20 December 2011

What's Now?

I was just thinking about how much we ask ourselves and each other “What’s next?”  It’s a short, simple question that we hear quite a lot, even if it’s not always in those exact words.  We spend a lot of time and effort and energy looking towards that next thing, very often neglecting what’s going on now as we keep our focus on possible futures.  But any possible future that we consider is simply that–possible.  No more, no less.  But what’s here and now is definitely real, definitely a part of our lives, and it’s extremely important that we make the most of our present moments in order to build a string of positive moments that one day we’ll look back on as a positive life.

So I want to keep asking myself another question instead of “What’s next?”  I want to ask myself “What’s now?”  I want to keep focused on the present moment so that I don’t lose any opportunities that are right here and now, so that I don’t neglect any chances that I have to contribute to life and living.  I want to ask myself “What’s now?” so that I can remind myself that in my life right now are many beautiful and positive things, many of them just waiting for me to notice them and become fully aware of them.

Many people spend their lives constantly waiting for whatever’s coming next.  It’s easy for us to anticipate some coming thing, some better job or some great opportunity, or some spectacular event that’s going to add something great to our lives.  But what’s it going to add to?  It’s going to add to what we have right here, right now, and that in itself is pretty spectacular, too.

The only time that any of us have to grow or change or feel or learn
anything is in the present moment.  But we’re continually missing our
present moments, almost willfully, by not paying attention.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

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