I have this great widget on my igoogle home page called self-mediations by thingstobehappyabout.com. I love it. Always some really cool wise words to make me smile and think about my choices. The other day they had a great quote: “being present in the here and now is a conscious choice towards happiness” I posted the quote to my FaceBook profile and added “I definitely wanna be happy…so why is it so darn hard to stay in the present?” One of my friends, KJ, noted the seductive nature of the past and the future. But I wondered why we are so enthralled by things we have no control over, like the past and the future? Why do we favor them over the things we actually have control over, like the present? Is it that we want to be omnipotent and control the things that are uncontrollable? Or is it that we’re just silly and allow ourselves to go on autopilot, without giving thought to the consequences of our actions?
So often we find ourselves living in the past or the future, without realizing how we’re getting in the way of our happiness in the present. What’s the trick? Just like anything else…catching ourselves in the act and making a conscious choice to change what we’re doing to something more helpful. So when we find ourselves ruminating on the past and trying to wish away what has already happened or when we find ourselves fantasizing (or worrying) endlessly about something that may happen in the future at the expense of enjoying our present experience, perhaps we can take that opportunity to STOP, BREATHE, and NOTICE the present. I mean really notice the present. Perhaps looking closely at the face of the person your with, examining a cloud or a tree outside your window, enjoying the taste of the food in your mouth, smiling at the song on the radio, or getting yourself to focus on just about anything concrete that can bring you back into the goodness of the moment your in. Obviously, sometimes it’s harder than others. Sometimes the circumstances really stink. But I gotta tell you there’s always something, no matter how small that can ground you back into the goodness of the present, if you choose to look for it. Even if the happiness you find is fleeting and lasts only for a moment, at least you had the experience of it and know that you can create that for yourself…life is only made up of moments anyhow.
So, why bother? Why go to all of this effort? Because, when you are focused on the present, you can fully engage in your life. You can feel in charge of the decisions that you are making. And ultimately, going back to the quote that started this whole post, you can be happy in the moment. Bottom line…you have a choice. Your experience of the present will be what you make it…so make it something good for your own sake why don’t ya?
Be happy and well,