I’m trying to be in the Moment. And, there it goes. Now it is a Moment Ago and completely useless. Maybe I’ll catch the next Moment. And, there it goes. Missed it again.
When people describe being in the Moment, they are really saying to be present. And they can’t resist adding “in the moment”. It is like the Shave and a Haircut shtick, it is irresistable but redundant, to be present in the moment. Be present.
We humans are spectacular at being creative and solving problems. We have the capacity to sublimate routine tasks so that we can work on the problems at hand. So, we can drive to work and generate a grocery list for later tonight or re-run that arguement we had with our boss while making our three-egg omelet breakfast. One of the great strategies of problem-solving is to be the least present possible, we are to sleep on it.
Being present (in the moment, I can’t resist it) can be simplified to paying attention. By paying attention to what we are doing, we have the opportunity to have profound experiences — we see, embrace and can be elevated by the beauty of the world around us. Paying attention to these moments can expand ourselves beyond ourselves.
I know, it sounds very abstract but it isn’t really.
Instead of throwing your breakfast together while streaming strategies in your head, try paying attention to making your breakfast. A seemingly simple exercise, think about the eggs as you stir them and spill them into the pan. Try perfect practice and imagine the taste as you salt or flip or add cheese. Instead of shoveling your food into your mouth while you anticipate the day, think about how matter turns to energy and how food is fuel for your body.
It takes discipline and practice to stay inside of your body and not let your brain go fluttering off to solve a problem or sing a song. Those who choose to farm the profound experiences in their lives work and re-work, calling themselves back to the ground to stay in the present.
Think about the life-changing profound moments in your life. Maybe it was once on vacation and you felt connected to the Mother Planet. Maybe when you first became a father and held your newly born baby boy. You wanted to use words like miracle, magic, blessed, complete. The powerful moments came when you were present, in the moment, paying attention. Knowing this, we can work to induce more of those moments in our life.
I had a friend who used to be a dancer. After years of paying attention to his body, the next step in his career was, in later life, to become a yoga teacher. He followed it with the same discipline that he had poured into his dance studies. He was centered. He was grounded. He became so focused on his inner-self that he became sort of blissed out. Sometimes, you can go too far the other way. We’d have to call his name to snap him back into the present.
Paying attention to the process of living gives you and me a chance. A chance to notice the little things that become great things. We can have break-throughs in understanding, deep and rich understanding, meaningful understanding if we give ourselves the chance to see it. We have to look.