Are you too busy with the future to value the now?

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There is an increased popularity across all continents and cultures in spiritual practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, to name a few. What do these practices have in common: they ground us and connect our bodies, hearts, and minds.

They help us to stay present. And a wakeful presence ultimately means peace. Living peacefully, aligned with the here and now….isn’t that something we all want?

I’ll never forget how somebody said once to me that it is our nature to live for the future and not so much for the now. We look forward to going on vacation, meeting with friends on the weekend, reading that great book at night, and spending Christmas with family.

Well, nothing wrong with that, right? Nothing, as long as we don’t see the current moment as something to overcome quickly in order to get to that place we wish to be. Almost like skipping the present to rather live in the future than now.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it. If I am unable to cherish what I am doing right now, in this moment, then how will I be able to cherish what the future brings? A few days later, while waiting in a waiting room at my Yoga school, a book caught my attention: “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I started to read it and have never really stopped since. At first I asked myself, how come he was able to write 235 pages about such a simple topic. Yet, there is so much to say about the present. Just look around or observe yourself for a while. Are you fully present when performing different tasks, such as writing, cleaning, brushing your teeth, or even talking to somebody? Or you are always busy trying to get elsewhere?

Eckhart suggests frequently asking yourself one vital question: “What is my relationship with the present moment? Am I treating the Now as no more than a means to an end? Do I see it as an obstacle? “

That surely was my pattern and despite the sadness arising with this fact, I was laughing out loud upon seeing it. I understood that most of my impatience and frustration arises from wanting to get over with what I am doing right now. There was this voice in my head telling me that the future is much more appealing than the present.

I don’t want to neglect the fact that there are aspects of our jobs and duties we don’t enjoy doing.  However I am talking about something else, about a constant “What’s next on the agenda- attitude”. This kind of attitude, which makes us rush from one thing to another, not leaving room to enjoy what we are doing right now.

“With the seeing comes the power of choice – the choice of saying yes to the Now, of making it into your friend.” We all know that change starts with awareness. Right now I am much more aware of what I am doing, regardless if it is an “important” task, or just doing the dishes. The labeling in my head (important/not important; good/bad) doesn’t happen as much as it used to in the past. My mind seems more quiet, more focused, and with it comes more joy and peace.

“Saying yes to now is nothing else than saying yes to life”. Eckhart Tolle 

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