“Savor it and take it all in. You will never get that moment back.”— Carla Tocquigny
We tend to live in the future, not in the present. When you were growing up, you couldn’t wait until you finished elementary, middle, or high school. You were anxious to drive your own car and truly experience freedom. Or move out of the house and embark on your adult life in college.
When we finally have “it,” we want the next best thing. What’s on your “List for the Constantly Discontented”—a bigger house, a shiny new car, the latest invention from Apple? Are we incapable of being alive and content in the present moment?
Voices of wisdom often keep us in check with the present. My mother always said, “Be in the moment.” While on vacation, Mom thoroughly enjoyed different foods, the energy of a new city, and the feel of a street festival with local artisans. She proclaimed, “Don’t think about your next trip while you are in the middle of a foreign country. Get lost in the smells, sounds, and tastes of your whereabouts. Be aware of the here and now, and recognize that the only moment to be alive in is the present.”
Mindfulness is a terrible thing to waste. If mindfulness is not your closest traveling companion, test yourself the next time you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Can you stand still for a few minutes and watch our Creator’s artistic skills at work? Happiness and peace are staring you in the face. Tranquility and beauty are there for you to behold.
“Let happiness catch you.” — Angela Cartwright
In 2009, it happened for me. Mindfulness traveled with me to Italy. Toting a sketchpad and pencil, I sauntered into the Academia and had a stare-down with Michelangelo’s statue of David.
Looking for happiness in front of my face rather than in the future, I sat in front of a masterpiece and doodled. Flowing clockwise around David, finding the best seat for a better view at each location, I drew every detail of Michelangelo’s creation. I had never noticed all the details because I had never before been in the moment.
Travelers and art enthusiasts would look over my shoulder, some admiring the sketch and others wondering if this old artist would make the grade in school.
The moment was transforming and humbling. Time stopped. Mindfulness was liberating, youthful, and blew away all preoccupations. The mindfulness pilot light had been lit, and it has now become an ongoing flame.
What lay ahead was yet to be seen. Finding myself in a moment and saying, “Hello, sir, and welcome back,” was a moment of grace, joy, euphoria, and epiphany. It altered my entire outlook.
Think hard: How do you live out your life with mindfulness and remember to be in the present?
Above All Else:
Be in the moment; enjoy the present; take it all in. Capture each unique window of time with comments such as, “There is nothing quite like this exact moment.”