Saturday, December 19, 2009
Living for Today
Lately, my family and I have been spending fun time together catching up on movies before they go out of the theaters. In the past I would often ask friends that have seen a movie of interest what happened at the end. Many were reluctant to spoil the ending by telling me, but I always managed to get them to disclose the big "ta-da". In my mind I needed to know what to expect so I would be emotionally prepared. I was never one for surprises (I didn’t want to be faced with sad ending, which almost always led to a runny nose and puffy eyes).
Once a dear friend poked fun at me gently when I grilled her for the latest storyline and pointed out that I always seemed to be very concerned with what was going to happen next. She was very correct in her observation. When I would read suspense or mystery novels half way through I would jump to the final pages just to see how things turned out. I would always chock it up to wanting to be “prepared.”
In time, I realized that I did this not only with movies and books but also in other aspects of my life. I spent a lot of time wondering about what the future held, not realizing that what I did in the present directly affects the future. The introduction to Jon Kabat-Zinn's book Wherever You Go There You Are (Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life) speaks about the importance of living in the now. He states "If what happens now does influence what happens next, then doesn't it make sense to look around a bit from time to time so that you are more in touch with what is happening now, so that you can take your inner and outer bearings and perceive with clarity the path that you are actually on and the direction in which you are going? If you do so, maybe you will be in a better position to chart a course for yourself that is truer to your inner being--a soul path, a path with heart, your path with a capital P. If not, the sheer momentum of your unconsciousness in this moment just colors the next moment. The days, months and years quickly go by unnoticed, unused and unappreciated."
A wise soul once said "the past is history, the future is a mystery and today is a gift. That is why we call it the present." Do you have big dreams and/or plans for the future? Are you anxious to see what tomorrow holds? We all have the power and pleasure of scripting our lives.
As sure as there has to be a beginning and an end there needs to be a middle, a right now. Enjoy your "right now" knowing that it will make for one heck of a future.
May your "right now" be filled with love, happiness and endless possibilities.