When did we begin worrying about what will happen next? When did we pick up the habit of stewing over the past? It seems that our mind-body-spirit is highly designed to operate magnificently in the present – and yet I catch myself spending very little time “in the moment.” Pause and try this small exercise:
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in and out slowly and fully using your diaphragm
- Notice what’s around you – the sounds, smells, temperature, your body parts
Do this for a minute or two and come back to read more. Do it now.
Did you experience a calmness, perhaps a hint of joy? Do you feel stronger and more capable? This is the blessing of the precious present. Your entire being thrives on the present. We miss the blessing of “now” when we spend time in the past and churn about the future. Now is where life exists, in the breathing in and breathing out, in the awareness of yourself and your surroundings, in the ease of being.
The value of past experiences are that they already are data points for making choices in the present. The value of anticipation is that you may better prepare for what may come.
The downside of focusing on past experiences and future churn is that you generate fear that you are not capable or that you will not be prepared. Trust yourself, be present and your whole being will be function brilliantly – whatever the challenge.
When I worry, I put my potential in a small box. I pre-define a set of options, usually unpleasant ones in which I fail or am caught short-handed. When I do that, I may miss ways to succeed through my strengths.
For a story that adds color and poignancy to this simple idea, try Spencer Johnson’s The Precious Present.