“Stay in the present” – For a long time I’ve heard this phrase and kind of understood it, but couldn’t really appreciate its significance. How can I stay in the present when my mind is always planted firmly in the future? If it’s not fixated on “what’s next”, it’s lamenting on the past. I’m either thinking of past experiences to help me handle present situations, or I’m pondering my next move. For almost 30 years, my present was dedicated to the past and the future. The result of this was that my mind was never where I was at the moment. People never received my full attention. My children never received my full attention. A beautiful day never received my full attention. I would go down to the lake where the scenery is breathtakingly stunning and think to myself, “One day I’m going to live in a place like this and come here every day.” – The funny thing is that I live here and I go there almost every day! Even in beauty, I was looking ahead to better beauty. Thinking about the future served me well for some time but I knew deep down that this was no way to live. Then the realization came: The past and future do not exist. The past can only exist when you think about it, and you can only think about the past in the present. The future also doesn’t exist because that too can only be experienced in the present. When tomorrow comes, it will be your present moment. The only thing we have is the present moment. Honoring the present is the only thing you really have in your control, everything else is illusory. This may be hard to accept for some, but it is an undeniable truth. But I can tell you that my life has felt more alive and miraculous when I remove thought, and honor the present moment with my full attention. When thought about past and future is removed, an inexplicable, deeper intelligence is allowed to enter and operate when you plant yourself in the present. Suddenly, things just seem to work out. On the surface, some of your experiences start off seemingly terrible and chaotic, but that’s just the beginning of an eventual positive change. Surrender yourself to the present moment and allow everything to play out. Your past is meaningless because it does not define you unless you want it to. Your past has absolutely no influence on your future; and the only thing that affects your future is your present. Life is not in the past, nor is it in the future. The present moment is life itself. Stay in the present.
“Eating clean” is simply the practice of eating foods that are good for you while eliminating the ones that are not. In other words, healthy eating. There are varying degrees of clean eating so the challenge for most people is finding the right balance between eating foods that they know are good for them, while still being able to eat meals that they enjoy. In an ideal world, we would love and crave all the healthy stuff but that’s not the case. Here are some easy tips to help you start your clean eating journey:
1) Avoid processed foods of all kinds. Clean foods are usually rich in nutrients so it’s not surprising the cleanest foods are raw vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy and lean meat. If it comes in a box or a can then don’t get it. With regard to tuna, I would say that this might be the only exception, but you should ideally buy it fresh. Check out this great article on ten weird and gross ingredients in processed food – Ever ate beaver anal glands, fertilizer or crushed bugs? The answer is: PROBABLY :/
2) Eat food with fewer ingredients. Try not to purchase foods that have more than 3-6 ingredients in the ingredient list. And be sure you recognize each and every ingredient. If you can’t pronounce the names of the ingredients , don’t get it.
3) Eat Lots Of Plants – Eat food that is straight from nature or as close to the way nature made it as possible. Eat mostly foods that are off a tree, bush, plant or vine, and you’ve pretty much got it covered. The idea is to stay away from anything that humans (food corporations) have altered in any way.
4) Lean Meats - I’m vegetarian and it’s my personal belief that if we’re really going to save our bodies and our children’s bodies, then we’ll need to eventually give up meat until there has been a complete overall on the food industry’s treatment of animals and modification of livestock for consumption. Simply put, the meat you’re eating is very unhealthy. Even free-range, grain fed, whatever nice little label you want to put on it to make you sleep better at night – is very bad for you. I used to love sausages, even though most of them are made from animal by-products like ears, gum, eyelids, noses, etc. THAT BEING SAID, if you must eat meat, then eat meats that are whole and straight from the butcher. Don’t buy pre-packaged meat products because they are pumped with preservatives and tons of sodium. When possible, buy whole meats and grind them yourself. You’d be surprised what’s in ground turkey meat! You can also select a few turkey breasts and ask that the butcher grind them for you. Many butchers are more than willing to accommodate.
5) Enjoy Grains - Eat grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down into “glue”. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grains. Ever made homemade paper glue? Take some white flour, add water. That’s it, and that’s what happens when you eat lots of white breads and pasta.
6) Read Labels – I don’t know how many breads I’ve picked up at the store that say they are whole grain. But when I take a look at the ingredient list, white flour is the second ingredient after whole wheat flour! Don’t how to read a food label? Here’s a good start:
Clean eating may feel overwhelming at first, but try to adapt these changes in small steps. Make little changes every day and don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes. Just realize that it’s what you do the majority of the time that counts. Most of us are accustomed to processed foods have a difficult time with the natural flavors of real food. It’s not that you don’t like vegetables, it’s just that you’re not used to them. But trust me, your taste buds will change. When you start eating cleaner foods you’ll notice that the foods you used to love just don’t taste the same. We’ve conditioned ourselves to eat poorly, now we just have to re-condition ourselves to eat the right things.
As I understand more about our purpose in life and the meaning of our existence, I’m coming across more and more famous (and infamous) people, who have and had the same understanding. Great leaders, philosophers, scientists, celebrities and even writers, have been sharing this knowledge for centuries, but we just haven’t understood the gravity of this truth. Over time, we’ve come to view these ideas as “abstract”, or even, “a little out there”, but the truth has been trying to reveal itself all along through these influential people. We sometimes get caught up with the person, the romanticism of the language, and lose sight of the message. A famous poem is the perfect example of how truth can be misconstrued for simply romantic language:
Quantum Physics has shown that the idea that consciousness and life (and indeed all things) are ensembles enfolded throughout the universe, which has an amazing flip side. Just as every portion of a hologram contains the image of the whole, every portion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means that if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of our left hand. We could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, and every dust mote, which gives new meaning to William Blake’s famous poem:
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
Dividing up the universe into living and nonliving things also has no meaning. Animate and inanimate matter are inseparably interwoven, and life, too, in enfolded throughout the totality of the universe. Even a rock is in some way alive, for life and intelligence are present not only in all of matter, but in “energy”, “space”, “time,” “the fabric of the entire universe,” and everything else we mistakenly view as separate things.
David Bohm: Our lives are an illusion, and nothing is separate. Everything is connected.
David Bohm, a protégé of Albert Einstein, was widely considered one of the best quantum physicists of all time, who also contributed to theoretical physics, philosophy of mind, and neuropsychology. Below are three very revealing quotes from the revered physicist regarding the interconnectedness of everything in the universe. This was a man of science whose work provided unquestionable proof that our existence is a web of connectedness, separateness is an illusion, and that our interaction with the world changes everything around us. These quotes sum up this findings:
“The tangible reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, like a holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and appearances of our physical world in much the same way that a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram.”
“It is as meaningless to view the universe as composed of “parts,” as it is to view the different geysers in a fountain as separate from the water out of which they flow… Dividing reality up into parts and then naming those parts is always arbitrary, a product of convention, because subatomic particles, and everything else in the universe, are no more separate from one another than different patterns in an ornate carpet.”
“Our universal tendency to fragment the world and ignore the dynamic interconnectedness of all things is responsible for many of our problems, not only in science but in our lives and our society as well. For instance, we believe we can extract the valuable parts of the earth without affecting the whole. We believe it is possible to treat parts of our body and not be concerned with the whole. We believe we can deal with various problems in our society, such as crime, poverty, and drug addiction, without addressing the problems in our society as a whole, and so on… our current way of fragmenting the world into parts not only doesn’t work, they may even lead to our extinction.”
Excerpts from “The Holographic Universe” – Michael Talbot.
The real reason why most of you will never lose weight
Once I finish this essay, I’m back at the gym. Once I get through these mid-terms, I’ll get back to losing weight. Once I get through these finals, I’ll lose this weight and get in great shape for the new semester. You know how Christmas is, but it’s a new year, I’m so focused. Honestly, I’m not going to risk getting a bad grade on my essay so I can exercise! After I’m done this school year, WATCH OUT! Wow this summer just flew by! Now I need to get this job. Once I’m working and ‘settled’, I’ll have such a good routine, I’m going to lose this fat. I had to work late again, I’ll get started next week. I’ve been putting in so many hours at work, but it’s going to pay off because once I get this promotion, I’ll have better hours, more pay and more time! I’m finally going to lose the weight! With the baby coming, we’ve got so much to do, but once the baby’s here and we’re settled, I’m going to kick this gym’s butt! Things are so hectic with the baby, and I’m finally getting caught up at work so it’s tough. Once the kids start school, it will be easier to get into the gym. Listen, I have a full-time job and family to worry about it. Having a cute body is not as important as being a devoted parent, not everyone has the luxury to work out whenever they want. I have REAL responsibilities. Ah who am I kidding, I’m too old to be thinking I can look like that. I’m happy with the way I am. I’ve got a great job, a family who loves me, money in the bank, I am happy, I don’t need to lose weight!…
Saying you’re too busy to eat healthy and exercise is like driving your car on empty and saying you’re too busy to fill gas. The day will come when you will simply accept defeat and say, “this is who I am, I’m not going to change.” Stop glorifying busy. Most people are busy doing things they don’t even enjoy. This dangerous cycle doesn’t just include weight loss. We allow ourselves to get caught in cycles that pull us away from our dreams, our passion, our destiny.