It is one of life’s greatest ironies that no matter how much we want to be different, wherever we go there we are. There’s just no getting away from ourselves. Go on holiday – there we are. Win the lottery – there we are. Move overseas – there we are. Wherever we look, we are looking out of the same pair of eyes; whatever we do it’s still the same body doing it.
In an attempt to get away from ourselves we seek distraction or entertainment, we search for something or someone to make us happy: the grass constantly appears greener someplace else. But in every relationship and every situation… there we are again.
Meantime, the mind is like a drunken monkey doing its best to confuse us by jumping from thought to fear to drama to anything that will keep us trapped in an endless round of worries and concerns… “What if this happens… what if I fail… if only it could be like it was in the past… what will the future be?”
We are like a musk deer that has a wonderful smell in its belly yet searches the forest for that smell. Wherever it goes, there’s the smell – but the deer can’t see it so has no idea where the smell is to be found. In the same way, we believe happiness is somewhere –anywhere—other than here, and spend all our time looking for it, without realizing it is already within us.
If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret. — Jim Carrey
All we have to do is stop, just stop. For right now, this very moment, is all there is. Nothing else is going on. Nothing else is happening. There’s nowhere to go. And being right here with ourselves is exactly where we want to be, because when we are fully here this very moment becomes the most precious, delightful, enjoyable and outrageous moment there is.
It is immensely liberating to realize that nothing more is required of us than to just be fully here now. What a relief! Finally, we can really experience this reality just as it is, without expectation, prejudice, or longing. Someone once asked Ed if he had ever experienced another reality. He replied, “Have you ever experienced this one?” Have you noticed the dew on a spider’s web, the taste of honey, or your own heartbeat?
Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be. — Eckhart Tolle
Stepping out of the thinking and conceptual mind, however, doesn’t mean stepping into nowhere or nothing; it doesn’t mean that there is no connection to a worldly reality. We do not become disconnected or cast adrift. Rather, it is stepping into sanity and, more importantly, into even greater connectedness.
As evolution does not go backwards, so life can never be the way it was. Being in the moment means having the courage to know we will never be someone other than who we are and that who we are is absolutely wonderful, just as we are. Simply being still in this moment, without attachment or thought of before or after invites a deep sense of completion, that there really is nowhere else we need to go. It is impossible to think of somewhere else as being better—the grass is vividly green exactly where we are.
Ed & Deb are the authors of: The Unexpected Power of Mindfulness & Meditation, and The Art of Mindful Relaxation. Deb is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. See more at EdandDebShapiro.com