Vignettes in Aging – Being Present

Being present means living in the now. When you’re lamenting the past or worried about the future, you’re not living in the now.

Have you ever noticed yourself so focused on your bad day at work that, when you get home, you don’t remember driving your car there? During times like this, being present is merely a fleeting concept, yet, being present or living in the now is the richest, most delicious place to hang out – in both challenging and fun times.

It is also challenging to be present when you’re worried or in pain or stressed. This is the best time, however, to practice being still and calm and centered on what is right in front of you.

A “monkey mind” – that incessant chatter that rolls around in your head – can keep you from focusing on being calm. Your monkey mind isn’t the enemy. If it is treated as such, however, it only gets louder. If treated more like an insolent child, shushing it with compassion and love, it begins to quiet immediately.

What’s the advantage of being present? Doesn’t it help us sort things out if we can take time at the present to review and debrief the past? Doesn’t it help us prevent future mistakes if we analyze possible future problems now? Yes and no.

It’s true, in order to avoid past mistakes we need to take stock, and it is also prudent to take the time to review and plan for the future. BUT, to make best friends with all that did go or could go wrong is a waste of time. It serves no purpose except to detract from the joy of right now.

What is in front of you now to enjoy and appreciate? Is there anything from the past or the future that might be clouding that lovely and exciting look at the present?