Monday, April 4, 2016

Word of the Week - 109

Word(s) of the Week: BE HERE NOW

I may let Ram Dass, author of "Be Here Now," speak for himself through some best-known quotes:

For myself, awake on Sunday morning after an insufficient sleep, my first thought was to speak of it - complain, as it were - as though that would be a proper substitute for being awake too much of the night.  There were two choices: be here, in this moment, groggy yet sun-touched and present, or be there, in the grip of insomnia brought on by who-knows-what, fretting, wondering if I'd get to sleep before the night was gone.  I chose Door #1.

Solid ground only exists for me in this moment.  If I wander into the past as anything other than an interested visitor, I invariably manage to feel shame, remorse, guilt and sorrow for the choices I did or did not make.  Time has allowed me to become kinder to my past self but there are scenes glimpsed in the rear-view mirror that still give me the whim-whams.  The future is so unknowable that travel there is the definition of folly.  I hope, I guess, I try to will the outcome I think may put everything right, guarantee all that cannot possibly be promised.  Or I dread, I fear, I worry.  What a goose.

The art of being here, and only here, now is one I practice constantly, as an apprentice in any field would.  In my favor is the fact that I now know the different options offered by present, past and future, know that two of them are chump choices.  Mindfulness, a word for another week, helps keep me out of the swampiest places.


Kass said...

Being in the now is such a constant challenge for me. I think we all say to ourselves, "what's next?"...and maybe that's OK if we give proper appreciation for the "now" that just passed.

My daughter has been helpful in getting me out of my mental stewing, which is usually about something stupid I've done or said and really becomes a vicious circle, keeping me from enjoying what's current. While these phrases may be negative, it helps to jolt me into reality (keep in mind, she also likes to remind me how old and forgetful I am). She says, "It doesn't matter."...or "Nobody cares."....and it's usually true. Other people aren't spending much time worrying about me. They're busy worrying about their own worlds.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - it isn't so much what other people think, at least most of the time, that causes us to stumble but the enormous challenge of making peace with ourselves. How do we come to be so hyper-critical of our humanness, so unforgiving? My best guess is we learn greater compassion by occupying the present where we may become still and attentive. If this were easy, everyone would be doing it, which we know they aren't. Being aware of the task is where we begin. Our glorious imperfection. xo

Kass said...

You're such a good guru...mentor.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. I only follow behind the wise souls I've found whose words hold me in place better than gravity. xo

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I am not sure where I stand on living now as I tend to be a planner from a past teaching career.
I find aging a very tough process and getting my mind to a comfort zone varies daily. Music helps. Walks are a nust do. Eating foods that boost help but I get dragged down easily now. I will try to remind myself that now is a great place.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Heidrun - Aging IS a tough process, a place we've never been, filled with surprises not always welcome. The past and future tug at us, certainly they tug at me, and the clarity to know them for what they are does not come easily. Any ways we develop to keep spirits lifted and fear at bay are to be celebrated. Wishing you well. Now really is a friend. xo