and yet it is not fully and wholly true. Yes, one day I will be accountable to God for every word I have preached, taught and written, but there are moments when I tend to forget that spiritual responsibility and that can cause another wave of trembling. We have to be honest!

Then I recall coming across these words and again they are partially true but not the whole truth. The Christian life is an impossible one and it isn’t for everyone. You must enter through the narrow where you must leave everything behind and be stripped naked of yourself. You must get rid of your pride. Many so-called Christians are on the wide road leading to destruction. They may have all the outward signs of being a Christian as they go to church, serve, read the Bible, pray, but there is no inward change of repentance. Ah but God may be preparing these very people for something great in His glorious kingdom.

We never know what lies ahead of us but it is always best to seize the spiritual opportunity whenever we can. As soon as you see the light of God in Christ, seize it.

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children’s Panel in Scotland. He has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, 12 visits to Israel, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya.