Many times we find ourselves stuck in the past or anticipating the future. Living life in this way can result in our feeling ungrounded or distracted. It takes us away from the magic that is the present moment, wherein we can experience life fully as it is.
There are a variety of reasons as to why we move away from the present moment, and each of these reasons are personal, although not unique, to ourselves. We may be experiencing feelings of guilt or regret over something that happened or was said, or we may feel anxious about what may happen in the future based on past experiences. We may have lost our sense of “basic goodness” towards ourselves or others.
However, when we approach life in such a way, we are stuck. We can not change the past, nor can we control the future. Yet, we can be in the present moment. We can observe and notice what is happening right here, right now. From this place of awareness, we can then choose how we wish to respond.
The following quote by Chögyam Trungpa reminds me of the magic to be experienced in life: “Nowness, or the magic of the present moment, is what joins the wisdom of the past with the present.” In any given moment there is much more happening than what can possibly be seen with our physical eyes.
When I allow myself to be in the present moment- without judgment or critique- I can see the magic of life unfolding in ways that I had never imagined. Being in the moment, I can catch glimpses of how my past has led me to that particular moment. I am able to make this recognition by calming the internal negative “monkey mind” chatter and coming back to my breath. Doing this helps me to regain my belief in basic goodness in people and in life experiences, so that instead of remaining stuck in feelings of regret, sadness, or guilt (because it is inevitable to feel such feelings now and again), I can express genuine gratitude for being here now.