Still sceptical on why being present should be your number one priority? Let’s explore some benefits of being here now.
Natural feel good
Whatever you’re looking for is always right here, you’re usually elsewhere – that’s the problem.
The more I am in the moment, the more I find it energizes me and the more alive I feel. I am relaxed and happy and positive, and I function at my best.
Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness. I feel depressed and empty when I am not in the now. It is as if I’m actually wasting my time, no matter how productive I am. My degree of feel good is directly related to my degree of presence. When I’m present, the very process of life itself generates joy.
If you’re present to this moment … and this one…and this one, you’ll be well on the way to a happy life. A happy life is simply a string of happy moments. But most people don’t allow the happy moment, because they’re too busy chasing a happy life. The ‘present’ is a gift and you only do it justice by being completely present to it and what it presents you. Stop living in the future. Stop thinking ‘when … then I’ll be happy’.
The longer you wait for the future, the shorter it will be – Loesje
The jewel is in each moment. If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?
When my son was growing up, he often forced me into the moment out of my mental world. He was so mentally active that I instinctively slowed down as counterbalance. I got into the rhythm by letting go and ‘sitting down’. That turned our daily ordinary into the memorable. I remember, for instance, making many a supermarket teller laugh with our banter.
As long as you don’t abandon the present moment, you’ll never feel alone.
I feel lost and disconnected and my energy dissipates when I don’t absorb myself in what I am doing. I become aimless, numb and dull. I am not connecting with life and I experience that as life not connecting with me. After many bouts of feeling sorry for myself, I eventually learnt how to connect when I feel disconnected. When I need to receive, rather than waiting for someone to take pity on me, I send and give to someone else instead. I work with whoever I have at hand: even a simple exchange of pleasantries with a passer-by will do. Once re-connected, all feels as it should again. The world has clicked into place once more.
The present is the connection. Here, you connect with the world around you. The secret is to disengage from the mind about the moment and become available to the moment itself.
Connection leads to wisdom. Wisdom is not a product of thought. It arises when you give someone or something your full attention. Attention is primordial intelligence; it is consciousness itself. It is a very calm, deep, effortless, ‘zoning-in’ state of being. It dissolves the barriers created by thought. It joins the perceiver with the perceived. I find that when I connect deeply with another, mind and words become superfluous, they actually get in the way, diminishing the connection moment.
Here Now, I feel I am at home in the world. When I am locked into ego-mind, the world seems like an alien place where I don’t belong. This feeling used to puzzle and frighten me. It felt like I had incarnated onto the wrong planet by mistake. I now know that I myself was the cause. I had stepped outside of my Self and identified with my ego.
You cannot find yourself by dwelling on the past or future. You only find yourself in the present. Outside of the present moment all is illusion: a mind-projected world that steals life away from you. By dismantling it, you find yourself back in the Now. The Now is all there is and the most precious thing there is because it takes you back into the everything, back to timeless and formless Being. Self emerges and flows, naturally centred and unattached. Living deeply in the moment is your anchor within yourself. Being present to yourself and to everything around you, you find authentic relationship with Self. You stop being afraid to be all you are. You express yourself with spontaneous authenticity.
What I do in the moment once I’m in it is what makes it come alive. It becomes satisfying. I cannot plan it. I can only decide what to do once I am in it. All I want, I find in the moment – in the sense of that I will only find it once I am present, but also in the sense that whatever I truly desire, is but a form of connection, and that is to be found in whatever I am doing. The secret lies in how I do what I do – how present I am to it.
In the moment, I have poise. I am effortless, elegant simplicity. I have presence simply because I am present. Here Now I am aware of my body. I sense how it responds to thoughts, people and situations. I base my decisions on that gut feel. I cultivate this awareness in my daily routines: I am present to my food, not multi-tasking while I eat. When I exercise, I don’t let my mind wander, I focus on my body. For instance, on my run, I stay with myself with every breath, not concerned about how fast I reach my goal. I simply enjoy feeling my body working. I concentrate on what I am exercising for, which in this instance is my lung capacity. This way, I really enjoy it. I am not outrunning my ability; I keep pace with myself.
The way to health for both body and mind is to live in the present moment. Ageing also slows down because you stop accumulating time in your psyche which impairs the cells’ capacity for renewal. Your physical and mental-emotional immune system strengthens because you’re actually ‘at home’ within yourself to guard against intruders.
The end of fear, problems and suffering
There may be pain and discomfort in the Now but suffering and problems need time. They cannot survive in the Now. There are no problems in the Now. It only holds situations to be dealt with or accepted – Eckart Tolle
I am protected from fear when I am fully in the present. Anchored in the moment, I feel rooted, grounded and totally safe in the world. I feel protected because all my faculties are awake and aware, and I have a proper focus for my thoughts. My energy is stable, flowing through me as unconditional life force energy.
When I lose focus, my lack of single-mindedness makes me more unsure and therefore more afraid. In this state, when I look ahead, the mental projection makes me feel depressed. When my mind in time gets me down, I have learnt to get back into the now because I am creative in the moment instead of reacting to my thoughts with emotions.
One of the most important benefits of being in the here now for me is that it breaks the pain body’s creation cycle. There is no need to investigate the past because the challenges of the present moment will bring it out. If you don’t face them, you’ll have to re-live the past again and again.
When we stay intensely present, we dissolve discord, heal pain and dispel unconsciousness. Unless we enter the Now enough to dissolve the past, the future will be a replica of it. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. It can only survive in our absence. Presence stops the pain body from pretending to be us. We watch out for the pain body’s awakening. We observe and feel it but stay intensely present and aware. We don’t let mind become involved. We don’t think about it or identify with it. We accept it completely until it subsides. Its survival depends on our identification with it as well as our fear of facing it. When we become aware of our pain body, it’s autonomous life ends. The split is reversed, and we are whole again – Eckart Tolle
Struggling to get out of your head? Get in touch here.