On Being Present
We, as a culture, tend to be overly nostalgic. We spend our time reminiscing about times gone by. We beat ourselves up over things that happened years ago, and are defined by who we used to be. We dream of living in another era, assuming we would be more who we are if we were someone else.
The other side lives constantly a minute ahead. We leave our cell phones on the table at lunch or check facebook religiously. We are told to plan our futures from when we are small children with the question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’. We go to school, then college, then secure a job so we can make a million, all without taking a moment to think, ‘Is this what I really want?’.
Very few people really understand the concept of being truly present. It does not come naturally in our society. It is something most people must consciously do. For example, when the cell phone rings at coffee with a friend, most people would answer it, regardless of the conversation it is interrupting. It has become second nature for us. We are a society obsessed with our distractions.
But it is not hard to be present. When you are out with friends, leave the cell phone at home, or turn it off. When you are alone, don’t think about what could have been or what could be. Focus on what is. When you find yourself drifting into guilt (the past) or worries (the future) take a moment to breathe. Find your presence, your reality. The past is not gone, the future is simply an idea, the only thing that is real, is now, and when your find your now, you will finally be free.