Living in the Present Moment
A Fool Will Lose Tomorrow Reaching Back for Yesterday is my favorite line in the 1979 hit song by Dionne Warwick written by Barry Manilow in the song entitled, “I’ll Never Love This Way Again.” And even though I was a child at the time, hearing this song always reminded me how unwise it is to hang on to the past.
It is now the year 2015 and we have all been presented with a new opportunity to let go of whatever may be holding us in the past and keeping us stuck. Living in the past, even if we consider it the “good old days” stunts our growth and development and prevents us from expanding mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It has been said that we remember the past oftentimes much better than it may have been, or we remember it worse than it actually was, and oddly enough we fail to even realize that whatever we remember is only our “perception” of the past.
During the holidays I had the opportunity to be with my family and while we were together, inevitably stories of the past were shared. When this happens in any family, these stories shape our thoughts and influence our perceptions about specific incidences. And, while there may be humor in the stories as they are told, it is also possible for there to be a quiet pain for some, based on how the story is presented. Sometimes these stories present guilt, anger, judgment, criticism and fear to the listeners. In a warm family setting, when we hear the past repeatedly described, it can reinforce what we adopt as truths about ourselves and others. This subtle domestication and conditioning sets the stage for the past to become our present ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Whether it is a favorable story or an unfavorable one it is best to leave it in the past because it is not a present thought and has nothing to do with today.
In the “Power of Now” Eckhart Tolle refers to the ego and states that “to the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. The ego is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you?” He goes on to say that, “Living in the past or the future creates fear in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread and phobia.”
There are three principles I choose to live by that keeps me in the gift of the present moment. They are useful universal truths that allow me to leave the past in the past.
1. Change is the Only Constant! Scientific facts support the Truth that we live in a fluid universe and every millisecond of every day is ever changing. Even though it seems that things are the same based on the routines we can observe, change is always happening. The earth is always spinning. Seasons change. The phases of the moon are constantly changing. Our body’s cells are always regenerating themselves. Our skin sheds. Interestingly enough, we welcome change when things are unfavorable and resist it when we are experiencing great outcomes. As human beings, we tend to be creatures of habit and prefer the comfort of things remaining the same. But, think of the many inventions and conveniences we now experience as a result of this principle of change. Remember that when things are great, they can get even better when we are open to change.
2. The principle of Non-Attachment. The Buddhists believe one of the greatest causes of suffering is Attachment. Non-Attachment is an attitude of positive expectancy without attachment to any specific outcome. Detachment is different from Non-Attachment. People often detach as a protective measure, just in case they don’t get what they want. It is a defensive mechanism to dis-engage from something altogether to avoid being hurt. When you practice non-attachment your joy increases as you delight in life’s experiences and open yourself to the possibilities that may present themselves.What are some of the things we can become attached to? An attitude, a per
What are some of the things we can become attached to? An attitude, a perspective, the role of victim or savior, a relationship, a job, a habit (smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating habits), your viewpoint, beliefs and judgment, strong preferences, opinions, plans, the route you drive home from work, a particular item on the menu in a restaurant, and your story. It seems we can become attached to conditions, people, circumstances and things and when this happens we feel pain and even suffering. When we practice non-attachment the pain is replaced with curiosity and possibility and the outcomes can be greater than we could have ever imagined.
3. It’s All Good! Everything that has happened to us, no matter what it is has contributed to the gifts and talents we offer and are to the world. No matter what happened in the past, it shaped who we have chosen to become. Our personal treasures and what others value about us are somehow a result of our past. All is Divine. For each of us, it is all a part of a creative process that is unfolding according to what we need to experience to ultimately have the experience we are desiring and knowing for ourselves.
A favorite quote of Louise L. Hay is, “the point of power is in the present moment.” It is in our best interest to live in the power of now and leave the past in the past. Every moment is sacred and contributes to our future experiences. There is no need to “lose tomorrow reaching back for yesterday” when we have the power to create the life we desire and deserve.
Greta Counts is a New Thought Practitioner, Licensed Spiritual Life Coach, Certified Heal Your Life Teacher, Personal Development Trainer, Sales Coach and Transformational Speaker. Learn more about her work at www.CoachGreta.com