There’s No Time Like the Present Moment

Sunrise

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children … to leave the world a better place … to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently, one of my neighbors was killed on the spot when his motorcycle was hit by a car at an intersection.

I’m reminded, once again, that there’s no time like the present:

  • To love
  • To forgive
  • To cultivate kindness and compassion
  • To be patient, understanding, and tolerant
  • To let go of judgments
  • To resolve to change a negative attitude or habit
  • To train your mind to be present and aware
  • To be the “best possible you”

The “best possible you” isn’t about how much money you make, the status of your job, or the size of your house.  It isn’t even about accomplishing your goals as worthy as they may be.

All these are temporal affairs that could very well end with a bang when you least expect it – just like my friend whose life ended instantly at the corner of Highway 137 and the entrance to Lelani Estates.  It could be any corner, any moment, any time.

And, even if death doesn’t descend unexpectedly, the news of a life threatening or chronic illness could change your life irrevocably.

What really matters is how you mind is in every moment.  Is it infused with positive thoughts, neutral or negative ones? The state of your mind determines your words and actions – for better or for worse.  The Dalai Lama tells us:

“Naturally, most of us would like to die a peaceful death, but it is also clear that we cannot hope to die peacefully if our lives have been full of violence, or if our minds have mostly been agitated by emotions like anger, attachment, or fear.  So if we wish to die well, we must learn how to live well:  Hoping for a peaceful death, we must cultivate peace in our mind, and in our way of life.” – Introduction to The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

Sure, it’s a tall order to be a saint.  But no one started out as a saint.  It takes diligence, patience, and humor to train this wild mind of ours in love, compassion, and clarity.  It’s really possible though.  And when you pursue the path of kindness, you’ll discover your own happiness around every bend.

I started this post before the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which serves to remind us even more strongly that we never know if we will see the sunrise tomorrow.

There’s not a moment to waste!  Remember impermanence!  Use this precious life wisely.  Love and act like there’s no tomorrow.

What are your best reminders for being fully alive in each moment?

Supportive Resources:

Thank you so much for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with friends.  If you are new, please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love,  Sandra

 

19 thoughts on “There’s No Time Like the Present Moment

  1. Hi Sandra,
    So true. It seems that the mind is busy fretting over the past or worrying about the future. Being present is one of the best habits I cultivated many years ago.

    Take Care.

    • Agree with you Justin, we’ve been educated to think in tomorrow and regret about we have done in the past. The truth is there is no tomorrow and looking at our footsteps is only wise if we’ve learned anything for “today”.

      For example, I often get worry because my debts and my problems. However, we’ve got worried about this because we think about what could happen tomorrow and not about what is happening today. What should we worry? It is better to act and live here and now. We would never now if will be a tomorrow for us. We could die today, and probably because of thinking on a far future we are missing a wonderful “today”. It is good to know you’ve cultivated those habits.

      • Daniel,

        I agree with you fully! Worry is one of the most unnecessary and unhelpful emotions. Not that I don’t got there from time to time but I’ve come to learn that it never really helps. Thanks for this sage advice.

  2. Yes, being present in each moment is the only way to be, but our minds are like horses who, nose down, nibble in the pastures of the past, nibble in the pastures of the future, and sometimes even eat the sweet grass of the present—–but there is no conscious choosing. I really do think that I am getting better and better at letting the past go, and even worrying less (my particular bugaboo) about the future. We have now to be our best selves in and I have been choosing that more and more. I am sure it has made a big difference to be with people (and that includes my on-line buddies) who are aiming in that direction and talk about it.

    • Hi Jean,

      That’s a great image of being like a horse with our noses down in the pasture. I too find it makes a big difference to have a supportive people committed to personal evolution. Like you!

  3. The theme of the past year for me has been impermanence. I have been thrice reminded by the deaths of those close to me that my own death may occur at any time. That has strengthened me when it comes to being committed mindfully living in the now moment. Living consciously with alert interest in what is, rather than speculating on what could be, has a powerful effect on my relationships with others and what I can bring to them. To be the best me I can be I need to focus on who and what is precious to me and celebrate what makes us smile and laugh and reach out to others in times of need.

    • timethief,

      This is so inspirational. I’m really thrilled to hear how living consciously with an alert interest is having such a powerful effect on your relationships. This is what I hope to grow more in 2013. I’m happy to see you leading the way.

  4. Hi Sandra,

    Jean is so right in her horse analogy. Our minds are like horses nibbling mindlessly.

    The only way I stay in the present is to make a conscious effort starting with positive affirmations when I arise and pulling myself back when I catch my mind wandering.

    It also helps to surround myself with positive and uplifting friends and reading blogs like yours that help to keep me mindful.

    Thanks.

    • Flora, It certainly is a discipline, isn’t it? It sounds like you have a perfect way to get off to a good start each day. And, I agree completely, uplifting friends and blogs are like pure gold.

  5. This reminds me of a quote by Sa’di. “Open the door of your treasure today, for tomorrow the key will not be in your hands.” A timely post, my friend.

  6. Thanks for the reminder Sandra to live more in the present. This past year – that was my theme/resolution. I think I did a lot better this past year than year’s past and will continue to do so. In fact, I’m going to talk about my battle with the present moment soon – haha :) I keep losing to it!

    • Vishnu,

      Can’t wait to read about your battle with the present moment! I’m sure it will be interesting. Well, we all have that one. But each moment adds up so the more we practice, the better it can get. My sense is that you’ve done an extraordinary job with the present moment in the past year. :)

  7. Your article about Gupta and Hopper is closed for comments, but it is most certainly a topic of discussion that demands continued commentary, or more specifically stated, REFUTATION. This comment in particular:

    “It’s important to bear in mind that these people are pioneers. ”

    These people are NOT pioneers. Anyone with anything beyond the most casual understanding of physiology can see how Gupta’s desperately confused attempts at constructing a post-hoc hypothesis for his program can see this. His paper has been published in a journal that accepts, by its own description, anything “interesting”. THAT’S IT! It has absolutely no scientific credibility whatsoever, and the perpetuation of his scam is extremely damaging to the credibility of those of us who suffer these debilitating illnesses.

    • I’m sorry you are suffering so greatly from a debilitating illness. Thanks for sharing your opinion about the Gupta and Hopper programs. I’m fortunate to know several people who have recovered substantially from MCS using these methods. The methods don’t necessarily work for everyone, but they do work effectively for some people. I hope you will be able to find some form of treatment that brings you relief as well. Comments are closed on all my posts older than 30 days as the spam numbers go out of sight otherwise.

  8. Pingback: 10 Positive Resolutions for a truly Happy New Year 2013 | *Positive Provocations*

  9. Some time ago, my cousin was killed instantly in an accident while he was riding his motorcycle. I remember how devastating it was for some many of us in the family. I, for one, woke up to the realization of my mortality, and started paying attention to the here and now.

    I hope others reading your post here, get the message without having to go through the heartache.

    • I’m sorry for your loss, Glynis. Thank you for sharing your experience. When loss occurs, it can wake us up. I’m sorry for your heartache, but happy you were able to make a positive shift. Thanks again for taking time to encourage others with your comment.

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