Now is the time to appreciate opportunity of each moment
I ran out of time. Where did the time go? If only I had more time. These are utterances we've all made.
Physicist Julian Barbour thinks time is an illusion — that there is no such thing. He believes that all we have are nows. Eckhart Tolle titled a book "The Power of Now,” and many people say it has profoundly affected their lives. One reader said he is now able to stay aware of the opportunities that come to him through his uncomfortable moments.
Those uncomfortable moments are the ones we typically try to distance from, using food, sex, drugs, work or whatever takes us away from painful reality. Understand, I find nothing wrong with any of those when used appropriately, but if that reader is correct and we use them to create distance, we also may miss rich opportunities.
What does it mean to be fully in the now? I experience it as an awareness of using all my senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching — in the present moment. Often our minds are in another place, and we do not realize the pleasure in the simple things we are doing.
This came to mind last week when I was having lunch with my friend Linda Bosteels, a woman of many interests, one of which is photography. One of her pictures was a close-up shot of an unfolding rose. As I looked, I saw a beauty I'm not sure I've seen before — the detail, the perfection, the mystery of how all that occurs and to which I am too often oblivious.
Try it sometime. Give your total attention to one flower or leaf or tree. Study it at close range, just allowing its beauty, color and shape to speak to you. Then move a little closer and study it from that vantage point. Let it call out of you a sense of wonder and appreciation — a feeling of joy. Then move even closer. Each time you do, you will see a new world you had not noticed before.
The same can be true of attention to another person. It is the opposite of taking someone for granted.
Being present also can involve two people, and when together you bring your full attention to any moment, you often experience a sense of the sacred. As Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen says, "Any place where you are seen and
heard is a holy place.”
To whom and to what do you give your full attention? Being in the now is worth your consideration. It will take practice, but the payoff can enrich your life and your relationships.