Your eyes may be open, yet you do not see anything. Expressions of ecstasy or humor may even appear on your countenance as you reminisce. You may not be aware of this because you are not in the present moment; you are experiencing another life while physically present in this one! Your body may be involved in a situation or activity, but if your mind is not present, then, essentially, you are not there. You are cheating life and cheating yourself by being in two places at once. Your mind is in one "moment" while your body is in another. You must experience life in its wholeness and fullness by experiencing life in the moment. Wherever your mind is, you are alive. Wherever your body is, you only exist. Your mind and body should be one unit, one entity, and one component. You need to live in the moment. Each moment represents a lifetime in itself. During these moments, you will experience revelations, visions, and even epiphanies. Life exists in your mind. Your body is simply a means to experience it. You are what you think. You eventually become your ideas. If each moment is a snapshot of your life, what does a series of moments represent? A series of moments represents a photo album. When you engage in each moment by putting your mind, heart, and soul into it, you create a photo album that is alive and poignant, a film and life!

Your world is you; your life is you; your universe is all you! Your environment is all the stuff inside your heart, orchestrated by your mind. Is your stuff contributing to the "global mess" we are all experiencing, the chaos and discord that influences every life on this planet? The answer is most likely yes. In order to change your world, you must change yourself, because you are your world. Your world and you are the same! Therefore, with every lesson plan comes a solution set. The answer to your lesson plan exists inside of you. You must uncover and discover Truth within you! Truth does not exist outside of you; it never has and never will. You are truth. Get to know yourself. Be aware of yourself and your environment. Just to let you in on a little secret, you create most of your lesson plans, though you have been deceived into believing they are from external sources. Did you know that everyone on this planet receives the same lesson plan given from the Universe? However, the solution set, homework assignments, and exams are unique to each student of life. The solution set to your lesson plan is this: You must recreate yourself! To do this, you need to perform a thorough renovation, similar to a general spring-cleaning. Instead of doing the spiritual, emotional, and mental renovation annually, you will conduct daily monitoring and assessments of the three most significant areas of your life. As with most spring cleanings, the idea is not to add to the mess with other junk, but rather to lessen the size of the pile by removing all the junk, trash, and garbage.

This junk, trash, and garbage are responsible for the pain, suffering, fear, poverty, and limitation you feel. You must start with a clean and pure mind, heart, and soul. Imagine for a moment that your experience of and behavior around angry feelings could be very different. Imagine that anger, blaming, judgments, irritation, and rage could lessen in intensity and frequency. Imagine that the power anger has in your life and relationships could diminish. Imagine that you could live your life in a way that acknowledges and experiences anger, but that is not limited or distorted by angry feelings or outbursts. That could be a profound transformation and a radically different life! If your anger were less intense and controlling, maybe you would not feel as isolated or alone, or be plagued by second guessing, or worry about what you have done or need to do because anger hijacked you again. So how do you get from your life today to the one you just imagined? Mindfulness will help youand this book will teach you how to use mindfulness to deal with your anger. I frequently teach mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) classes, and I'd like to share one of our core beliefs with you, because you may find it helpful: No matter how much a person thinks is wrong with them, we believe there is more right than is wrong.The more right piece has to do with human intelligence, the capacity to learn and to relate to others, and the ability to know ourselves. It also has a lot to do with the basic human capacity for awareness called mindfulness, so let's take a closer look at mindfulness now. Regarding depression, the most important thing to know is that the sugars, wheat, and chemicals used in most processed foods can all cause anxiety and depression. Many processed foods also leave you undernourished, actually making you hungrier, and the fact that we haven't yet adapted to properly digesting these foods causes gut problems (topic 7) that scientists are now finding are at the root of almost every chronic illness, including depression. If you eat these foods and chemicals from time to time, they will most likely be harmless. Many people, however, consume them daily without even being aware of it. They are slowly poisoning themselves and then landing in a doctor's office to be treated for symptoms while having no idea of the cause. Doctors diagnose and treat these illnesses, but only few investigate what brought the illness on in the first place. The causes are the very things that will continue to necessitate medical treatment. Hippocrates stated, Let food be thy medicine.

The flip side of that coin is, Don't let food be thy poison. The less fake food and the more real food you eat, the better you will feel. Imagine keeping all this "stuff" inside you while trying to live a productive and successful life. It is impossible! You could compare it to having heavenly dreams in the midst of an apocalypse or taking a bath in the dirtiest bathtub you can imagine. However, if your environment (internal) is soothing, serene, peaceful, and tranquil, then heavenly dreams belong to you, along with anything else your heart desires to borrow from the Universe! My friends, the most powerful thing you can do while attempting to recreate yourself is to get rid of your old self. Take an emotional laxative. Clean yourself out. You are constipated, emotionally and mentally, yet you continue to add more crap to yourself. You do not want to be full of crap! No one wants to be around you, other than people who are also full of crap. Do you think crappy people experience extraordinary lives? No! They experience lives worthy of flushing down a toilet. I am not saying their lives are not significant. However, I am saying they are misusing their gifts and talents to construct mundane and ordinary lives. Yes, every life has a purpose and is valuable, but that does not mean that everyone is living a life of purpose and value. In fact, most people engage in activities that retard their growth and development, and their lives are full of crap. Particularly if the message was harmful or demeaning, it can be more difficult for you to connect with its resulting emotion.

You've been avoiding the pain for a long time. You may say to yourself, But I don't like feeling sad or angry or afraid. It feels wrong somehow. And yet there's no emotion that makes you "bad." In fact, if you allow your emotion to surface and are mindful of its presence, you're much more likely to recognize when it's affecting you. Allowing your emotions to surface is key to being present. What do I mean by being "present"? Being present with an emotion is allowing it to run its course without trying to avoid it, deny it, or run away from it. This is when your practice of mindfulness plays a vital role in your healing process. You have to be still and clear your mind from thoughts that might want to distract you, visualize yourself at the time of the event or experience, and feel what comes. It may be slow at first. That's okay. Simply allow what's there to surface. Imagine standing in a rain shower on a warm, spring day. If you allow yourself, you can immerse yourself in the experience. You can smell the smells, feel the water on your skin, and hear the rain's own quiet rhythm. Maybe you've done something similar at a music concert, a movie, a theater performance, or while reading a book. You've gotten lost in the music or the plot. It's all very real to you right then and there. You're in the experience, not looking at it or watching yourself be there. That's being present.