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Question, Day 29, living in present

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by music321, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. music321

    music321 Peer Supporter

    I just want to say what a valuable website this is. I'm finding the Structured Education Program to be very valuable, and I'm so glad it's made available to people.

    The reading for Day 29 is an article by Monte H. that discusses living in the present. I know how to affect this mental state, and have some practice with it from prior reading. However, I am not sure how it fits in with the whole program. It seems that the earlier part of the program is designed specifically to NOT live in the present. Stressors from the past, present, and future are recalled and explored through journaling. I have tried to cultivate a mental state in which I am always aware of my stressors, to the best of my ability. I feel that I am now able to experience the type of emotional presence just by thinking about problems that I was only able to experience through journaling when I first started the program.

    All of a sudden, I am being told to switch gears. I can think of several ways in which this is supposed to work. Perhaps we are only supposed to experience the full emotions of our problems during certain "purge" times of the day, while we try to direct our minds toward a calm present the rest of the time. Or, as a different interpretation, perhaps the journaling was only meant to activate certain emotional pathways in the brain, and now that this has been done, we are to focus more on a calm present. Maybe someone can weigh in.

    Similarly to this, today I found myself thinking of an unpleasant event/period from earlier in my life. I redirected my attention to the present, and tried to be calm in the context of experiencing the present. I really don't know if this was the right thing to do. In a way, it felt like "redirecting attention" is the same as suppression (which is not good). I'd like some advice on this as well.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Hi Music. I'm glad you're benefiting from the SEP. It was truly a lifesaver for me.

    I believe the purpose of living in the present is to keep us out of the pain feedback loop. Notice you surroundings. Breathe. Be grateful. It can also be a time to check in with your body, and be an impartial observer of what's going on. The idea is not to give in to despair, as in "oh god it hurts, how will I ever get better, this isn't working, etc."
    I don't think of this as switching gears. There's a time for everything. Yes, sometimes it's helpful to explore painful episodes in the past. But there also comes a time to let things go and move on.
    Blessings to you on your journey.
     
    Ellen likes this.
  3. music321

    music321 Peer Supporter

    thanks.
     

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