Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 44: Make Friends With Now – What I’ve Learned From Eckhart Tolle. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my future empty nest friend. Lately, I’ve been all in on reading, listening to, and watching, on YouTube, the work of Eckhart Tolle. A dear friend gave me his books, “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth” and much of the books are now underlined, circled, circled with stars around it, highlighted and more. Today, I want to share with you the most valuable thing his words opened my mind to hear, and how it has impacted my life. I kind of feel like I’m earning my girl pants with this current work.
As always, a quick reminder that all of my episodes are brought to you by my free seven-day program, “The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering My Future.” To be clear, we are talking about your future, not mine. Hop on over to my website, youremptynestcoach.com and sign up today. Look for the link that says “Uncover Your Future.”
I’d like for you to picture a garage. In this garage are two vehicles. One is under a tarp, and you have no idea what is under there. It has been under that tarp as long as you can remember. You aren’t exactly sure what it is, but who has time to look? The other vehicle is your car. It is well worn. The air conditioning doesn’t work. The steering is rough and you feel every bump as you drive down the road, but you’re comfortable with it. It is the kind of car that you spend the entire time tense because you are continually reacting to every bump in the road. You know those drives, where your shoulders are continually tense? Do you have this image? Okay. We’ll come back to it.
Now, to Eckhart Tolle. If you are an avid Opra listener or watcher, then this name is not new to you, as Eckhart’s books, “The Power of Now” is one of her seven super soulful reads and “A New Earth” is in her book club. The work I have done up until now, on myself, and that I share with you, has been a gift that has clearly shown me that my thoughts don’t have to control me. Just because a thought enters my mind, doesn’t mean I need to entertain it. The work to get to this point, has hugely impacted my life. I think I was ready for the next level in my life, and while listening to Eckhart speak on Oprah’s YouTube video (I’ll put a link in the show notes, because there are a few) he said, “Make friends with now.” He speaks much about presence, but for some reason those for words “make friends with now” really struck a chord with me. Make friends with now.
It doesn’t mean that you want to stay where you are. It means you accept where you are, and choose not to resist it. The resisting of the present moment is what creates our unhappiness. If this isn’t your first listen to an episode of mine, you know that I’m all about thoughts and being conscious of them. While, up until now, I realized that I could change my thought about a current situation, the idea of making friends with the now really leveled me up a bit. It makes sense.
As Eckhart says, “You don’t have to believe me, just try it next time something frustrates you.” If these words resonate with you like they did for me, try it as your new mantra for a week or so. Make friends with now. After a few weeks of trying the idea in my life, I’m a huge fan of this. Oh, sure, I have moments where I get caught up in the drama of a situation, but I’m becoming so used to being friends with the now, that when I’m clearly not making friends with the now, I feel the difference drastically in my life, even in my body. It’s kind of cool.
Eckhart speaks of the shift that happens in your life when you move toward this. The shift for me feels like there are two ways in life. Either way, I’m living life, but one way, I’m in a car that is made for the type of driving I’m doing. I’m present enough to see the potholes and distractions. I notice them, accept them, and adjust if I need to. Whereas, the other way, now, for me, feels like, sure, I’m in my car that I got out of the garage, heading to a destination, but I’m off-roading in a vehicle that is not meant to off-road. Bumps, holes, stumps and any chance of having a peaceful journey is gone because all I can do is react to the circumstances, and with each circumstance that I choose to resist, I get less peaceful and more reactive.
Either way, we are on life’s journey. Either way, we experience things that we aren’t expecting, but one journey brings peace and another leads to potential road rage. Road rage in life. My empty nest friend, if you are sitting in the simmer, while making friends with now, you open yourself to tapping into energy that wouldn’t exist otherwise. By choosing to make friends with now, you gain a clarity and peace that doesn’t exist when you are in a reactive mode. You also may find your ability to focus and get things done to be greatly improved. Since I really embraced making friends with now, my productivity has improved tremendously. What’s amazing is that’s never even been a problem for me, and I’m kind of like through the roof on it, now.
I’m highly present whether I’m working on an email to podcast guest, updating the schedule for my day job’s boss, or scripting out the next podcast episode. I feel like I’m going a little meta here. You can witness me working on this in my solo hike in the woods in episode number 42, where I was really working on presence.
When you grasp in your mind that the one and only constant in your life is the present moment, it is almost as if you find that the keys to that car ride, smooth on the highway, have been available to you all the time. Let’s go back to the garage image I walked you through earlier. Remember I said that there’s a vehicle under a tarp? Imagine that you’ve just took the tarp off to find a vehicle that is meant for off-roading. It is a smooth ride, on the highway and off the road.
Guess what? The keys are right there in the car. You had this available to you all the time. What? I know. What you do from here is all up to you. You may drive either car through life. It is your choice. Believe it or don’t believe it, but why not try it? Try it out if you haven’t already. What do you have to lose? To dive more into this, I recommend Eckhart Tolle’s books, “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth.” He speaks of three modalities of awakened doing, acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. You should get that directly from Eckhart, though, and if you are up for finding him on YouTube, he has the most adorable laugh. It is peaceful. Try making friends with now. I invite you to notice the beautiful things about your now, that you would miss if you were thinking about the past, what should have happened, or the future, the made up story of what might be. Try it. Experiment with it, and let me know how it goes.
I thought I would give you one personal example of making friends with now, in what would seem a trivial moment. I enter passwords so many times in a day, into different applications. Sometimes I enter the wrong password multiple times. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I found myself retrying a password four or five times. In my defense, my one-password password is long and involved on purpose, but when I’m in a rush to open whatever it is, that I’m about to open, and not focused on the entering of my password, the presence of the current moment, and making friends with now, I just make mistakes. I now use this as a time to remember to be present, and I have been entering my passwords on the first try consistently. Can you believe it?
It felt painfully slow at first, I’ll be honest. But I’m more productive in the long run, I’m not losing any time. I really like that presence. To paraphrase Eckhart, quality comes from presence in the moment of creation. I feel that deeply right now. Try being more present when you put your keys down. Maybe you’ll remember where they are. How about when you leave a room, did you leave that light on? It is quite possible that if you were making friends with the now, in that moment, you might know now. I think I have a few more things to try.
The questions I have for you in this episode are: are you already familiar with Eckhart Tolle? And, does make friends with now resonate with you? One more thing, would you be interested in doing an online book club through Eckhart’s “Books With Me”? It sounds like a fun idea, but I’d actually like to know if there’s an interest before I start to go there.
I invite you to fly on over to our Facebook group to share your answers to these questions with our amazing flock. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for links to join our flock.
Psst…my empty nest friend, did you know that I have an online program, “The Empty Nest: First Steps Towards Success.” I now also, offer GPS Reset Weekend Retreats, “Unplugged and Charged Up,” and that I am available for speaking engagements. For all the fun details, visit my website, or see this episodes full show notes. I am thrilled to travel, and I can’t wait to meet you!
I know that the adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find the show notes for this and every episode on my website. My next episode’s title is “Why is This Work so Difficult?”
Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast. It is free and you’ll be notified when I post a new episode every Friday. If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!