Continuity. Life is an ever expanding cycle of continuous movement connected from one moment to the next by our thoughts, emotions and actions. I have been wanting to write on this concept for some time now, but it is only now that I feel that the words are ready to be laid down to paper cohesively so that I may share my thoughts on the subject with you.
Firstly, our concept of time. We interpret time on a continuum, outlining what has occurred prior to this present moment as the past and what is yet to occur beyond this present moment as the future. And yet, what if this concept of time were completely erroneous. In the same way that we believed that the earth were flat, and finally understood why this could not be so and that the earth is in fact round, I pose you a question for you to allow your mind to become open to a new way of thinking: “What if the concept of time as we currently understand it is in fact not linear, but in actual fact is all related to one particular moment in time? Right here, right now. A continuous vortex of uninterrupted movement in this present moment.” This is the essence of mindfulness, is it not? Once we are able to truly remain focused in this present moment, this is when we are able to not only change our past with each passing present moment, but also create our future. Let me expand on this a little by drawing your attention back to my opening word: continuity.
Continuity is defined by a number of dictionaries as an uninterrupted series of actions over a period of time. So if I were to ask you if you remember what you did a few seconds ago, in most cases you would be able to answer “yes” and recall the memory of the action that has just occurred. With the awareness of the memory of actions occurred prior to this current moment (the past as it is more commonly referred to), you may be able to gain an understanding of how your current situation has come to be. Now let’s assume that you absolutely adore everything about your current situation; you could conclude that every single thought, emotion and action that you had prior to this present moment was perfect, as they led to the creation of your current situation in a way that makes you content; this is the concept of continuity: an uninterrupted series of actions over a period of time, but rather than seeing it in a linear fashion, think of it as a vortex or an ever moving wheel with each present moment leading to the next present moment.
With this idea of a continuous vortex of present moments leading to the next, let’s now explore a more realistic scenario for a lot of people in life. What if there are certain aspects of your current situation that do not quite align with the way you would like them to be? What then? And how does this concept of continuity apply to creating change right now to not only change your future, but also change your past?
The answer to these questions lies in remaining completely focused in the present moment. The present moment is the complete essence of time. As we learn to be, to think, to feel and to act right here and right now, we start to create change to what occurred in the past and also how we approach and create situations that we will place ourselves in the future. It is the present moment that is the key to the concept of continuity. There is an old Chinese proverb that says something along the lines of: “If you want to know what you were thinking of six months ago, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will look like in six months time, look at your mind today.” So once you are able to open your mind and understand that the answer lies in how you are thinking and acting right now, you start to gain an understanding that the past and the future can be moulded through this concept of continuity.
Now remember that I mentioned earlier that the concept of continuity should be thought of as a vortex, or an ever moving wheel with each present moment leading to the next present moment. If you are continuously repeating the same patterns of behaviour or the same patterns of thought, it is only natural that you will be locking yourself into a repetitive cycle of situations that you may not necessarily enjoy being in, and that you may not even be aware that you are creating for yourself. I repeat myself once again, think of continuity as a vortex, or an ever moving wheel rather than a linear movement. Each action or thought that you make right now, defines the moment that has just passed and creates your next present moment. You are setting the wheel in motion, and it is through each and every present moment that you create that determines whether the wheel will continue to turn in the same direction (hence leading to repetitive patterns), or veer off in one direction or another. The one constant in all of this, is that whatever you do or say in this present moment will continue to make the wheel turn. It is its direction that changes.
When I am working with clients to promote behaviour change and lifestyle change, the concept of continuity is at its core. The wheel of life is constantly in motion, with each present moment leading to the next. It is your thoughts, your emotions and your actions that will steer the ever moving wheel in one direction or another, and yes, at times the wheel may encounter unexpected bumps and crevices that may make it veer in a way that you were not expecting it to. By remaining completely focused in each present moment, you are able to immerse yourself completely in the concept of continuity. The more you practice this, the more in tune with your inner guidance you will be to create thoughts and actions that make you feel content, and hence create the next present moment in a fulfilling manner.
So allow yourself to take a moment and reflect on what is happening right now for you, and decide how you wish to act and how you wish to think. Allow the concept of continuity to be at the forefront of your mind as you practice really being in the present moment. With practice, you will find that you will start to be able to become more and more in control of your thoughts and your actions to create present moments that are more fulfilling. All this, with continuity.
Next time: “A word about thoughts…it’s all in your head”
Sabrina David ERYT500, RYT1500, RCYT, RN, MHN, DipSc (Biomed)
Author: Sabrina David
Sabrina is a registered nurse, mental health nurse, and yoga instructor who combines her skills in general health planning, counselling and yoga instruction to work alongside people seeking change. She is very fortunate to have been born into a family of yoga instructors and has been practicing yoga (postures, breath work, meditation, philosophy & lifestyle) since early childhood, so yoga is her way of life. She lives it, breathes it, practices it and speaks it. Sabrina teaches yoga to groups as well as one-on-one and is passionate about making all aspects of yoga as a full system of well-being accessible to all. She also studies Sanskrit and Ancient Greek as part of a Master of Arts in the Classical World, and incorporates her ever-growing knowledge of this ancient history into her teachings.