08th February, 2023
To a large degree, the measure of our peace of mind is determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.
Irrespective of what happened yesterday or last year, and what may or may not happen tomorrow, the present moment is where you are – always!
Without question, many of us have mastered the neurotic art of spending much of our lives worrying about a variety of things – all at once. We allow past problems and future concerns to dominate our present moments, so much so that we end up anxious, frustrated, depressed, and hopeless.
On the flip side, we also postpone our gratification, our stated priorities, and our happiness, often convincing ourselves that “someday” will be better than today. Unfortunately, the same mental dynamics that tell us to look toward the future will only repeat themselves so that “someday” never actually arrives.
Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away.
When we’re at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. We don’t appreciate the living present because our “monkey minds,” vault from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree.
In her memoir, ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ Elizabeth Gilbert writes about a friend who, whenever she sees a beautiful place, exclaims in a near panic, “It’s so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!” “It takes all my persuasive powers,” writes Gilbert, “to try to convince her that she is already here.”
Often, we’re so trapped in thoughts of the future or the past that we forget to experience, let alone enjoy, what’s happening right now. We sip coffee and think, “This is not as good as what I had last week.”
We eat a cookie and think, “I hope I don’t run out of cookies.”
Instead, relish or luxuriate in whatever you’re doing at the present moment—what psychologists call savoring.
This could be while you’re eating a pastry, taking a shower, or basking in the sun. You could be savoring a success or savoring music.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what’s happening while we’re busy making other plans.”
When we’re busy making “other plans,” our children are busy growing up, the people we love are moving away and dying, our bodies are getting out of shape, and our dreams are slipping away. In short, we miss out on life.
Many people live as if life were a dress rehearsal for some later date.
It isn’t. In fact, no one has a guarantee that he or she will be here tomorrow. Now is the only time we have, and the only time that we have any control over. When our attention is in the present moment, we push fear from our minds.
Fear is the concern over events that might happen in the future – we won’t have enough money, our children will get into trouble, we will get old and die, whatever.
To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present.
Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
I don’t think I can say it any better. Practice keeping your attention on the here and now. Your efforts will pay great dividends.
Enjoy life today, Live in the present & stay blessed forever.