There is Nothing Else but the Here and Now
You, who wake up every morning with disheveled hair, trying to delay what will be the start of a new day, preferring to stay buried in the idyllic comfort of your pillow.
Or, you, who, as soon as the alarm goes off, jump out of bed hurrying, as the minutes slip by between eating breakfast, taking a shower, grabbing the keys, and rushing out ready to start a new day.
And yes, you, who, as soon as you begin to connect to reality after waking up, you direct your mind towards what you have to do throughout the morning or the afternoon, and if you rush, throughout the week. The future. You are living in the future.
Or maybe you start to think about how your date last night did not go as well as you had hoped, or that something at work didn’t turn out the way you wanted, or maybe you start wishing that you had studied more for that exam. The past. Now you are living in the past.
Past and future. Future and past. They are both only temporary moments, brought together by an invisible thread constantly moving you from one to the other.
And all the while you aren’t appreciating the flavor of what you are having for breakfast, the soft touch of your pajamas on your skin, or the rays of the sun that stream through your window.
Thoughts about what has happened or is to come, which then set off a chain of other thoughts, because that is what you have become good at: living automatically in the future or in the past.
You live looking forward and looking back, wasting each second of the present, missing out on what is happening now.
And if you stop? Have you ever tried? You could try it even if it is for just a couple of seconds.
I invite you, and I suggest you do, to breathe. Feel yourself. Connect with yourself.
Start to pay attention to what you are doing, to your present moment. Life is just moments, and you have to start getting the most out of each one. Move forward, with intention, and responsibility; make the decision.
The best place to begin is where you find yourself now, reading these lines. Immerse yourself completely in the experience. That way you can be sure to give yourself a few moments, just for you.
Enjoy what you are doing, or at least be conscious of it. Be fully aware of what you are doing, submerging yourself in the experience.
How do you do this? I will tell you now. Paying attention to what you are doing means being conscious.
When you eat, you are eating, and nothing else. Taste the food, notice the texture of what you are eating. The same when you are showering. Have you ever concentrated on the sensation of water hitting your skin? Or when you enjoy time with your friends, dedicate it to them, and to your conversations.
This also goes for unpleasant moments. Not everything is going to be infused with happiness. Look deeper and find your purpose, your needs, and your feelings.
Discover the power of acceptance. Forget your resentment and your expectations. We often distance ourselves from the here and now, because it pains us or is not how we had imagined it. Or because we feel guilty for being able to enjoy it.
What’s done is done and the future, although you have to work for what you want, will come. Don’t use the past as a couch but rather as a trampoline, and erase the “what if…” from your life, because guessing is not reality. Try to have a few minutes with yourself, with the here and now.
Give yourself over to the experience. And remember to live here and now, in this moment, because there is nothing else.