INsight/ Your Reset Button

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash


Manila, 12 June 2019 — When you feel upset, confused, or anxious about what to do next, it helps to press your reset button.

I learned how to do this while I was a monk, and it turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences for my life afterward.

Reset Button

What I’m talking about is learning how to press your reset button when you feel overwhelmed with an overload of information or emotions.

Whether at work or outside work, your mind always runs at top speed to warn you of dangers and guide you to choices for what to do in the situation your’e in. When you add the abundance of information you receive non-stop on your phone, there is hardly a quiet moment to be found. And things get even more complicated when emotions get involved.

There is good news, however. What I learned as a monk about pressing the reset button, actually takes very little time. It’s a matter of minutes or, after practice, mere seconds. Are you interested?

What if I tell you that you can do it anywhere, and with your eyes either open or closed? You can do it during meetings when you’re wondering what will be the best contribution you can make. You can even do it, after some practice, while you’re having a conversation.

Three Steps

So what is this reset button all about?

It has three steps, and here they are:

First, with awareness, let go of anything that comes to your mind from the past.

Second, with awareness, let go of all that comes to your mind from the future.

Third, now simply focus on enjoying to be in the present moment, the Now.

Is that all there is to it, you may ask? The answer is yes.

Our problem, especially while in a state of overwhelm or emotional turmoil, is that we are being lived by emotions from the past, often colored by guilt, and by expectations from the future, often infused with anxiety.

The Present Moment

What happens most of the time is that the shadows of the past and the expectations of the future are obscuring that wonderful place of freedom and potential that lies in between, which we call the present moment, or the Now.

The reset button is about letting go of that preoccupation with the past and the future, and to create time and emotional space and freedom to focus on the present moment.

For most people, pressing this reset button is easier and more effective when you focus attention on your breathing, your breathing in, and your breathing out, in and out. This super simple practice, which is always available to you, will immediately empower your practice of living in the present moment.

After becoming familiar with focusing on your breathing, you will notice that there is a precious moment of stillness between breathing in and breathing out. Observe how this moment of stillness is a beautiful metaphor for your moment of resetting, of rediscovering your freedom of choice, without being bothered by the past and the future.

As you start becoming more aware of the present moment, feel yourself flowing and dancing in that moment, and becoming open to inspiration about what is possible in that moment, and discovering what will be the best contribution you can make to the situation you’re in, for the highest benefit of all concerned, including yourself.

The more you practice using your reset button, powered by awareness of your breathing, the more you benefit. You will come to see that it doesn’t have to take long to press your reset button, even while in an unpleasant meeting at work or when you’re having a conversation that’s not going as you expected.

Lead With Your Mind

Doing this practice, even for a few seconds, will already help you right away. Of course, you’ll get better at it with more and longer practice.

What you can learn from Chinese philosophy is that where your mind leads, your energy follows. Whatever you focus on, grows.

So when you choose to focus on the present moment, rather than on the past or the future, you will see that your awareness grows of what’s available in the present moment. It grows when you focus your awareness on it.

There is great freedom to be found in the present moment. I would say that it is the only place where you can find freedom and pure potential, without guilt, fear, and expectations.

That’s the power of the reset button. It always helps, and it works quickly.

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