Paul Coelho said: “Life is the moment we’re living right now”. Life isn’t the moment we’re planning to live after all obstacles have been removed. Life isn’t the memory of something that happened in the past. Life is the moment we’re living right now. Watch how the mind tries to trick us into thinking that the future will be brighter, better than this moment. Or how it drags us back into the past where things were so much happier than they are now. Past and future exist only in our imagination.
The poet Emily Dickinson once wrote: “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”
Try it right now. Take 3 conscious breaths; as you breath out, drop all unnecessary tension, become aware of what you can see and hear in your immediate vicinity. Really be here, fully, in this moment.
One lady trying this out during one of my courses couldn’t get over how colour leapt into focus – ‘The colours are so much brighter,’ she said excitedly, “so much more alive!” In coming to stillness, I often notice (always as if for the first time!) how still everything is: the chairs, the china ornaments, my tea-cup. I find this strangely reassuring – soothing and comforting. Driving somewhere yesterday and remembering to be there (especially important when driving!) I had the same feeling about the tall old trees that lined the street. It was like the awareness of something very still, very ancient, – a place where I could rest and feel safe.
A small child still appreciates how ‘life is so startling that it leaves little time for anything else’. Watching a child study a line of ants, or a butterfly, gives us a sense of present moment awareness. Absorbed in fantasies of past and future, we miss the magnificence of life, and ‘die never having really lived’. ‘The true Self can only be experienced in the present because that is the only reality.’ (Chapter 10: Living in the Now: less stress, more happiness by Jill Jacques, available as a download on Amazon.)
Be kind and gentle with yourself.