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January 6, 2019

How Can You Be Present & Set Goals?

A Wisdom Heart reader writes:
I often wonder how planning ahead relates to being in the moment. Thich Nhat Hanh must have to make a plane reservation occasionally. Right? 

Great question!!

And timely as we’re sharing a FREE and radically different way of goal setting called Awakened Goal SettingIf you missed Lesson 1, you can read and listen to it here.

So, how can you resolve the gap between being-in-the-moment and planning-for-the-future.

Start with this primary realization: the path of awakening is paved with paradoxes – not polarities.
For the Wisdomheart consciousness sees no conflict between planning and being in the now. But, for the surface mind (where most of us live), being-in-the-now and planning look like polarities or even worse – conflicting ways of relating to life.

The surface mind is dualistic.
Life, viewed appears dangerous, uncertain, threatening. Within this view of life, planning is a strategy of self-protection – to try and control life events, shielding yourself and those you love, from the danger-of-life.

But your Wisdom Heart isn’t afraid.
Rather, your Wisdom Heart experiences Life as the Great Teacher. Undefended and uncontrived, the Wisdom Heart – within you – recognizes that Life is unconditionally supportive and endlessly inclined towards your deepest fulfillment.

So, how do you connect with that unconditional support?
You contact the unconditional support in the now. When attention opens to the present moment, you experience the uncontrived completeness of Life. Nothing is missing. There’s nothing to gain or protect as barriers between your awakening heart and the Heart of Life dissolve.

And this is where the paradox – again – arises.
Here it is: while the completeness of life that is discovered in the now, it is expressed through the movement of time. You realize Life’s blessing(s) in the timeless present; then, you embody and express them in time.

As you shift from the innate wholeness of the present-moment into time – you discover limits.
As the locus of awareness shifts from being in the now to being in time – you encounter the limits of your capacity. You discover the limits of your capacity for embodying and expressing the blessings of the Wisdomheart.

You experience a gap between the completeness of being-in-the-now and the incompleteness of being-in-time.
All the sacred traditions describe this lack-of-capacity. It’s a universal experience. Whenever you shift from the uncontrived completeness of the now into time– the gap appears.

What can you do about this gap?
Some people try to avoid it by setting up camp in the present-moment and building a wall against the forces of time. Good luck with that. This kind of spiritual self-protection is a in conflict with the deepest commitment of your soul.
So, what can you do?

Make planning into a spiritual practice.
Make plans that open you to Life. Choose plans, actions, goals that open your capacity to bring the peace, presence, and fulfillment of the eternal now into time.
Rather than designing plans as a form of self-protection and control – make plans that open you more fully, to move you more whole-heartedly into life.

When you plan in this way, you’ll feel alive and vulnerable.
It’s that paradox thing again. Planning that arises from the Wisdomheart consciousness has a vibrant, alive quality. And it also exposes the places within you that are tender, hesitant, and vulnerable.

This is expected.
So, there’s no need to hunker down or circle the wagons of self-protection. Rather, start to familiarize yourself with the paradoxical sensations/experience that comes from operating in time with Wisdomheart consciousness.

Of course, the ideal way to develop this familiarity is through formal meditation practice.
In meditation, you discover your non-dual reality as both ever-present-spirit and spirit-moving-through-time. Both. You experience, through practice, the paradoxical connection between being in the Now and moving through time. You discover this, not as an idea, but as an embodied revelation.

From this embodied revelation that all planning become spiritual practice.
So, take a moment right now . . . to be still.
Shift the locus of attention from thinking into . . . the experience of Now . . . Feel the blessing of Life . . . Rest in the presence of Wisdomheart consciousness . . .

Then, turn towards your life – without breaking your connection to the Wisdomheart – and make a simple plan.
Become aware of something that you can do in the next few hours that would be an embodiment and expression of Wisdomheart consciousness; something that, when you imagine it, generates sensations of aliveness & vulnerability.

Now, move into time to embody and express that.
Share your discoveries with us here.

And be sure to enroll in our FREE program Awakened Goal Setting here.

Love & Shanti,
E & D

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