Live in the here and now

Sister Stanislaus Kennedy shared these thoughts in her book “Now Is The Time“, and I feel she is reminding us that all we have is now: yesterday is gone, tomorrow does not exist, and both are illusions of our own minds:

“Everything has its time, and that time is always now. The time is always now to live our lives, every minute, every hour, every day, every year. Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, those are the circumstances we have to live with, now. Now is the time to live the lives we have been gifted with. If we put it off tomorrow to live, then we have lost today.”

“Life is for living but we can miss it and let it pass us by if we are unwilling or unable to engage with it in the present. Life is not a consumer good, a thing to be grasped, held, used. We cannot cage life, we cannot freeze it; it moves on, it races and limps, it changes pace, it reaches highs and sinks to lows; sometimes it is too slow and too sluggish for us, at other times too fast to follow and difficult to bear. It is the most we can do, sometimes, to keep up with it.”

“The real measure of life is not whether we have lived the length of our days, but whether we have lived the depth and breadth of them – whether, in other words, we have lived them to the full. All the experiences of life – births and deaths, loving and losing, gaining and failing, laughing and crying – happen in every life and we cannot avoid, evade and elude them. We cannot reduce life to our own size. What we can do is explore and drink deep from each moment; accept, acknowledge, rejoice in every experience, some exhilarating, some exhausting, but all of them important; endure every part of the way; learn from every colourless as well as from every colourful moment in our lives.”

“Life is not what happens outside of us; life is happening inside of us. Life not only happens to us; it happens in us, it happens through us, it happens because of us and in spite of us. Life is lived both through what we bring to it and through what we take from it.”

“There is no such thing as a meaningless moment or a meaningless life. If we are open to it, life will teach and shape us to become people of wisdom, compassion and joy, in our age, in our time. For that to happen, every small part of life must be lived. If we are open to life, the cycle of time shapes and reshapes our misshapen selves until we become what we are called to be.”

“To live life well, we must live the present moment. But it is not easy to be present to the present, because we are constantly told to be looking in front of us. Very often we are not here at all, we only think we are here. We live with one foot in tomorrow: what is coming is seen as more important than the now; what is yet to be got, to be seen, to be achieved, can easily become the all-important thing; and while we wait for it and live with our plans, the present moment, which is very rich within us, is lost. As Brendan Kennelly says, ‘How easy it is to maim the moment with expectation, to force it to define itself.’ “

Our minds tend to focus on the future – on what’s going to happen or what we wish to happen; or we tend to dwell on the past – either fretting over some mishaps or savouring some beautiful memories, that often we are hardly in the present. There is this relentless pursuit of a ‘better tomorrow’ or the constant reminder of something good or bad that happened yesterday, that we fail to notice the beauty of what’s happening now!

I feel it is the way we have been conditioned to function – that today is never good enough, and tomorrow will be a ‘better day’. How do we make sense of all this when ‘tomorrow does not exist’ and since it does not exist, how do we know it will be better or not – all we have is now, and we have allowed ourselves to be suckered into this illusion? And because of this ‘belief of a better tomorrow, a brighter future, a place in paradise’ that many of us have stopped living, let alone living life to the fullest!

Whatever Life has to offer to us now, it is for us to be fully present, to discover, to know, to learn; and despite our conditioned state of mind to judge and put labels to things that happened to us, know for certain that Life has its own unique way of teaching us and awakening us to who we are.

Life is – live it, embrace it fully – now!

One Response to “Live in the here and now”

  1. sandy says:

    Yes, we must EMBRACE IT ALL! Not just with your words, minds, thoughts, actions, etc. But with your whole body! FEEL IT, FEEL IT, FEEL IT. Drop down out of your head, out of your words, your ideas, out of your mind, and FEEL the textures, the sensations, whatever they are. Drop the story, whatever it is, and just feel. I might add that it is what we call the “bad” things that life brings, the emotions and feelings in the body that accompany them, the times when we just want to “numb-out”, those are the times that offer the greatest gift – if we can stop running from, trying to avoid, trying to prevent and trying to protect ouselves from this potent energy and just sit with it and let it flow through us – breathe with it, embrace it – this is where the Magic happens, don’t believe me, try it for yourself. Live it, be it, feel it – you know all the words, you’ve heard it all – NOW – every moment – FEEL IT!

Leave a Reply