living in the present
Even at my age, I live by the school year calendar. When a new school year approaches, I oftentimes find myself reassessing where I am, and where I’m going – not unlike what so many of us do the first of every new year. This post flows from that assessment and has been ruminating in my mind for some time now.
Maybe it’s my advancing age, or maybe it’s the wisdom that has come with my advancing age, but I’m constantly reminded how important it is to live NOW; in the present. We have limited time on this earth. Time is a luxury we can not afford to waste, and yet so much of our time falls into that wasteful category.
If you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, wouldn’t you do all you could to squeeze every last drop out of your life? I know I would because I would have no choice in the matter.
But those of us who have not been given a medical death sentence do have a choice. We can be engaged in this only life we’ve been given, or we can waste it.
We can wile away the hours of each day lamenting what isn’t and complaining about what is, or we can live in the present and accept what we can’t change and do something about that which we can.
The truth of the matter is, we all have restrictors strapped to our lives. They may be physical or medical restrictors; financial or situational restrictors. No one escapes what life dishes out, but we all have a choice about what we do with what we’ve been served.
That’s a very heady responsibility we’ve been given.
I mean, wow, it’s my life, I get to choose how I live it. I can choose to remain as I am, or I can do something this very day to make things better.
Waiting even one more day means that’s one more day I will have wasted.
I’m not willing to do that, I mean . . . what if tomorrow brings about that death sentence I thought I had avoided?
Through comments by someone I follow on Twitter, I stumbled on the key to living in – and thriving on – the present. Authors Ariel and Shya Kane [@ArielandShya] went through trial and error during their early adult lives in their attempt to find fulfillment.
If you read even one of their books, you’ll discover that they admit their journey took them to many places and venues, under varying conditions, spending great and small amounts of money, only to find the answer to their quest in their every day experiences.
If we’re aware and focusing on the present we’ll find life lessons everywhere we look.
We can be deaf and blind to those lessons, but it doesn’t take a trip to India, a luxury spa, or even a therapist’s office, to practice the art of thriving exactly where we are.
The painful yet honest truth is that we excel at complaining and stressing about situations in which we find ourselves: traffic, long lines at the TSA security checkpoint, our job or lack thereof, boredom, illness, and so on. But if we’re honest with ourselves – and lately I’ve been painfully honest with myself – we’ll conclude that complaining and stressing out over such situations does nothing toward changing them. But changing the way we view those situations does alter how we react to them and therefore how we feel about that moment of time in which we’re inconvenienced because what we would have preferred to happen, did not.
When did your complaining about a lengthy red light – when you were endeavoring to get to an appointment on time – actually make the green light come quicker?
Here’s a direct quote from the Kane’s book, Practical Enlightenment: Read the rest of this entry »
Here I go again, relying on Dr. Bernie S. Siegel to provide some wisdom for your day, but what can I say, his 365 Prescriptions for the Soul catches my attention more often than not and when it does, I like to share the good stuff I find. The following is provided verbatim:
Parade of Life
Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do now, and do it. – William Durant
Life is a parade. Sometimes we march along and realize we have passed by what we were looking for. What do we do? Stand there and drop out of the parade? March on with regrets? Feel bad about how we looked or that everything we wanted was on the wrong side of the street? It’s passed! Forget it and march on!
Sometimes our parade isn’t so pretty, and the crowd isn’t interested in us. If we drag everything we have passed with us, we will destroy the present. We have no future when we live in the past.
We even talk about past lives. Whether you believe in them or not, the same principle applies. If you are living a past life, you are destroying your present one. In therapy, people come to understand why they are acting the way they are and how the past is affecting them. They learn to let go, move on, and not sit in the same classroom year after year. They graduate and commence a new life.
A closing comment by this blogger:
The good news is that we can learn from our past, both the good and the bad. But if we stay cemented in the past and don’t move on, that parade Dr. Siegel talks about? It’ll pass us by.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to get left behind.