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um-011910-emailI was sitting in an early morning meditation with my husband Michael. It was still dark; the outside world and my inside world were quiet. No phones ringing, no email, just the sound of breathing in and breathing out. I had the experience of intense presence. I encountered a sense of nothing to do, and nowhere to go. Then a simple directive trickled in with my next breath, be … here … now. Involuntarily the corners of my mouth turned up in a smile, and I chuckled inwardly, could it be that simple?

Be here now is a radical way to look at living your life; especially if you spend time repeatedly reviewing the past, or excessively worrying about the future. It’s not that you don’t want to look to the past for lessons learned or set goals for the future, but the reason for doing so is markedly different when your view is from this moment in time. It’s really quite logical. The only time you can implement something you’ve learned from the past is now. And the only time you can take a step to achieve a goal is now. The more quickly you can come to this moment, the faster you can release the burden of “should have” and keeping the past alive, by not being here now.

Why not embrace real time?

Real time is now. It’s setting deadlines and meetings and agreements. It’s useful to use time to create a path to achievement. It’s outwardly directed. You use time to help you, and let go of being used by time to stress you out! Time that is inner directed to the past or future, and compares what happened to what you think should have happened, is not real time. It’s an endless trap of the mind. Your mind is powerful, and you can use it to turn your attention and thoughts to this moment.

I know I’ve said it before, but it just keeps getting clearer each day: Fulfillment is in the action you take right now. It’s in the awareness you bring to what is taking place … now.

I’ve been practicing being here now. It’s even funny to write about this topic because of course you are, and I am, here now. We can’t be anywhere but where we are. This is where words get in the way, but stay with me, because the first step to intense presence is noticing how often your mind travels to the past or future. When I made it a practice to observe my thoughts, it actually blew my mind to notice how often I journeyed to events that were no longer relevant, and fantasies that were not to be.

So what do you do? I know this may sound simplistic, but what I did was stop and observe the pattern. I recognized the pattern without analyzing it. I saw it without reacting to it. In the observation of the past/future pattern, it lost its power to distract me from this moment and what is possible now. The gap closed between what happened and what I thought should have happened. When there was no gap, it was just what it was. Just so. And what went with the disappearance of the gap, was also the disappointment, anger, self-judgment, attachment, image, and desire for it to be different from how it was, and from how it is now!

Here’s my recommended practice for this week … just one thing:

Observe your thoughts without stopping to reflect on them or interpret them. See what happens when you witness without interfering. You’re not preventing your thoughts, you’re noticing what your mind is generating moment to moment. This is the practice of profound presence. It is a radical way to be here now, and will have a remarkable impact on your fulfillment.

My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment.

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