Picture the scene…
You’re alone in a flower-filled field taking in the scenery and enjoying the relaxed state you’re in – enjoying your commune with nature.
When … over the horizon all of a sudden, a brown bear appears.
What do you do ?
Flight ? Fight ?
Scream ? Die of heart failure – (me for sure!) ? Run?
Let’s press the pause button on this scene and see what’s happening here.
In this situation your mind, your thinking would be doing two things: raking through your past to see if there’s any experience it can draw on to help.
Most of us won’t have been chased by a bear but we will have read about others who have.
It then goes to the future and rehearses what might happen.
….I’m not going to get out of this alive…
…The bear will outrun me…
…The bear will eat me…
…This is going to be a horrible death…
Past and Future. It flicks between the two. Past/Future, past/future, past/future …
When these thoughts are racing through your mind you have no access to wisdom, to clarity of thought , the quality of thought that will make you see the right course of action to take.
I read recently about a man being chased down a ski slope by a brown bear in Canada – onlookers on ski lifts were shouting to distract the bear to no avail . When the man skiing tore his backpack off and threw it far away the bear stopped to check it out and he was able to make his getaway.
Had he not had the space in his brain for new thought to come in, a solution , had he been frozen by the past and the future, he wouldn’t have lived very long.
This doesn’t just happen when we’re being chased by a bear.
We do this all day long. We go into the past and play events over again and scare ourselves or make ourselves feel sad or anxious. And then we go into the future and imagine scenes in our head. We even imagine conversations !
This is an entirely human thing to do.
Our mind flicks between past and present.
But other than what you’re thinking and believing, are you ok?
And the answer is always …yes !
In the present moment, the here and now, we’re always fine.
Even when we’re being chased by a bear .
And it’s good for us to see that . To see that regardless of the situation – and most situations thankfully don’t involve being chased by a bear – to see
To see how when we go into the future , and then the past and flit between the two, we’re never at our best . We can’t access that space where we’re our very creative best selves.
Good to know !