Over the years, I’ve found that the two hardest places for me to be are 1) here,and 2) now. And in over 20 years of teaching, I’ve noticed this is true for many others as well. It sounds like a nice spiritual concept, but I’ve discovered that living in the Here & Now is vital to our living an authentic, meangingful life. What does it mean to live in the Here & Now?
Being HERE means to realize that you are always in the right place. Always. And NOW means to be awake and aware – as much as possible – in the present moment.
Where you are now in your life? The answer is always: the right place. Sometimes we want a different job, a different spouse, a different body, a different experience. But the spiritual path shows us that we have available to us all that we need to experience Life deeply right where we are. Here & Now. It’s helpful to remember that everything we see in our life is an “effect,” a reflection of our inner beliefs and our actions.
When we take this as our worldview – that we are in the right place right now — everything in your life becomes a mirror. The job you are in? Perfect for getting in touch with your talents, your boundaries, the value you believe for yourself. How you describe your job to yourself and others reflects perfectly your inner beliefs about what you are willing to accept for yourself. That’s good information, because you get clear about what you believe, you can then get clear about what you want (or not), and what to do next.
Feel like you need a new spouse, or new friends? Your relationships that you have now are exactly the ones you need to grow and learn about love. They are reflecting back to you what you are willing to accept, and how vulnerable and authentic you are willing to be.
It’s a paradox: Love what is here in your life now, and you will automatically get an upgrade from Life. We sometimes want something new, without realizing that what we have here in our life right now is the gateway to something more. Look for the lesson, the love, or God in everything currently in your life, and you will transform it into a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block.
Sounds so easy, but try to stay in the Here & Now for one day (or one hour, or even sometimes for one minute) and you quickly see how easy it isn’t! But here’s the rub: our personal power is always in the present moment. I’ve sometimes found that it’s easier to procrastinate what I know will bring me joy, in order to stay in the inertia, which can feel deceptively comfortable. In those moments, when I choose (consciously or subconsciously) to procrastinate, I become stuck.
We can replay the past over and over, or fixate on what the future may bring, but it is only in the Here & Now that we actually have any ability to affect our life. It is only in the Here & Now that we can make choices and decisions for joy, rather than give in to the habitual fears that can grip our lives.
How do we become more present in the Here & Now? Meditate, journal, make art, go for a walk – look for those activities that bring you joy, that engage your entire being.
What ways have you found to be in the Here & Now?