What does it mean to be [present]

I found this among some old hand-written notes from my summer spent climbing trees two years ago. So simple, yet so powerful:

–> letting go of the past
–> letting go of fears of the future

I think I’m doing pretty well with the first part – both in terms of the more distant past and in terms of the more recent past, like not holding grudges and trying not to overthink others’ behaviors or situations that have come and gone. The second part is a little harder – it’s so natural to think about the rich and creamy filling in the center and not give the yummy outer icing the attention it deserves. But the icing is so wonderful in its own right and sometimes when you get to the filling you realize that the icing was just as good, if not better and now it’s gone and you only have yourself to blame for not being there fully to enjoy it. All life is, is fleeting present moments but I think that fear of the unknown takes us away from the moment. All life is, is the now… now… now… and that’s all that’s guaranteed anyways… I’m playing with different ways of helping to ground myself in the present during the day-to-day. Right now, it’s simply repeating, “now, now, now” when I catch my mind spinning away. All we have is the now, but do we ever really have it? The moment we think of the now, it’s already gone, so I really hope we were there to enjoy it.

2 thoughts on “What does it mean to be [present]

  1. It’s hard to start living in the present, but once you do you’ll never want to go back. There’s a little Irish saying that I love: “the future is not ours to hold and it may never be. So let us live and give our best, and give it lavishly”. I believe it is true. No one can take the future away from us, because it is will never be a reality…the future is one thing that will always be beyond our reach, and while I think it is important to have goals and some sort of a plan for the future, it’s equally important to enjoy what you have now. One second and everything in your present can change and make all your plans for the future null and void. It’s important to make sure that no matter what happens in the future, you’ll have a part of you past that you can look back on and remember how wonderful and amazing it was and not regret that you let time pass you by while you waited for something better to possibly come along in the future. Live true to yourself now and you’ll have to end up in the right place…right?

    • Wow Mel. Beautifully put. So true, yet somehow our mind wants to keep projecting forward. I’m beginning to reflect on different reasons underlying the inability to be present, like: 1) fear of loss – not wanting to let yourself fully enjoy the present because somehow you think that doing this will jinx it and/or is related to the concept of the higher you are, the harder you’ll fall (but living in a place of fear is no way to live), 2) Ego – always wanting more, 3) dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs and escapism in thoughts of the future, 4) the fact that the mind just wants to chatter. It fights tooth and nail to not be quieted – although I was reading my book on Buddhist philosophy and in it, it said that we shouldn’t be striving for a totally quiet mind – what we should be striving for is to get out of these cycles of reincarnation… I haven’t brooded on that one yet because it’s outside of my current realm of comprehension (I thought that quieting the mind was a major part of Enlightenment…). Anyways, thanks for the thoughtful feedback ❤

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