There’s No Time Like The Present

no time like the presentThere’s no time like the present because the present is the only time there is. The present is the only time that truly exists… what is and what is happening right now is all there is really. The past is a story (probably false or at least rewritten to some degree) and the future is at best only a guess.

Many years ago I figured out that the “life lesson” that I was here to figure out was exactly how to be present and to live in the now, in the moment. The reason why was simple, I had never been taught how to be present as it was never modeled for me.

I had one parent who lived completely in the past, and another that lived for nothing but the future and between them both, neither had the capacity to ever be happy and joyful in the present moment, ever.

My question… or my thing to figure out was born or a product of their two life challenges. Once I figured it all out, their thing, and subsequently my thing… it all made sense.

But to be present and to live in the moment and to fully appreciate it for what it is, which is perfect, was a new thing for me to master as I had to learn how to consciously do just that.

I had some clues though that helped me immensely! You see, most of my adult life I had been involved in many activities that were fun to do, yes… but really they were the perfect vehicles to force me to be present and to be consumed by nothing other than what was happening right then and there.

There’s No Time Like The Present

There’s no time like the present when you are whitewater kayaking and going through a nasty rapid because all that you can focus on is negotiating the rapid. It requires so much thought of the present and allowing yourself to be distracted at all can have dire consequences.

There’s no time like the present when you are riding a motorcycle… Riding a motorcycle requires such attention to not only what you are doing but also what everyone around you is doing in that moment. Again, it is something that requires such focus so that you cannot be distracted and as a result, you are completely in the present.

There’s no time like the present when you are mountain biking…

There’s no time like the present when you are downhill skiing…

There’s no time like the present when you are doing what ever it is that you love and are so totally engrossed in it that nothing else matters… past or future… it all just melts away.

These activities and the state of mind that I would be in while doing them gave me great insight to what being present was all about. Not only that, I knew if I could achieve “being present” while doing those things, then learning how to do it on a consistent basis would not be that hard either, it would just take practice.

So how do you become present on-demand or when you just want to? Of course, everyone is different but I have two key ways:

  1. Focus on nothing but breathing. Pay attention to nothing else. Close your eyes and just breathe in… notice it. Breathe out… notice that too. Do it for as long as you can while not thinking of anything else… that is a gateway to the present.
  2. Ask yourself, “What is wrong right now?” Something might have happened yesterday that sucked… but that was yesterday, it isn’t happening right now. You might have something unpleasant that you will have to deal with a few days time… that is in a few days… it isn’t happening right now… 99.9 of the time if you ask yourself what is wrong the that current moment… you will discover that the moment, the present, is perfect just as it is.

Experiencing and living in the present moment is what I believe to be one of life’s most powerful experiences. Focus on what you are doing so single-mindedly until there are no other distractions in your life and then gauge your results. How did things turn out? How did you feel? How can you get back to that again?

There’s nothing like the present so live there… because actually… you can’t really LIVE anywhere else!

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten  23 June 2001

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