Book Check-in: The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Updated: Feb 14
A little while ago I was seeing a naturopath to get my health back on track. Looking back I was both stressed and burnt out. I was 100% ignoring this so my clever body was trying to make me listen. Sometimes at the end of our sessions my lovely naturopath would give me homework. One of the tasks she set was to read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.
Now I love reading. I love being transported into a different world through fiction. I love absorbing new and transforming information through non-fiction. I see anything that can expand my perspective as good. Yet despite seeking holistic treatments and being open-minded, I didn’t often read what bookshops would describe as ‘self help’.
I’m not 100% sure why, was it because people were still coming around to them? Or because they carried a certain stigma amongst the city folks I worked with? Or because I felt that I should have the answers within myself? Maybe the latter. But I was stressed, burnt out and seeking the help of a naturopath to reset me. I had no space to find the answers within myself.
So I started reading the book.
In the introduction the Eckhart requests that we don’t only read with our minds, but with our bodies too. What does that mean? Well, if you’re reading passages and find yourself nodding as something resonates, or frowning as it annoys, pay attention. What is it about this passage that triggers this physical reaction in you? This is where the juicy bit lies. Your body is reacting to what your brain is absorbing and trying to tell you something. Like my body trying to tell me I was burnt out.
I had few ‘aha’ moments as I read this and sometimes I had to put it down to absorb the words. My main takeaway from the book was that 'now' is all we have and we need to live in it. It does no good to spend our present in our heads. It does no good to worry intensely about what’s to come, or to repeatedly go over what has already past. We make ourselves stuck doing that. We repeat old patterns doing that. We become trapped in our heads and lost in our thoughts doing that.
Eckhart states we are not our thoughts and suggests we try not exist so much in our heads. Easy to suggest, but hard to follow! At the time my mind chatter was endless and I was busy! But I made sure to spend some time each day being present in the now and observing.
The book does have a ‘spiritual’ element to it so if that’s not your bag, don’t read it. But do read it if you find yourself stuck when it comes to making decisions. Or if you're stressed about the future. Or if you obsess over a section of your past. This book can help focus you, bringing you back to live in the present.