A few times lately I’ve been reminded of the healthy practice of staying in the present moment. If we were to stop and check in with ourselves throughout the day, and name what it is we’re thinking of at that juncture, chances are that our thoughts would be about something that has happened or something we anticipate will happen. Rarely are we here now. We may miss, at least in part, the majority of occasions as they unfold because of the chatter in our minds.
Sometimes the thoughts about the past or future can be filled with happy memories or looking forward to what’s to come. Yet too often, I suspect, the thoughts of the past come with concern or regret, while the ones about the future bring stress or worry. Regardless of whether these past and future thoughts are positive or negative, incessant rumination of the mind steals the opportunity to live here and now.
Sure there is a time to process what went before and to plan for what’s to come. We are wise, however, to carefully set aside a specific amount of time for such reflection or preparation. Disciplining ourselves in this way can help ensure that our thinking doesn’t run away with today. Then we can reserve the majority of our waking life to enter more fully into the joy that is only available at this precise moment.
As author Eckhart Tolle put it, “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
Let us not miss the gift of now.
May you be inspired!