“You see, the past is past, and the future is yet to come. That means the future is in your hands, the future entirely depends on the present. That realization gives you a great responsibility.” The Dalai Lama.
How much attention do we pay to the present moment? While driving to work we are thinking of the day ahead of us – or the weekend to come; or our next vacation, the bills, the kids….Then when we do something stupid we ask ourselves “What was I thinking?”
And we are just as likely to waste time looking backwards – refighting battles, or just wishing for the ‘good old days’. Were they really that good? Or has time, as Gladys sang so many years ago, rewritten every line. The only time we can make an impact on is right now.
Yet we pay so little attention to where we are and what we are doing in our present. These are the good old days we will be longing for in a decade or two. Do we appreciate what we have? Do we make the most of our life and all it has to offer or are we too busy trying to imagine a better time, past or present? I remember as a teenager longing to graduate from school and start living my life. Yet now when we look back at our high school days, we wish we were there again.
Practitioners of Buddhism often remind us that we need to practice mindful awareness. Being in the present moment and noticing everything that is happening enables us to make the most of the present. It helps you to pay attention to what is going on around us instead of rushing through the day wishing, worrying, obsessing on everything but where we are right now. Being present in the moment provides opportunities to make the most of every minute of your life, to see the wonder of the world around you. As you really listen to the people in your life you may hear messages you would otherwise miss while you give them only half an ear.
We don’t have to wish for the good old days, we carry a piece of the past with us. Those places we have been are recorded in our memory, and a smell, or a song can bring that image sharply into focus. So we don’t need to keep looking backwards. If we look too far into the future we may miss out on something wonderful that is happening right now. And as we rush ahead we run the risk of looking back and saying ‘if only I had realized this sooner.’
Pay attention to how you are living your life right now, for you are creating the future every day. Be present with the people in your life, they may be gone from you quicker than you think. Give thanks for every breath that you take, it is a bigger privilege than you realize. Make every moment matter, for every moment is precious.
“Therefore I, my father, pray
That no golden chance may fly
Missed and lost
By me today”
One Love Family! Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend.
Mindful awareness. I try to practice this. Such a simple concept and yet – so complex and hard to achieve!