“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Recently I’ve been contemplating the word ‘Now’. If my mind wanders during meditation, I bring my awareness back to my breath. Lately, if my mind wanders during the day into future imaginings or recollections of the past, I’ve been gently bringing my attention fully back into this moment. Just this moment. And then this moment. And so on. That’s all there is, and yet it’s not so simple.
As beings of habit, we tend to do what we’ve always done. The act of developing good habits is worth every effort required. And remaining in the NOW is a very good habit.
Some may argue that everything happens in the present moment, and all thoughts of the past or the future are actually happening in the now. But while that logic holds on some level, it doesn’t erase the fact that our life erodes the longer we step out of the present and wander into the future or the past with our thoughts.
This morning I caught myself thinking about someone I saw over the holidays… wondering why I hadn’t heard back after sending a thank you for her gifts… speculating whether or not she liked mine. Then I noticed what I was doing and I changed my mind. It was as easy as bringing my attention to the act of dressing I was doing. Then I looked around and noticed my environment, and gave thanks for it all. I said to myself, “Thank you God for this day” continuing to develop the good habit of remaining present rather than wandering into thoughts that do not serve me.
Wayne Dyer: “Have you noticed how often we use up the present moments of our lives, the very precious currency of life, consumed with a longing to be someplace else, doing something else? Or we waste present moments feeling guilty about the past or apprehensive about the future. Slipping away from the present happens because we are living our lives with an attitude of depreciation rather than appreciation. We can ease this dilemma by learning to pay attention to what’s going on in the inner world of our thoughts.”
Staying fully awake and aware of only this moment is a habit I intend to keep working on, like a mental muscle I’m developing. It will become more ingrained with practice and there are many benefits. By releasing imaginary meandering into future events that haven’t happened I can be more effective in creating my future by visualizing the best possible outcome. By releasing aimless mental wandering into my past I can more fully move forward while forgiving past hurts or wrongdoings. I intend to be conscious of my thoughts.
It’s about not allowing aimless thoughts to wander without focus and fall into fearful thinking. Thoughts of regret about the past and anxious worries of the future increase our stress and lower our energy. I choose to engage in thoughts that raise my energy. I choose to remain aware of my thoughts. I choose to visualize a positive future and remember what I’ve learned from the past and move forward in confidence. I choose to remain in the now.