Living in the NOW

I was driving in our lovely Portland snow this week. Simply enjoying the beauty of white contrasted with our deep green northwest countryside. I do admit I am looking forward to the upcoming rain which will result in driving without watching for icy spots and walking without wondering if I will suddenly fall. However, looking at the beauty of the 2 inches of snow on every exposed branch, looking at all the grey brown of winter submerged under the delicate layers of snow, I began to dread that future forecast of rain that was soon to come. I was dreading the elimination of all I saw as beautiful at this moment.

I reflected about something I tell all of my clients at one time or another. “Everything is temporary. Good feelings are temporary. Bad feelings are temporary. Grief is temporary. Infatuation love is temporary. Heartbreak is temporary. Everything is temporary.”

Suddenly I realized that this very moment, this NOW, was NOT temporary. Nothing about NOW is temporary. In fact the NOW is the only thing that is not temporary. NOW is what IS at every moment we live it. Your next NOW will be different from this NOW. So in that way NOWs will change moment by moment but the NOW you are experiencing at this moment is the only moment of your life that truly is, the only part of your life you actually live. This NOW is full, rich and actually the only moment you really have. There is “hope” for the future or “dread” for the future or a sense of “nothing new and boring” for the future. However you do not have that moment yet. All you have is NOW.

Eckhart Tolle in the Power of Now and may other spiritual writers talk about this very moment and the importance of this moment in our lives. As I read Eckhart Tolle’s book A Good Earth I realized that if the only life I live is in the NOW the life I have truly lived is very, very short. What a loss. What a challenge. What a gift.

I was driving my monthly commute from Portland to Seattle a few weeks back. Again the roads were icy and the driving challenging. Every muscle of my body was tense and my senses on alert trying to take in all of the details I needed to drive safely. The roads cleared up north of Portland but I remained tense and stressed. Suddenly I looked at the countryside. Everything was covered in sparkling ice! The blue sky was the perfect backdrop for this sparkling landscape; the northwest green provided immense depth to the sparkle; I was in a winter wonderland and I had almost missed it as I remained in that tense anxious state. My muscles relaxed and my heart opened as I began to take in all of the beauty around me. I had almost missed it all. How often does that happen to me?

Let me encourage you, as I encourage myself every day to stay focused on this very moment. If the moment is painful – do not avoid it – but remain within its feeling state as your body frees you of the pain. If the moment is joyful or full of beauty and awe – don’t project yourself into the future but remain focused on all that is good and beautiful. This is the way to live life. This is the life we were meant to live.

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