The Habit of Excessive Thinking

Yesterday, I was embedding a video in a website, when an Eckhart Tolle video appeared in the feed.

Eckhart Tolle is the author of The Power of Now and, my personal favorite, A New Earth.


In the video, Eckhart talks about how too much thinking can be an addiction, like drinking or doing drugs.

There are times when my mind turns into a runaway freight train. What will happen in the future? How will we pay for that? Where are the kids? Does Luna have an ear infection? Is someone going to mow the lawn? Why is the pool green? How come the car is making that weird noise again? Are there mice in the walls? How come I feel this way?

Of course, while writing this out, at this moment, I’m not worried about any of those things (well, Luna actually does have an ear infection). But when I start thinking about too many things at once, the thoughts pile up, and I get overwhelmed.

I remember the constant train of thought when I was single and living in Napa. Will I meet that special someone? Am I in the right job? What if the cancer comes back? Will I be able to have children? Should I stay in California? What will I be doing in twenty years?

All those worries worked themselves out. My obsessing over them didn’t change one thing. I married my soul mate, have three wonderful kids, live in Vermont, have my own business, and my cancer is 27 years in remission. I have a better life than I could have ever imagined.

Staying in the Present Moment

While listening to the Eckhart video, I knitted. The moment seemed to stop. I could hear the rain. Luna slept at my side. In that moment, I was calm. I didn’t have to go anywhere. I sipped some tea. I didn’t have to think at all.

Then I got up and re-arranged the room! So much for a moment of calm. I didn’t think about it, I jumped up and took immediate action! I suddenly didn’t like where the dining room table was, so I moved it.

Now the light surrounds me when I write.

Marjorie Ray dining room


Later in the day, I watched more Eckhart videos. The one below was helpful. It’s about surrendering to fear and how fear can become our greatest teacher.



I hope to take time to watch more of these videos, to sit and knit, or lay on my giant float in the pool and relax. That’s really the only kind of meditation I can do (besides my walks with Luna).

Life is going by so fast. Perhaps with less constant thought, I can slow it down a bit and enjoy each moment, one by one.

Grassy Brook Waterlilies
Our Pond in Vermont


  1. A very close friend of mine once told me that I think too much. I try really hard to stay in the present and not let my obsessive thoughts and worries take over. Sometimes I succeed and other times, not so much. Either way though time seems to fly by. My father told me this would happen.

  2. I think life was easier when we were kids. Our parents were not expected to be on call from the boss 24/7. Bills went through the mail, not the Internet. We would take the time to go see people, we were not satisfied with a line or two from Facebook, or a text message.
    Kids had relationships then, not just “friends”. We could relax, we could hear, see, and touch people while they communicated their thoughts. We could see their faces. And the feelings behind their eyes.
    Real friendship has become a lost art. We have replaced it with tunnel vision and high technology.

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