I was thinking about presence today. Well, rather being present. This is something I struggle with as I am sure many of you do as well. It can be hard in this busy world to remain in the present moment. I happened to be on a walk with my dog. It was a cloudy and crisp fall morning, and we were walking around a local reservoir and popular birding area.
The morning was beautiful, but I had to stop myself because I realized that my mind was not currently at the reservoir. My mind had moved on to the next task, grocery shopping. Instead of noticing the geese and ducks wading and dipping into the water, I was visualizing what items I was going to pull off the shelves. I was not present at all. So, I refocused, just as in meditation, and began to take in the landscape and how the bare trees made a stark contrast against the sky. The sound the dry leaves made under my feet. And when I was able to be present, I was able to feel gratitude for my place and time in this life.
When I was younger, I had trouble with the phrase, “live in the here and now”. It sounded narrow to me and reckless. How can one only live in the here and now, we must keep looking forward and thinking about what’s ahead. But then I realized that in order to be in the here and now, it does not mean you have to abandon planning for the future. It is more of a guideline on how to try and live better and fuller. If you cannot take in the here and now, how are you going to have memories to look back on when you reach the there and then?
From my perspective it is more about balance. A reminder to not live in one extreme over another. This to me is part of the evolution of being human. Finding the balance and being
present in yourself.