5 Reasons I Love Eckhart Tolle

The one thing that has changed my life when it comes to how to be present minded is the simple—and yet, life-altering—fact that I am not my mind.

I am not Jenn.

I’m not a health blogger.

I’m not even a bunny loving, tea-drinking, glitter girl.

I am something infinitely more than my mind, my thoughts, or emotions. I am a Being.

I just am.

I recently read Eckhart Tolle’s Book A New Earth after going through a rough patch in an area of my life. It was so amazing, and it helped me heal more in two weeks than all these years without my illness.

Here are five reasons I’m really loving Eckhart Tolle and how his musings have transformed my life.

1. Tolle Advocates for Not Identifying with Your Mind

Tolle acknowledges the power of being present and not identifying with our pasts, our minds, or our emotions.

Doing so only gives strength to the ego in us, which creates a multitude of problems and suffering. When you identify with something, you must defend it, nurture it, become victim to it.

The bridge in the picture represents the pathway between you and your mind.

Bridge

While many people are unable to separate themselves from their mind and feel that they have no choice but to identify with their emotions, their struggles, that fabulous baby pink shade of nail polish, or a career, they don’t see a bridge.

They see only one thing without a way out, which is their mind. People tend to think a lot and totally identify with their thoughts.

The bridge is between you and your mind.

You can be on one side and travel to the other side occasionally, that is to think or be creative or whatever you choose.

But we don’t need to be thinking all the time. In fact, it’s pretty hurtful to us and prevents you from realizing how to be present minded. When you’re here, right now, in this moment, you realize nothing truly matters and just enjoy being.

2. He Cultivates Presence

When considering how to be present minded, we can cultivate presence to experience more joy, less sorrow, and be more effective at what we do.

Cultivating presence is the act of just being in the moment. Cultivate awareness of your body, your environment, your emotions. Allow things to come and go, but do not judge them or label them.

Just be right here where you are.

When you can feel your own presence without the constant chattering of the mind, you become more whole in this moment and less immersed in all your perceived mind problems.

3. He Establishes a Way out of PAin

It’s not easy to let go of all the things you feel establish you and help you to be grounded.

But when you’re thinking how to be present minded, consider that what grounds you is not what actually grounds you, rather just something that makes you feel more secure in your ego.

The way out of pain and suffering is to stop identifying with your mind. Yes, your mind is there, but do not let it consume you. Do not let your emotions be who you are. Nothing can define what you are. You are right here.

4. Tolle Points out the Power of No Resistance

Many of our feelings are responses from the ego.

The ego is always seeking, always wanting, always trying to be superior. Nothing is ever good enough for the ego, not even yourself.

The ego thrives on reaction. It wants you to react and defend your position, which in effect strengthens it. What the ego cannot and will not realize is that there is great power in no resistance.

It’s a challenge to realize that you have a choice and not react. Try it. Next time someone gets upset with you, do not react. Remain present.

How to be present minded begins here.

5. He Acknowledges that Being Is the Ultimate Experience

Just be.

Don’t try to find yourself, seek happiness, or ground yourself in things. It’s amazingly liberating to realize that your past does not define you, that your life situation does not define you, that your objects do not define you.

We’re people who have the ability to stay present, not take criticism personally, and are always looking to learn and grow.

How could you ever be defined?

4 Reasons Why I No Longer Own a Smartphone (Yes, I’m Serious)

Yes, I’ve gotten rid of my smartphone. For good.

Yeah, I got the iPhone. And yeah, I got rid of it. Why?

1. I Didn’t Want to Be Accessible

The iPhone made me accessible.

I was no longer a lone ranger, as it were. I couldn’t get lost. I was suddenly, with this device, always found and always in touch.

If you called me during dinner, there I was. If you called me during school, there I was. If you called me while I was walking down the street, there I was. Not that I actually answered the phone at any of these times, but you get the point.

It was suddenly there with me everywhere and as I got older, when someone needed something, I was just a phone call away. No guessing. No frustration. No appreciation. I was there.

I decided I wanted to stop being there and start being here.

2. I Wanted To Stop Being Rude

The iPhone made being rude very easy.

I was able to check my e-mail from my phone, and suddenly every e-mail became so important that I had to check it right then. I noticed that I’d be texting a client when I was hanging out with my boyfriend.

I was getting calls and texts from exes who wanted to see me. I was receiving calls from my boss asking me to come in early. And yes, as horrific as it is, I’ve been that person who didn’t see the red light because they were looking down at their phone.

I was able to Google directions instead of being lost. I was able to look up an item or a restaurant or a question on the Internet right there, wherever I was.

It was so easy. It was so convenient. It took the wonder out of life. It took my attention away from the people I was actually with. I wanted to stop being rude and start being attentive.

3. I Wanted To Be Healthier

What really pushed me to get rid of my phone—besides the midnight text messages and Victoria’s Secret e-mails and mouthing to my boyfriend while we’re cooking dinner “I have to take this” when a call comes in—was the fact that the cell phone was likely affecting my health.

Preliminary studies show that cell phone radiation affects the brain. Although we’re not exactly sure how yet, some research points to tumors. Basically, the longer you use your phone and the closer it is to your head, the more you’re exposed to changes in brain cell DNA.

That made me feel like having a phone in this way, this overly-accessible, convenient, brain-damaging way, wasn’t right.

It was hindering my natural life experiences. I no longer actually learned how to get out of the city, I had Google Maps to show me. Then I forgot the way as soon as I was on the right road home.

I didn’t need to try and find a phone to call my boyfriend on; actually, I didn’t need to have an actual conversation with him at all, because I could merely text him. I didn’t need to talk to my clients or friends or parents. They were all a text message away. We’re so technologically advanced that we took the voices out of a conversation.

How is that possible?

So I got rid of it. Had my service shut off and “wiped” the phone clean, and sold it.

4. I Desired a Simpler Life

I wanted to be free of my phone and all the attachments and distractions it brought with its pretty, bright screen and Wi-Fi capabilities.

I now have a flip phone for emergencies that I keep in my car with the battery out so that signal isn’t constantly coming within several feet of me.

I talk on a landline, which is apparently the only safe way to talk on a phone (sorry, wireless phones are a no. They need to actually be plugged into the wall), and I email. But who knows what that constant Wi-Fi signal is doing to my brain?

Technology has been taken too far to the point that we’re all obsessed with it. Technology in the form of a  smartphone was taking away from me being present for my life. I was always, more or less, focused on the phone.

Shouldn’t I be focused on life?

Something just isn’t right about our smartphone culture. You should be paying attention to the world around you, embracing nature and learning how to talk to people and have manners without some device that only makes the checking line slightly less awkward. Forgive me for sounding like a hippie, but seriously. We are missing out on being human.