If you want to live in the present moment and tame your run-away thoughts, all you need to do is learn from animals and think like an antelope. Seriously, stay with me.
I love animals, so I am interested in watching animal documentaries. One documentary talked about animal behavior. I had never given it much thought but man is the only animal that worries and dwells on an event. No other animal does that.
Take for example, an antelope living in Africa. It’s quietly eating grass when a lion comes out of nowhere. It panics and jumps into survival mode and takes off running. The lion pursues it with all of its power, but the antelope leaps over a stream and careens through some dense trees and the lion halts its pursuit.
What does the antelope do next? It goes back to finishing its lunch like nothing ever happened. The antelope doesn’t go to the antelope watering hole and retell the story over and over again to any animals present. The event is over.
As humans, what would we do? We’d be replaying the entire event over in our heads. We’d be looking around every corner wondering if the lion was coming back. We’d be telling anyone who would listen about this experience.
Since we have a human mind and not an antelope mind, what can we do to have more present moment thinking? Here are two tips to tame run-away thoughts.
Let Go of Fear
Letting go of fear is a good start. In the case of the antelope, there was clear reason to fear. It was in real physical danger. Acting on its instincts, it ran from the danger. In this case, fear was a gift. Fear helped to free the antelope from danger. The antelope let go of the fear once it was over.
Let Go of the Past
Holding onto the past in the form of mistakes or events keeps you stuck. It’s hard to live in the present moment when you are stuck in the past. You need to forgive yourself or others and let the past go.
While I am not wishing to be an antelope, I would like to be able to adopt a trait of living more in the present moment – not dwelling on the past, and not fretting about the future, but just being and being filled with joy.
As Christians, we are also supposed to exude joy. Jesus says in John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
So, the next time you start those endless loop thoughts, whatever those thoughts may be, remember the antelope. Let those thoughts go. As a human, you have the power to create those thoughts. You also have the power to clear those thoughts away. Simple, yes. Easy, no. But you have the power to control your thoughts and live and thrive in the present moment.
Have trouble letting go? Download this prayer and Meditative Affirmation called Letting Go, which is cut #5 from my Let it Go CD/Downloads – 10 Meditative Affirmations to Let Go and Let God for free.