The present. Staying in the here and the now. Living in the present moment. You hear and read about it a lot. Even my girl Alicia Keys reminds us in one of her songs that “The present is a gift”. But what exactly does that mean?
I mean, it’s not like we can fast forward or rewind experiences in our lives. Or can we? Of course we can. Every time we dwell on past failures, we regress, and every time we dream of a future that has yet to arrive, we lose focus of our life in its present state.
That’s not to say that all flashbacks are negative. There are times we think back on difficult times only to remind ourselves of how far we’ve come. However, Isn’t that also a way of straying from the right now?
I guess it depends on how you look at it.
For me, being in the present is connecting with whatever or whomever I am with on any given moment. So often we become so engrossed with our busy schedules, work, careers, and keeping up with the Jones’, that we take for granted the actual beauty that may be touching our lives.
Think about it. When was the last time you actually stopped to smell a flower? Used your power of observation to make out shapes in clouds? Truly breathed in the aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee? Yeah. I thought so.
I used to be one of those unfortunate souls who never took the time to stop, look, and listen. As a single Mother, life was rough. Swimming lessons. Ballet classes. Aikido. Work. Picking up the laundry. There simply wasn’t enough time to waste on “trivial things” like watching a snail crawl across the sidewalk after a rainy night.
It wasn’t until I realized how fast time was passing and how, because of our busy schedules, my children and I were not pausing to take life in. Hell, we weren’t taking in anything other than meeting the expectations of others. That’s when I decided we had to hop off the hamster wheel and start living at a slower pace.
My children were relieved. I was relieved and finally, we were able to exhale. So we made a commitment to never again let a rainbow go unnoticed, or be oblivious to how the sky sometimes has pink and blue hues. The world seemed a better place to be in, and we were a lot more content to take in new sounds, smells, sights and tastes.
Which brings me back to the present moment.
I encourage you to slow down. Little by little, come to a pause. Now breathe. A second deep breath feels even better.
Look around you. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Don’t just glance. You have to really observe.
Ladies, notice how before when a hot guy jogged past you in the park all you saw was, well, a hot guy. However, with your new power of observation you can now admire how his muscles ripple with every step he takes or how the wind ruffles his hair. Ahh…feeling better already.
You get the picture.
So, are you going to think of whatever good you had but is now gone? Or are you going to ponder the fabulous that is yet to come but is still in transit? Or… are you going to focus on what is present in your surroundings right this instant?
It’s time to live like today’s all we got. Because like Alicia says, “Another day here’s not really guaranteed”.
Okay, time to go. A Gerard Butler look a like just strolled past me and I am most certain a moment like this will not repeat itself.