What does it mean to be in the ‘here and now'? I am obviously here! Am I not? It took a lot of time and practice for me to come to terms with the fact that I have not been living the present moment completely. With a cloak on my back reminding me of the past and a shield in the front protecting my future, I missed the point of enjoying the present moment.
There are authors, spiritual practitioners, and gurus that have been trying to teach the importance of living in the present moment without any attachment or judgment, but being a part of this rat race for so long, I didn’t think it was an achievable goal. We are all interconnected and everything affects the other; hence change is not just a distant concept but also one that’s extremely challenging to stick with. How many times has it happened that you have promised yourself to be on your best behavior the entire day but the triggers won’t let you! There is traffic, violence on the news, corporate politics, loneliness, betrayal, and other variables that contaminate your ‘resolution for the day’?
The promise that you made to yourself of being happy was based on a delusional expectation that the world will act more sensibly just as you decided you would! Do you see how that sounds? How can you be happy if you always assign your happiness to external stimuli and do not take into consideration that uncertainty is an inevitable part of our lives? Our ability to “choose” is a power that can make a huge difference in our quality of life.
So if your favorite dress is ruined, you can choose to sulk and scream spiraling in your own sorrow or you can observe the emotion that arises when things don’t go your way and then move on! This can be applied to all the agonizing situations you are faced with daily. Stuck in traffic? Start listing your options:
Curse the Government and other drivers
Get angry and then vent it out at your workplace or home
Use that time to observe your surroundings
Make that call you have been rescheduling due to your busy schedule
Listen to some music
Meditate (Yes, it can be done with your eyes open!)
THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS!
Choose to be happy, choose to be calm and observant. It might be difficult in the beginning as we are conditioned to behave in a certain pattern but gradually, with time you will notice yourself spotting some amazing stories that will fill your day with a deep sensation of compassion and gratefulness.
Who knows you may also find a woman begging on the wheelchair by the side of the street sharing a gentle yet reassuring smile with her partner. Maybe you will also get to witness a hungry dog who is denying to eat the food that you are offering and nudging you to follow her instead, to walk with her to the little corner of the road where her hungry puppies are waiting for her. Maybe you will end up spotting a lovely old couple holding hands and crossing the road. Being in the present moment will not only widen your range of observation, but it will also train you to accept what you cannot change and help you divert your energy to activities that will make you feel more humble in your approach.
As the quote goes:
“The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.”
~ Anila Andezhath