LIVING IN THE NOW – DAY 7
The gift of time is the most precious gift of all.
I know this because it’s written on a magnet on my fridge. While easy to dismiss as cheesy, this is the essence of what living in the NOW can offer us. As a species, our unifying trait is our search for happiness. How we find it is uniquely individual, but ‘where’ we find it is not. The only time we can ever be happy is now. In this very moment, the choices we make dictate our happiness.
And this happiness is about the attitude we bring to what we are dealing with. I started this series mentioning my own trauma history. Life brings every one of us challenge and difficulty, weighing us down. The second layer of difficulty is when we begin to believe we have no freedom from it: that we are trapped.
Viktor Frankl, a prisoner of war who survived the horrors of Auschwitz, wrote in his bestselling book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
This series has shared some pointers on how mindfulness offers possible ways to make these choices. By adopting an attitude of curiosity to what is here right now, and the way in which our mind is shaping this moment, we begin to break free of unhelpful repeat patterns that have grown out of our past experiences.
In the present moment, and only in the present moment, we can choose our attitude to what happened in the past. In that moment we can experience a sense of ease which can give way to happiness. As we approach this moment differently, we begin to shape the future moments.
I leave this series with a little play on words I have always loved:
No/where … Now/here.
Roger Keyes: Hokusai says
Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says Look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it’s interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive –
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees. Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah
or the shadows 0 the trees
and grasses in our garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives
Contentment is Life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
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