The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
This is one of those books that you never heard about or saw in book stores when it was first published but then a while later there is a this massive firestorm of recommendations that all happens all at once where you have every man and his dog telling you it is a must-read.
It was through one of this testimonial and heart felt recommendation that I got my hands on The Power of Now. A friend was going through a really hard time suffering through a pretty traumatic period of grief and had started reading this book and we had been talking about our respective mental health issues (see my latest post on suffering from Burnout here) and she thought that I might benefit from literally the power of now.
I will not lie, this is not a easy book to read, it is a very deep book and talks on a high level about mental health and spiritual concepts. It might of been due to the headspace that I was in as well as the context but it took me a while to get my head around some aspect of this book and to actually finish reading the entire book. It wasn’t a book that I just power through (no pun intended) – it started out well with the fundamental descriptions of using the power of now but when it starting more in-depth it took a bit more effort to read (again could be where I was mentally that played a large factor).
The idea of the NOW, wasn’t brand new to me. I had been told about it where I had been exploring the idea of mindfulness and mediation. I did find myself really relation to how Eckhart writes about living in the now and can’t explain how he is able to both make it so simple and detailed at the same time. I think it this very aspect of the book which leads so many from all areas of life recommending it – from Jonathan Ness from Queer Eye to Misty Copeland the prima ballerina.
I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment after having finished it and I will take a lot of lessons from it. It has for certain helped me recently when I had have had to make hard decisions, as one of my key takeaways was to embrace living in the now and that by doing that you have no fear or anxiety. For in this moment that is no true concerns your are breathing and living – you have no control over the future don’t try to project the future into your now and also accept that you no longer have control over the past (what has been has been). I found this messaging and idea very liberating and inspiring. I am far from being a true or perfect practitioner of living in the now but when life gets hard it is very powerful to remember and know all you have to think about it now.
It will be a book that I keep and a copy is alway on my book shelf. I will recommend it to people but highlight to them to just take from it whatever you are capable. For me personally, there was parts of the book I disagreed with or just had no traction with but I feel that I will go back to it and reread to see what new lessons I might learnt. I do think you need to be open to the message of mindfulness before reading it as otherwise it will just be a lot of effort without necessary much of the benefit. However, for those who are open and are looking for a bit of guidance to reduce stress, anxiety and live both a simpler and more spiritual life this is definitely a good book to read and I understand why many are recommending it and saying it changed their prospective in life.