When I was a child I was wild. I felt a sense of freedom that can only be found in a child who feels safe and loved. This is the time in my life when was most likely to be found "in the moment" I'm certain it drove my mother crazy. It made no difference to me if we had places to be, or people to meet. I was looking at "my very favorite" potato bug, and that was all that mattered.
As I grew older I become more aware of appointments, meetings, regret, and fear. We are taught that these things are not just normal, but important. We must "learn from our past," and "plan for our future." While these phrases do have , at least some, merits. They do not carry the grace that we award them.
Life is a journey, and the only way we can enjoy that journey is to live in the present. Elkhart Toole has said, "The only thing that is real is the present. This moment" When we get caught up in planning for the future and learning from our past we put ourselves into a cycle of irrelevant fear and regret. There is nothing we can do about the past, and, since we can only control our own actions, very little we can do about the future.
I am not saying that there is no hope, or that learning from our past "failures" and "victories" is fruitless. All I'm saying is that, in order to really live, we must focus on the here and now.
Think of an athlete. When an athlete plays a great game, or has an incredible match, it's not because they were thinking about what they did in the tournament last year, or how they are going to do in the tournament next year. Any athlete will tell you they were "in the zone" and the "zone" is now. When playing sports milliseconds can make the difference between victory and loss. There is no time to analyze at what angle the ball is coming in, or how fast your opponent is running. There is only time to act.
Even if you are not an athlete this is a very applicable practice. Yogis call it mindfulness, and even Time magazine recognizes how beneficial it can be.
“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.”
I often grew (see also grow) impatient waiting for the next phase of my life to come along. Thinking that when I'm older this will be easier, or when I've finally fished school (don't even get me started) life will be so much better. This kind of thinking draws me away from the joy that exists all around me. Not only can I not enjoy my math class simply because it's math, but I am blocking myself from feeling the excitement of learning something new, or celebrating how quickly I remember an old concept by worrying about when it will finally be over.
I used to be less healthy than I am now. I was constantly fluctuating between being very thin, but not healthy, and relatively heavy, and not healthy.
When I finally started digging into fitness and learning what it meant to eat healthy and exercise I was obsessed. Each day I marveled at the heavy weights my body could move, and was shocked at the amount of healthy food I was eating and how good my body felt. Each day I was in love with the journey. I am so grateful looking back that I was not so wrapped up in the past or future that I was able to really live that journey.
My wellness journey is still ongoing, and since its lost a little bit of its newness I fall in and out of love with it. I try to celebrate each moment. I am still amazed at the incredible things my body can do, and am constantly fascinated by the complicated internal reactions. I am loving this journey.
There is only now. This moment.
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Yogic Wisdom Here