This is not something I know, it’s something I’m trying to learn.
It has been all of eight years since I first talked about the principle in front of a large forum, so you’d think if I was working on it then I would have mastered it now.
So here we go. Again.
Might I suggest that a lot of the richness of our personal worlds would get even richer if we were more invested and aware of the moment in the moment?
Not always fretting about the past or worrying about the future? Just being in the here and now?
Not always thinking back to things we wish we might have changed in the past, or ahead to what eventualities our overactive imaginations might create?
Just being present. Feeling what there is to feel right now.
Sometimes that’s easy to do.
Like when you’re holding a baby.
The first time around – the time when you’re the mom and you’ve got your very own baby in your arms – you’re probably not just holding, but you’re worrying about if you’re doing it right.
And you’re worried that if you’re not doing it right, what will become of the child you are so in love with and so invested in.
And you’re thinking about how you should put him down or he’ll be spoiled. Or you’re thinking if you keep holding her you’ll never get the laundry done.
But the second time around – when you’re holding a grandbaby – you know that nothing else in the world matters. Not the spoiling, not the laundry, not the other chores, not the worries about the future.
Just the baby. And the loving. And the two of you together in that moment.
That’s the difference being old can make.
It’s easy to want to be in the moment of a sunset.
Though I’m one who’s likely fretting about camera settings when I should be just taking it all in, I am in the moment in my own way. It’s nearly impossible to think about anything other than that sunset when the light is changing and the colors are too.
Other good things like weddings and movies and parties can demand – and get – your full attention too.
But being in the moment is important even when it’s not all party and fun.
You can relish a moment with a good book, a good friend, a good feeling.
You can even be in the moment when there is pain.
A loss. A hurt.
Embrace it and feel it.
It was my only advice to my daughter when she was about to have a baby:
Don’t fight the pain. This pain doesn’t mean something is wrong, it means something good is happening.
So just be there for it.
Too often we wish we were somewhere else doing anything else.
Too often we don’t know how spectacular an event is until it is past and we look back at it.
But life takes focus. To really feel, whether pain or peace, we need to be where we are. One hundred percent.
Pay attention. Experience it.
It’s rich – all of it.