Great Western Philosopher
I do most of my writing in my head as I go about my fascinating day of emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes, and driving children to a myriad of activities. That's why this particular blog is ironic because it's going to be about the value of living in the present moment...which is exactly what I'm not doing if I'm writing in my head while pretending to listen to my daughter tell me a story about the dream she had about the pony.....blah blah blah. What did you say?
At the yoga retreat I attended last year the instructor said, "The body is always in the present but the mind is almost always in the past or the future. Yoga tries to bring your mind into the present." Most yoga instructors remind us that the word Yoga means "yoke" or unity--bringing together the mind and the body.
It is a noble goal. Hey are you paying attention or is your mind wandering to your TO DO list right now?
Eastern religions are big on this concept. If we never live in the moment we never live. We are the only creatures on earth who have the ability to think about the past and the future. We seem to be too good at it. A dog doesn't do that. A dog is always in the moment. Stop thinking about your dog now, and pay attention to this moment.
Carly Simon a great Western philosopher first introduced this idea into my consciousness in her song "Anticipation" in which she so accurately addresses this notion:
And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you And how right your arms feel around me But I, I rehearsed those lines just late last night When I was thinkin' about how right tonight might be
And tomorrow we might not be together I'm no prophet and I don't know nature's ways So I'll try and see into your eyes right now And stay right here 'cause these are the good old days
These are the good old days. No matter where you are in life. For my contemporaries that means these are the good old days, not ten years ago when our babies were babies and not ten years from now when they are grown and out of the house but now. Right now when their noisy, dramatic, teen and tween aged selves are banging in and out of our door, eating all the food in the house, and leaving towels all over the floor (what is with those towels?)
So today, as you drive around town or sit at your desk or help your kids with their homework or yes, fold the damn laundry, try to be in the moment. Think about what you're doing. Get off the cell phone, quit trying to write your next blog, or fiddling with the radio. Just drive. Roll the windows down. Enjoy the fall day and its sounds and sights. Stop making dinner and cleaning the kitchen while your kids do homework. Stop and look at your child as she struggles with her vocabulary words. Don't try to catch up on the fascinating world of celebrities on Entertainment Tonight while you fold the towels. Just fold them and feel how great it is to have a clean towel between your hands and enjoy the fresh smell.
Today, tell your mind you're not going to travel forward or backward. You're going to be in the moment.
As another great Western philosopher, Natalie Merchant says: these are the days you'll remember