Here’s a revelation I had as I was sitting in the sun one morning. A good time and place for revelations, by the way. I don’t know if I’ll be able to explain it properly, I’ll let you guys be the judge of that.
I was on my usual travel schedule to work, taking two different subways to get there. It’s always an annoying trip, and as almost always I was running late. Nothing new there. Except that as I had to switch trains, I decided to screw this being late thing and to head out of the station. To sit in the park outside for a while and get some of the warm morning sun. You know, before sitting at my desk for the rest of the day.
As I sat there, enjoying this moment of tranquility I pondered what great events my future might hold for me. What are my dreams? What great stuff will happen?
And then it hit me: all that I will ever have in my life will be exactly what I have right now. A present moment. That’s all my life will ever be, all the fortune I will ever hold. No matter if I’m rich or poor. All I will ever really have will be the many, many present moments I am in.
It does not matter if I own my private island in the pacific with a mansion and a jet and a host of staff to cook for my family and me, or if I’ll life under a bridge and share a can of old beans with fellow bridge dwellers. In both cases all I’ll have will be the present moment.
And a choice.
A choice to be present in this moment, or to drift in thoughts about the past and the future, to be lost in worries and hopes. Giving away this precious moment to things that were or that could be.
This is the great equaliser. The one gift that is given to everyone alike. And what a gift it could be.
Beautiful moments are so precious to us, because they seem to be so rare
But it should not be like that! We are so caught up in our everyday grind, in rushing to work and in rushing back home and in paying the bills and worrying and making plans, thinking and scheming about everything except the Now.
Think about it. When was the last time you were really present in the moment? Maybe on that vacation a few months back when you were just lying on the beach with nothing on your mind. Or that afternoon at the family BBQ when nothing was important but being with your loved ones. Or that evening your partner draged you to a musical and you had nothing else to do than to enjoy the performance.
These moments are so few and far between that we can mark them on a calender. And when we revisit them at the end of the year we can count them all on the fingers of one hand.
That’s so sad. Because this very moment – right now – this is when life happens.
This is not to say that you should shed all earthly concerns and never worry about work or bills anymore. Just keep in mind that whatever you do at any moment – that’s it. That’s your life. If you are aware that you only really possess this very moment you live in, you are richer than the richest people on earth. They may have private islands and gleaming yachts, and yet be never present in the now.
So what to make of this?
I’m not sure yet. But I’ll tell you what I make out of it for the time being:
As many times as I can remember during the day, I remind myself that the right now is all I have, and all that I’ll ever have. I can either throw it away by regretting the past or by pondering the future, by complaining about whatever it is that needs doing – or I can enjoy it and claim it to be fully mine. Wether I’m sitting in the sun or in a meeting, wether I’m paying the bills or enjoying an ice cream, wether I’m doing the laundry or meeting friends.
Yes, there are times when it is called for to think of the past, or to plan ahead for the future. This is a part of our daily lifes and necessary. Do it when you have to, but do it consciously and deliberately. And not because your mind is on autopilot and doesn’t know what else to do.
I decide to enjoy whatever it is that I am doing. Because that’s all there is. And I realise how rich I am because I can.