Do we live [enough] in the ‘here and now’?


 

Thinking of the future, what will it hold, forming ideas of where we all hope to be, the past flashes through our minds, for some it causes stumbling blocks but for others their experiences ignite an energy within to push on, forward and up to where they endeavour to be.

 

Living in the ‘here and now’ what do I mean?  Well let me explain, are you ever rushing around on a Saturday maybe in town, the streets are busy, you’re having to walk at other people’s pace, when really all you want to do is get to where you’re going and fast.  Maybe you begin to get frazzled, you’ve been out all morning, haven’t stopped for as much as a cup of tea or a bite to eat, but you realise now you’re hungry, hungry and frustrated.  So you stop for a moment, there is a bench, you take a seat and suddenly it’s everyone else who is rushing around like a mad thing, trying to get done what they need to, before a certain time and you simply watch, taking a moment.  You notice now the sound of traffic on the road near by, hear other peoples conversations instead of the low hum as before, you smell in the air what you would possibly like for lunch, this is living in awareness, living in the ‘here and now’.

 

It is so easy to block out what is happening around us, in the morning on the way to work, while eating lunch or taking a walk.  When we’ve made the same trip many times before we all have a tendency to switch off to an extent, put ourselves on auto-pilot or cruise control.  With so many other thoughts distracting us from our task at hand, we begin to live in the past or the future, but rarely the present.

Going to work, waiting in traffic or sitting on the bus, you think about last night and how what transpired will effect your tonight.  Eating lunch, are you tasting the food or simply thinking of the work still to be done, before you can leave to go home [counting down the hours and minutes until you get back on the bus or into your car].  Walking along the same streets, heading home or for a drink, do you notice the people around you, step aside to let them past or bump a shoulder in a daze.  Your thoughts else where, sipping on a frosty cup, while sitting in a comfortable chair.

 

We slip from day to day, not knowing where the time goes, feeling unable to slow it down and realising we can never have it back.

“An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can’t buy that inch of time with an inch of gold” [Chinese proverb]

We all have the ability to live every moment of our lives, right here right now, but what stops us, is it the distraction of latest fashions, big bags, big hair or the celebrity gossip mags?  Could it change the quality of our living, could we be happier within ourselves and if so would the effects of this happiest be far reaching?  My belief is yes, but this article isn’t just about me, it’s about all of you too.

 

“When we live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere” [Thich Nhat Hanh – Mediational Art]

 

Sarah Docherty – June 2009

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