I was recently talking to a lady I know about philosophical beliefs and the subject came to faith and religion. My friend is mostly agnostic and professed to believing in goodness of humankind rather than in a Supreme Being. She said that if one believes that now is all we have, then we would make the best of our lives and do the best we can in all situations. These are good ideals. However they are limited and limiting in the spectrum of our full potential.
Let’s take her belief that now is all there is. Now would that lead us to live for now or live in the Now? Is there a distinction? In prism thinking there is. In a tunnel vision they may seem one and the same. Hear yourself say the phrases “live for today”; “live in today”. If we are to believe only in the inherent goodness of humankind, without it having to be cultivated, then we would assume that everyone would have the intrinsic aspiration to be and do the best you can be and do at all times. So what really stops us? I perceive a slight kink in that particular machine.
When we think about living for now or for the moment, we think about wanting to do all the things that make us happy and fulfilled and as much of it as we can because we may not have another opportunity when the moment has passed, sort of like a “grab-n-go”. While this could be true to some extent, could it also possibly lead to over-indulgence, a lack of mindfulness or maybe self-centered desires? Possibly. Remember that our beliefs become our truths and our truths become our reality. What if someone’s reality was lack, desperation and disappointment? Would they also aspire to be all they can in that moment? Would they even want to? Would they have the ability to perceive changing their reality? What if you live for the moment and act out of desperation? Would that moment be unbearable? It is said that life is a series of moments. Where you “spend” those moments may define the quality of your life.
Living in the Now
While living in the now may seem similar in ideals, think of it as being fully present – not being attached to dramas of the past and not being too involved in the “what-ifs” of future possibilities. I should mention here that it is important to mentally play out the different possibilities for decision-making and designing your life. While each moment has the potential to bring any possible future depending on how we act in the present, worrying about events that may not happen robs from us the gifts of the present. What are these gifts?
In my experience of being in the present, I can perceive full awareness of everything around me (or at least to the fullest of my comprehension). The best example I can give you would be my first experience with time-distortion I had learnt from Dr. Richard Bandler in a Design Human Engineering® Seminar, I attended and to which I was fortunate enough to staff. I’ll never forget when Richard taught that when he slows down time, he is able to notice every movement, every gesture of every single person in the room simultaneously. As Il followed in the exercise, I remember how amazing it was to actually see every gesture, movement; hear every cough, sneeze or throat-clearing, even smell different scents – all in slow-motion! Imagine being able to behold all these wondrous sensations and more, slowing down time, being fully present in the moment and experiencing everything that we would normally miss when we’re not really “here”! How many wasted moments do you think has been spent by millions of us dwelling in the past, worrying about the future or even living only for now? How much have we missed, living in our frenetic versions of “now”?
Oh, and should I also mention that being in the present gives us many additional gifts? Obviously distorting time that day at the seminar, slowing down time, afforded us ample time to finish our staffing paperwork duties, when just before, it seemed we were in a rush with not enough time to get it all done! I assure you, it’s an amazing thing!
Other gifts to consider when being fully present? How about you come up with a few of your own and imagine what it would be like to fully experience everything you wish you could but either don’t have the time or the opportunity. Well it’s all happening Now! You just have to learn the technique and that’s no longer a secret!