The present moment isn't boring.
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.
And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. “- Alan W Watts
I love this quote from Alan W Watts, it makes so much sense to me, yet it seems to really challenge a lot of people.
We spend so much time planning and scheduling for the future, chasing the Holy Grail as it were, that we aren’t allowing ourselves to be in the present moment. Does being in the here and now mean that we can’t have dreams and goals?
Of course not, we all have dreams and goals. The issue is that we get so fixated on the scheduling, planning and perceived outcome that we aren’t enjoying life in the here and now. The truth is we can’t control the future the past, or other people.
Trying to manage every facet of our lives, and sometimes the lives of others, can cause a lot of stress especially if our well laid plans go pear shaped.
Some people think that slowing down and taking life as it comes is boring.
Life in the present moment is far from mundane as things change constantly, however because we live on autopilot, with our focus somewhere else, we don’t notice these changes.
So how do we cultivate a sense of presence?
Nurturing a beginner’s mind is a good place to start.
My dog is a great example of having a beginner’s mind. Even though his daily walk is pretty much the same route, it’s as if he is walking that path for the first time, every time.
There are always new smells, different patch of territory to mark or new people enjoying a walk; he’s always open and eager, never on autopilot.
Kids are wonderful teachers for this too, interested and excited, accepting things as they are, without any preconceptions.
· Go for a walk, without headphones or phone, look around and notice gardens, the light, the trees.
· Eat a meal or drink your tea, coffee, water without distractions.
· Be present and engaged with your partner, family or friends.
· Practice QiGong or any activity that requires your full focus.
Start now, keep it simple, every moment of every day is life, life is for living, and once the moment is gone, we can’t get it back.
I will leave you with the profound words of John Lennon.
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”