We hear so much in the spirituality/mindfulness world about ‘being in the present moment.’ That we should all learn to cultivate the capacity to ‘be here now,’ to experience just what we are in and nothing more, to learn how to draw our attention from worrying about the future or ruminating on the past so as to be with whatever is at hand.
This sounds lovely, but let’s be honest – for most of us being ‘in the present moment’ isn’t really something we want to do/have the capacity to do.
If you have ever sat down to meditate or done your best to draw your mind into this moment, you may have found that the mental chattering that is a constant drumbeat in your experience gets louder and more pronounced. That being focused on the right here is actually really difficult.
So why bother? Why work to cultivate the capacity to focus and exist in what is? And if being in the moment is so valuable, why is it so hard to ‘do?’
The simplest answer for why being here now is so relevant to your life is that it is in this moment – and only in this moment – that you have power in your life.
Think about it – can you really step back into your past and change anything? Is it possible to fast-forward to a different moment in your future so as to play it out before it actually happens?
Of course the answer is no. All you have is right now.
The thing about truly realizing this is – once you ‘get’ that being in this moment is the one and only place where you are able to solve any issues in your life, where you are able to make ‘progress’ on anything you want to work towards, where you are able to love or have ANY experience at all – you will really notice the power of this cultivation. You can’t undo or pre-do anything. You can only ever deal with what is.
Now the reason being in the now is so hard is because all of your pain is in the now too. All of your past regrets and future fears are here. All of the consequences of past actions and the path you have been walking are present in this moment. All the emotional messengers that are letting you know where the wheels have fallen off in your life is right here.
This is why most of us think of the past or worry about the future. We are trying to prevent or reverse pain.
The kicker here is if you are focused on the past or worrying about the future as a way of trying to avoid pain, all you are doing is creating a situation where you take all your power away. Because again, you can’t do anything to change your past and you can’t pre-do your future.
Being in the present moment is about learning. It is about taking in the information – the results of all your past behaviours, studying those results and then choosing to be different in the here and now. It is noticing what didn’t work, and being willing to change in this moment – not in five minutes, not in 10 days – right here, right now.
Being in the moment allows you to become aware. It allows you to learn.
From there, you can alter your path. You can change, grow, heal and become loving.
But only right now.
To be here now, is to take all your power back to create a more beautiful life – one moment of taking action in a new way at a time.
This is where is all is. Right here. Right now.
Ali Washington is a Spiritual Guide, Life Coach, Reiki Master, Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher who is here to support light workers in finding their truth and living from that place.