Recently I’ve been revisiting wisdom taught by various spiritual teachers about being present. For example, I really appreciate this quotation by the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu: “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Author Eckhart Tolle also drives this point home by saying, “Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.”
I’ve always had an actively contemplative mind. Some have told me I think too much at times. That may be, though much of the time I think the ability to reflect is a positive trait. Yet, when the psyche gets weighed down with past events one can no longer change, or preoccupied by what might uncertainly happen tomorrow or five years from now… it’s time to stop the gerbil wheel in the brain and focus on the Now.
When we take a moment to evaluate the present moment we usually find that all is well, or well enough. If today we have our basic needs met (e.g. food, water, shelter, clothing, etc.), today we’re okay. If today we have at least one person in the world who truly cares about us, today we’re okay. And many have much more than this, that we’d more fully realize and appreciate if we were to stop and count our blessings.
When we awaken to the present moment and reside in the Now, there is peace. This is the peace I am centering on as 2020 begins. May you be inspired!