Be here now. A mantra we can all see the benefit of but how often are we present only to find our minds wandering to an event of the past or future or reminding ourselves of current misfortune?
When we are present, in the moment, in the now, life flows better, feels easier, we make better decisions, are able to think more clearly and suffer less from feelings of anxiety, stress and fear. When we are present, our thoughts are flowing and we are less concerned with over analysing them and holding onto the experience of them.
Thoughts are how we have a full experience of life. We can cause ourselves pleasure and pain, joy and suffering. When we are present, we are centred, calm and peaceful. Anxiety, fear and stress occur when we remember to remind ourselves of our anxious, fearful and stressed thoughts about things.
Bringing ourselves back to the present moment is not about denying or judging our thoughts as right or wrong, rather seeing when they are creating our suffering and allowing ourselves to let them go and come back to centre.
We are so conditioned to leave the present moment via our thinking that even when we are enjoying something or achieving, we lament the waste of time not doing those things until now and start planning to implement changes in the future in order to ensure we keep on with them.
But no time exists other than now. No past experience is still happening and no future is certain. Inside of our physical selves, our spiritual beings are infinite, timeless, always well and whole. Our challenge on Earth is to reconcile these two parts of ourselves in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable experience of our time here, allowing ourselves to experience everything that occurs with grace, inner strength and resilience. We do not get what we think we want all of the time. We do experience, loss, abuse, illness, pain but we also have a centred, peaceful part of ourselves that we can return to in order to deal with these things better.
Any time our thoughts take control, it is helpful to remind ourselves to be here now. In the present moment, right now, right here, we connect with the stillness within; the calm lake, the reserve of peace. In these moments we experience a grace that detaches us from the overwhelming experience of being fully immersed in our thoughts and allows us the distance to see that we are using them to create an illusion. Of course we get constantly caught up in these illusions but when we notice them we are able to leave our thoughts alone, let them pass and come back to being here now.
Header image: Satsuki Shibuya