We live life moment by moment (a phrase you’ll hear a lot in mindfulness circles) but the only moment we really have is this one right now… oh, there it went! The reality of our situation is this… The past is electrochemical activity in our brain, known as memories. The future is electrochemical activity in our brains known as our imagination. We can direct our attention to either of these and ‘time travel’ in our heads but we still remain here in the present moment.
So as you’re reading this, pause for a moment and drink in all that is going on around you – the colours, scents, sounds, sensations of the body. It feels good, doesn’t it! It feels good to notice, to appreciate, to acknowledge the reality of the present moment.
We have been conditioned (or maybe we have conditioned ourselves?!) to get caught up in important matters of the future and past. We’ve gotta strategise, plan and scheme in order to make the future better, so we’ve gotta learn from the past, and from the mistakes of the past, so we don’t repeat them in the future. Our attention swings from future to past and from past to future but rarely settles for very long on what is going on RIGHT NOW.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with future and past thinking, I wouldn’t be writing this if I did! But if that’s all we’re doing, we’re missing so many of life’s great bits, missing the wonder and beauty that is all around us at this very moment.
This is one of the many reasons I LOVE mindfulness. It’s so simple and yet so powerful and profound.
Life is full of riches, full of incredible details – the smile on the face of your child or partner, the warmth of the sun on your face, the gentle breeze through your hair, the sound of songbirds the list is endless.
When we pause and simply dwell in the present moment, we get to experience those riches. What a privilege!