Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.  -Eckhart Tolle

close up photography of vintage watch
Photo by Matej on

Be. Be here with me. Be present. In this moment. There is no other.

I lost a moment today. I can’t get it back, but I take consolation in the notion that my awareness of it will make it a little less likely to happen the next time. The more mindful we are, the more mindful we become. It’s no easy task, with everything in this world created as a distraction to what’s relevant and real. Social media, television, radio, bills, anxiety over the next big event on your calendar, and so much more – all work against us every minute of the day.

Stop! Don’t look behind the curtain! The Great Oz has worked tirelessly to seize your attention and keep it for himself, while your time ticks by incessantly without you paying it any mind.

A favorite author of mine once wrote, “Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed.” -Chuck Palahnuik, Lullaby.

I had to leave the office today to fix a mistake, and both the mistake and the newly necessary trip soured my mood quickly. I drove off in a huff, cursing the traffic and the seemingly snail-paced drivers of mid-afternoon. I thought about the office, the fact that I wasn’t there & was now running late for other tasks. I thought about the traffic. I thought about how long it would take me to get what I needed and get back. Was the highway just as bad in the other direction? Would my boss question the length of time this excursion took? Did I call the doctor’s office yet, or had I forgotten? What else do I need for tomorrow’s baby shower… and will I feel invisible there?

Analyzing my mental state, I attempted to soothe my spirit with some meditative music via YouTube and some deep breathing as I worked towards my destination zipping through lanes of traffic. It helped, some. I felt my blood pressure slowly calm. Yet my thoughts raged on, unhampered by the ancient Vedic chants and 528Hz music.

I returned and regaled a coworker with my ordeal. He replied with, “At least it’s a gorgeous day outside. You must have enjoyed the drive.”

There it was. I finally realized that I’d missed an amazing moment in my haste and disappointment. I told him that yes, I’d enjoyed the drive. I was too embarrassed to admit that I’d let it all slip past me, unnoticed. It’s been raining for weeks now, and today is bright and beautiful, with sunshine, blue skies and big fluffy clouds that you could play in all day long.

I will not let the rest of today pass by without notice. I am grateful for it, and for my coworker who pointed it out. I accept this afternoon as a lesson, and a challenge to redefine my normative thinking. The more I realize I’m asleep, the more apt I am to awaken.

Be here with me.


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