Photo © Jenn Shallvey 2015

Photo © Jenn Shallvey 2015

This moment is here and will be gone. The next one will come and go.  As you think about it notice that each moment comes and goes and is no longer here. They become the past. The ones that come to you are in the future not yet here. Imagine a string in front of you like a necklace with beads attached to it. As you pass the beads through your hands each one is here for a moment and then gone.  You can hold onto the bead for as long as you want or pass it by quickly and move on.  What happens in the time that you hold that bead in your hand is that you focus on what you are doing right now in this moment.

Now take this analogy up a notch (no pun intended).  Instead of holding a necklace of beads on a string you are holding a line of time, your time. This time is continuous and never ending. You can not see back to the beginning nor far in the future. You can though know what just occurred, the memories of times gone past.  Likewise you can anticipate future events and plans.  Noticing these individually on their own you will see that they are just what they are moments, right? Nothing more than that.   

But wait. What happens to these moments in our real world. We layer them. We layer them and layer them and layer them with meaning, interpretation and purpose. The moment may be just an event but we make them into more than that.  Then add the extra embellishment of emotion.  How you feel about each of these moments creates more energy around each.  Pretty soon these moments become so much more than what actually occurs. You see a moment, then you see a moment laden with meaning, then you see a moment affecting you with emotion.

Now in each of these moments the way you interpret and see the moment is entirely of your making. Even if someone else adds meaning, interpretation, emotion you still have the power and control within you to choose how much if any of these added parts to include in your own story.  

So what’s wrong with adding in all the meaning, interpretation and emotion? Nothing at all. In fact powerful moments are life changing events. They become markers.  

To immerse yourself fully in the moment is a powerful place to be.  Yet many of us miss these moments, or if we are in them, miss the full richness of the experience. Instead we are often dragging with us the past baggage and our future worries. Imagine the weight around your neck if you didn’t let go of all the beads on the necklace and just kept draping them around and around and around your neck. After awhile life would get fairly challenging and complex. We become complicated stories of our past and our expectations. Nothing about now, nothing about enjoying the present, all about what we did or did not do and what can or can not be.

Where we focus our attention affects how we express, live and work.  To make this existence complicated neither serves our selves nor others. Life becomes a drama replayed in various forms. 

Yet there is an antidote. There is a way to navigate the dynamic pull between past and future, overladen meaning and distraction.  We can live in the moment consciously aware.  To think this way is part of the deal. The clincher though is to live this way.  It is in our day to day interactions, behaviours, choices, actions and being that anchors us into being true to ourselves right now.

From this perspective then there are two words that capture the essence of living in the moment -  “Simply Be”.