" Now"..... It's not really a difficult concept, but it can be a bit tricky and elusive if we try to
over-analyze it. The other day I was talking with someone who has been going through a very rough time.
Our conversation had been about 'being in the Now'...which, I am finding, is the only place one can experience any real peace. She argued: "But that won't erase the fact that my brother is ill, that it looks like my house might be foreclosed on, that I might lose my job...that is always right there in my face!"
Realize it or not, we have this tendency to recreate scenarios from the past -- or project our fears into the future. Some say this is "realistic thinking"..."facing the facts"...or "what really is."
Unless one is willing to look at things UN-realistically, (which means you know that you create your own reality)...chances are that one's concentration, focus, and attention on what has happened (past) and one's dogged determination in believing that it will most likely repeat itself ..(future) will keep one trapped in the same miserable situations and mind sets that one is seeking so desperately to escape from.
We have been trained to 'learn from the past' ( yeah, like that really works!) and keep our eyes set on the future, deal with it!-- set our goals upon overcoming, etc etc etc etc... Taking time to stop and smell the flowers is just plain lazy! It's just not realistic enough.
We have been saturated with the idea of realistic thinking... sometimes coerced... sometimes even threatened with it. The biggest threat of all resulting in "fear of failure" and "not being good enough....or as good as 'others'."
Sometimes when I get a 'clear glimpse' of how programmed and misguided we can be (although many refuse to believe this)...it appears to be so sad and hopeless... however, once we are able to "see" that we are energy-- individualized and powerful creators -- is to finally be free and see The Light. This doesn't imply "no more problems ever" ...but it does mean we can navigate the ship through the roughest of waters and still retain an inner calm.
Both Eckhart Tolle and Depak Chopra, to me, do the best jobs of simplifying what is meant by Being in the Now. Being Present in the moment. Abe calls it being in the Vortex. Even though a storm may be surrounding you...you can still be safely and securely connected to Source and experience the Inner Peace that far too many believe unattainable. It IS attainable. But, you must believe that.
This has nothing to do with meeting 'spiritual goals' or deluding yourself into thinking that you will become utterly spiritually evolved 'if I follow these rules." Forget about good, better, or best. BE HERE NOW. (Thank you, Ram Dass) We must forget about our countless "yeah, but's" or "what if's"...and just LET GO of that type of thinking; otherwise all we do is judge ourselves according to the 'old beliefs / rules' that, let's face it, never worked all that well.
What can help is: when I catch myself (being mindful) stewing, fretting, grieving or agonizing over a situation that has already happened ... or... if my mind carries me away and creates some dreadful, worrisome fantasy I am projecting into the future (usually based on the past!)...I will STOP it...and say: "This is NOW. Right NOW. It is now...And right in this very present moment in time, I am fine. All is well. We get past it all. For this is my Intention. To Let Go...and KNOW that All is Well."
So how many "Yeah, but's" came up when you read that??? All those "Yeah, but's" are based on the continuous struggle of one's EGO...that has become addicted to...and FEEDS OFF OF.. all the most horrible stuff our mis-used imagination can possibly conjure up.
"Yeah but I can't help it. I can't stop worrying. After all, I LOVE this person, these people, this job, this thing, this whatever." We have been taught to believe that worrying is not 'wrong' ... it simply is the inevitable result of our loving concern for others....and this makes us 'good people.' We've been taught that there is great nobility in suffering...especially when it's done with quite a flair... We find it SO hard to accept that we can still love someone or something... and NOT get all bent out of shape. "I just can't help it" is the usual excuse. So we curl up and cozy into our victim mentality, feeling righteously (but fearfully) justified at being miserable and afraid.
SO!...What am I supposed to do? Not give a damn!? Be cruel and heartless, insensitive, and take on a 'who cares' attitude. If you, perhaps, just now thought that ... it is not because of what I have said... it is the result of the way most of us were taught and conditioned to react and think. "They" didn't purposely mean to hurt us...it's the way 'they' were taught.
I am in no way advocating that anyone not have compassion for their fellow human beings... not at all. People who hate people basically either hate themselves or are afraid of their very being-ness. To sincerely wish others goodness, mercy, and all forms of health and well-being... means not bring afraid to accept these same qualities for themselves. What one gives out...one gets back. That is not 'karma as-in punishment'...that is simply Universal Law based on the Law of Attraction.
Worrying does no good. We say 'oh I know that'...but too often not actually absorbing it. I believe what Buddhism teaches is the greatest fear of all.... The fear of separation. Separation from loved ones, anything that we are attached to...be in sentient or material. Death usually tops the list...although it seems like some people would rather die than 'not have' whoever or whatever. Kinda sad. Once we allow ourselves to truly believe in the eternalness of LIFE and LOVE... (and allow others to think as they please ...which is unconditional love...) then miraculously somehow, we will find ourselves having a diminishing need to slam on the brakes and say "WHOA...I'm in the NOW... and right NOW -- in this red not minute!-- All is well even while the storm clouds surround me"..
Inside the Vortex ... is Peace. Our connection to Source has always been there. We just forgot to look WITHIN...while we were so busy searching outside of ourselves.
Not to worry!...life will never become too humdrum or boring...! If we just wouldn't take it all so seriously...we could enjoy life all so much more. It's really "OK" to enjoy our lives and Feel Good!! Really...it is.