Thursday, March 08, 2007

Now Is All There Is

Too often when the conditions in our lives are not exactly what we want them to be, we get caught up in living in the expectation of a better time. There's only one problem with that. There is no tomorrow. There is no some day.

Those are concepts of the future and they will always remain in the future. And living for them interferes with our ability to be present now, enjoying whatever treasures and pleasures are available to us this very moment.

The very moment we are experiencing now is the only moment we get to experience. The past is a memory. The future is a possibility. This moment is real.

We would do well to ask ourselves frequently what we can do to experience life to its fullest right now? It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just whatever brings you joy.

For me, what sometimes works is just hugging one of my children and enjoying the indescribable joy of loving them immensely. I have a 16 year old daughter who will actually hold my hand in public. I think that's quite an accomplishment. Of course, that kind of relationship didn't happen overnight. It's a payoff for years of investing in her...of being present for her when I felt like doing something else...of listening when I was too tired to listen...of sacrificing goals I could have been pursuing in order to be available to her.

It's the same with my son. He went through a period of time when he was a little standoffish, but I just attributed that to puberty and gave him space to figure it out. And he did.

But getting back to the subject of living in the moment, what things and experiences bring you joy? Make a list and refer to it if you are out of the habit of enjoying the moment. How long has it been since you just stopped for a moment and enjoyed the sensations of the sun on your skin or the sounds of birds singing? Getting a few minutes of sunshine every day is a great antidote to depression.

Another thing I like to do from time to time is just act like a kid again. Kids know how to live in the moment. They don't worry much about what they are going to do when. They just seize whatever opportunity presents itself.

That's why every time I get an opportunity, I like to swing. I'm talking about a park swing. Come on, folks. :-) I swing as high as I possibly can and then sometimes I lie back in the swing and let that little thrill whirl through my belly and just abandon everything else in the joy of the moment.

My ideas may not appeal to you. That's okay. Come up with your own ideas...whatever does it for you. Just enjoy now before it gets away.

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