Learning about Being in the Moment
In the normal run of things, the job I had at a bottle shop (liquor store) when I was 19 was pretty simple and uneventful, but it provided some unique opportunities to learn about self-knowledge exercises I was learning from a course I was attending by Belsebuub at the time.
When I was just starting out learning about self-awareness I found it quite difficult to be in the moment and aware in tasks that required a lot of thinking, but because the job was easy and I didn’t have to think about what I was doing too much, it allowed me lots of chances to practice being aware of my surroundings and bringing myself into the present moment.
I had some really amazing and very clear experiences, in an environment that I wouldn’t previously have thought you could have any kind of spiritual experience.
While I was serving customers I would try what I learned in Belsebuub’s course to bring myself into the moment. I would try to focus on my movements, and try to focus in the best way I could on just doing one thing at one time.
This would help me to focus my mind and attention on the present moment and to really feel myself being there, and I found that when I did that serving people in the bottle shop became really enjoyable.
I had never experienced life in the way I did when I started trying to be aware. When I was bringing myself into the moment it was almost like time slowed down. I wasn’t doing things any less quickly, but it was like I got more out of each moment.
Colours became much brighter and more vivid. I could really feel objects, the denseness and texture in a way that I wouldn’t if I wasn’t in the moment. It was almost like I could see the space in between things as well as the objects themselves. I had learned that as well as external awareness of surroundings, sight, sound, smell etc. there was also internal awareness – seeing thoughts and emotions.
In some of my experiences I could quite prominently see the difference between being aware and daydreaming my way through the day, meaning for example when my mind was running a constant commentary of ‘what I was or wasn’t‘ or ‘what I should be doing instead‘ in my head.
While I would often slip into unwanted thoughts without realising what was happening, sometimes I’d feel the shift, almost as if I was falling asleep and a veil was coming over how I experienced or perceived the world.
This was a very surreal feeling to catch, but it helped me remember to keep trying to practice awareness. It showed how much of life was passing me by while I lived in a sort of dream state.
And it was in this environment that I got my first glimpse of how I had an underlying anger sometimes in the way I went about my days, one that I had barely noticed previously.
Uncovering Some Unexpected Anger
In one week of the course the homework was to try and see how the emotion of anger affected us. I thought I didn’t really have any anger, so I was pretty much fine already, but I tried the exercises anyway, looking in the area of my solar plexus where Belsebuub had said emotions like anger would come up.
The only emotion I can remember feeling there previously was fear. It would cause a gripping feeling in my solar plexus that was really crushing, and then would spread out into my body in things like my voice and knees shaking if I was nervous.
So I was keeping an eye out for anger, and the week had almost gone by, but I hadn’t been able to spot anything. Sunday came around, and I went to my job at the bottle shop. We had a particular special on where you could get 24 of a certain type of a drink for a few dollars more than you could get six.
A man came up to the counter with six of this beverage, and I thought I’d help him out. I told him about the deal and how he could get 4 times the amount of the product for a few dollars extra. I was sure that he’d be interested, but his reaction completely shocked me.
I was trying to be helpful and he basically threw it back in my face, accusing me of getting kickbacks, telling me he didn’t want the offer and generally being quite aggressive.
If he had just been aggressive I probably would have thought he was weird, he would have left the shop and that would have been it, but because I felt that I was genuinely trying to help him his unexpected reaction sparked off egos of pride within me, and with them anger surged up inside me like I had never seen before.
I processed his purchase and he left the shop, but I was left behind the counter seething. I had felt the anger well up in my chest in a way that was totally overwhelming. I could feel my face had gone bright red, and I couldn’t even speak to the guy as he left the shop – it was almost like the anger was so strong it had paralysed me.
This was a terrible feeling and thankfully it didn’t last for long until it subsided to a level where I could function again, and while it wasn’t at all pleasant it was a bit of a breakthrough for me. I saw that I did actually have quite a lot of anger (different from what I had originally thought) and had more of a sense of what it felt like now that I knew what to look out for.
It was almost like previously the anger was behind a locked door in my psyche, there but hidden from me, as I had never really seen it so I didn’t think I had anger at all. This experience caused enough of a stir inside of me that it broke down the door, and I started to notice it for what it was more frequently and in more subtle ways.
It’s not that I was getting angry more frequently, but more that I just started to be able to feel it and to identify it when it was coming up, as well as why it was happening and how I needed to deal with it so I didn’t act or react with anger in the future.
Thankfully because of other techniques I’ve learned from Belsebuub (like how to get rid of states like anger when they come up) I haven’t had to experience another outburst of anger like that.
But without going through this experience using awareness and self-observation, I would not have got the same insight into anger and may never have had got a handle on it and how potentially destructive anger can be and how it was causing problems in my life without me even realising it.
Looking back to that situation, even though it was challenging, in retrospect it was definitely a blessing in disguise. Sometimes if I notice things like anger / fear I want to run away from them. But I’ve seen if I don’t confront them they’ll always be there, and I feel like it’s much better to have a short period of discomfort and to try to get rid of them then just to pretend they’re not there and have them always affecting me in an underlying way, which ends up being much more uncomfortable!
There’s a video by Belsebuub I like a lot where he explains how the egos and the subconscious work and the importance of being able to see them for what they are in order to change. It makes me wonder how many parts of my subconscious still affect me without me even seeing or knowing about them yet.