For all the talk about the future and stuff, there´s rarely any meaningful discussion about being fully present in each moment. There’s a strong focus on planning for the future (and rightly so), and rarely any about things as they happen in real time. A famous saying comes to mind that reads: don’t be so focused on the destination that you miss the journey.
Renewed Spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle described it masterfully in his book, The Power of Now:
“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
The core stuff
Early in my life, I struggled with this concept. Not that I never appreciated the beauty of life or the joyful moments that I had, it was just that I never fully appreciated them. Whenever I thought I would, the feeling came accompanied by a thought of worry or fear. I was one of those people that used to think that I didn’t deserve something good when it happened or that if life was good for long stretches then it was surely because something bad was just around the corner.
Now, being a father of two, I’ve come to understand that I can’t control everything and that it’s inevitable that we will all experience bad (painful) things at some point in life. But what I can control is the way I view and react to everyday events. Now I’m mature (old?) enough to understand AND appreciate these little moments for what they are.
This past weekend was one of those times, where the old me would’ve messed up several awesome moments that I had. I could have been worried about many things, from past, present and future, but this time none of those things could derail the feeling of complete satisfaction and awe that I was in playing in the sand with my oldest and swimming in the ocean with my 9 month old baby girl. I was there, fully present with them, enjoying life. I know my son felt it too because he said so, and I’m certain even she felt it, in her own little way. They had me, and I had them.
My commitment with myself from now on is to move forward being fully present in each moment, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes life will be good, and sometimes we will hit some roadblocks. But I don’t want life to pass me by without getting the most out of every blessing that comes my way.
I invite you to do the same. Whenever possible, escape the past and future and be fully present. When you unlock this thought pattern and get used to it, you will feel it and you will know you achieved something truly special!