As you are reading this message, I am nestled in the mountains of Colorado on a meditation retreat. My mind and attention are not on this month's MoneyMovesTM News (at least I don't think so!). I wrote this message in mid-july, in anticipation of what was to come in August, with an eye on the future. Keeping my attention in the future is the way I used to live my life. It wasn't spontaneous, free and fun, but it certainly gave me a sense of control and made me feel like I knew what to expect. Planning for the future is a protective way of being and a subtle dis to the present, saying "I'm bored," When planning and preparing is constant, you are not here now, you are futurizing. We all have a tendency to live either in the future or the past. Our preference is encoded in our DNA and saturates our being as we develop. Getting curious about where you go - to the past or the future - is the first move in building your muscle to stay present. I'll share a few of the benefits for staying present, but the best way to find out is direct experience. Experiment with your own situation and use the Be Present tool under Be Inspired to support your exploration.
Once you taste the magic and profundity of being fully engaged in the present, the cat is out of the bag, and there is no turning back. Recognition that there is nothing but now and that every moment is stunning and "all you get" is compelling. So let's look at the benefits of being here - really present.
Can life get any funnier? You bet it can. Studies show that children laugh upwards of 300 times a day and adults hover around 7. Learn to be present and you will turn the clock around by hitting double and triple laugh digits. If you are not tuned into what is happening right now, how can you see and open to the lighter side of the situation?
When you are fully engaged in this moment, nothing lingers in any interaction for you to process later. This statement means that whatever arises in the body (thoughts, feelings, sensations), you are present to all of its glory - enjoying being human. My partner remarked this past weekend after visiting my parents that it was enjoyable to witness a really healthy and clear good-bye. A little puzzled, I asked, "What do you mean?" He said, "Well, I recall many visits where we spent a good hour processing your exchanges with your parents." I could feel what he was talking about; I have no debris that lingers anymore. Every interaction is met in the moment with awareness and attention. This practice enables authenticity and intimacy to flourish.
Miracles and magic may seem like fantasy but they happen all the time, even right now. If you let go of planning and open to something new, this view allows other possibilities to emerge. These possibilities are magical ... you could never have planned them and so they arise and surprise you, delight you. A dear friend lying in his hammock with his beloved enjoyed a magical display of fireworks on an overcast July 4th evening. Just as the brilliant finale ended, the clouds began to shower gentle rain. He said, "I could not have planned a more perfect evening." He can't. You can't. I can't.
The benefits are limitless; these are a few that come to mind right now. My suggestion is to experiment and see what you notice. Your experience is what really matters, not what I write.
As we savor the last month of summer, let go of tomorrow in favor of every moment - tasting, relishing being alive.