Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Be Here Now

Three words from the seventies that may sound cliché to some. Yet, I come back to them time and again. I was reminded of them by JTL's blog. I've used them while raising my sons and use them to get myself out of a funk and just get on with it.

It's so easy to get caught up in the picayune details of life; to stress over every little detail; to worry about choices and decisions already made; to get distracted from what's actually happening in the here and now. When we do this, we fail to see the beauty around us. When we do this, we ignore or fail to appreciate the people around us. When we do this, we fail to give our entire attention to the task at hand.

When my son was very young, he had a tendency to chase down every curiosity, every minor distraction that crossed his path. - No, he didn't have ADD. - He was just inquisitive and rather obsessive – kind of like his mom. He didn't know how to channel his energy. If we were at the park, he'd be thinking of the latest dinosaurs he looked up. If we were at a restaurant, he'd be wondering what was in the pond at the park. If we were on vacation, he'd be thinking about a restaurant at home. His mind was constantly somewhere else, other than "here". He wasn't present. It took him a while to learn how to set aside the other stuff churning around in his brain and just have fun in the present; and learn that the other stuff would still be there waiting when he was done doing what he was doing.

I think we all have a tendency to be like this. How often are we in a beautiful location, and instead of taking in the view and savouring the moment, we find our minds wandering off to some worry or other. This other might be very important – like an upcoming job interview or exam – but how does worrying about it at that particular moment in time going to help? Wouldn't it be better to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the moment, THEN deal with the other stuff with equal concentration and conviction?

Our lives are made up of brief moments strung together. When our minds are constantly elsewhere, we run the risk of losing some of the most precious ones.

It's not easy - living those three words. I still work at it. But the closer I get to the end rather than the beginning of this particular life, the more importance I place on it.


Anonymous said...

The passage of time has taught me to be mindful of the moment. I only wish I had learned this practice at an earlier age.

Anonymous said...

one of those sentences contradicts the other.

Anonymous said...

thanks ell.

Anonymous said...

Enoyed reading this, ell. And I ended up mentioning in my last post!