“The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Our minds are constantly racing towards multiple thoughts. From waking up to snugging back into the sheets, anger for someone, regret for a mistake, worry for the future or fear of taking some actions keep lingering in the mind. But amidst all these thoughts, we simply forget to embrace what we have now.
Children are such wonderful teachers. If we want to remember ourselves, and what life is all about, we just need to observe a child for a few minutes. It won’t be long before we appreciate the joy, simplicity and presence that the child exudes, and perhaps we may even wonder, “How can I be more like her?”
The quality of being able to enjoy life’s simple moments is not far away. In fact, it is our natural state to do so. Children in their innocence and purity are powerful mirrors that show us what is innately within, and what we long to reconnect to—a presence that has never left us. They help us release a familiar spark from within that says, this is who I am, and always have been, deep inside.
We have spent a lifetime learning to sublimate our spirit, living in our heads, and disconnected from the NOW. Obsessing about the past and future has become our natural way of living. It has become habit, and the unnatural has become naturalized. What is hard has sadly become the norm, so much so that we have forgotten that the present moment even exists.
Remember, when you worry for your future, you may be anticipating unrealistic things that may not even come into your life. Moreover, controlling future circumstances is never the right concept. Whereas when you are stressing over the past, you are trying to mould things that will never be changed. And how to live in the moment?
Choosing to live in the past or in the future not only robs us of enjoyment today, but it also robs us of a true living. The only important moment is the present moment. With that goal in mind, we should start living our life in the present. That is, we need to live more in the moment.
They say that the present moment is all we have, and while our past and future are very real concepts, they are just other aspects of this now. Feeling fear and anxiety toward our future comes from neglecting our present and holding onto our past—so in order to enjoy our future, we must first learn to enjoy our present!
You are exactly who you need to be and where you need to be in this moment. Wishing or trying to be someone else or somewhere else only creates resistance to the present.
So allow yourself time to accept your past, feel openly and freely, and practice mindfulness—and know that by doing so, you’re not only living presently, you’re also creating the best possible future for yourself.