Some years ago, a cute little elf-like man named Eckhart Tolle wrote a book called, The Power of Now. In it, he said we need to slow down and be in this moment right now. I couldn’t even slow down long enough to read the next page, so it went up on book shelf of books I will read someday, which is the very opposite of now. As I venture deeper into yoga, I notice the instructors are also always telling me to be in this moment now.
Because, in this moment now, I am pushing a cat off my lap, arguing with a bank about a short sale transaction and reading a text from my youngest daughter, Jessica, that says,” Mom, if I were a vampire would you still love me?” Jessica is 21.
I’m not making any of this up.
The premise of the power of now boils down to the simple truth that we never really have any moment than the one we’re in. Actually, it makes sense when you think about it, but then, I think cats should vote. Consider this, though: If you think about the past, you are thinking about it right now. If you think about the future, you are thinking about it right now. This stuff can get really heady, so you won’t want to drop acid when discussing. But this is true: no matter how fast you run, you can never be in the future…the future is always happening now. WHOA!! Who turned out the lights?!
My yoga teacher says one way we can be in the present moment is to focus on our breath. I explained that the only time I pay any attention to my breath…besides when I’m not getting any…is when I use mouthwash. You know, that minty chilly feeling you get when you inhale through your mouth after a big gargle of green Listerine (because ew, the gold stuff is gross). She said fine, so use mouth wash before yoga and meditation. I’m sure she merely forgot to mention the dentist. Poor dentist. So I started rinsing and spitting before sitting (for meditation) and you know what? It worked!
There I sat, inhaling the minty hot feeling, appreciating the very moment I was in, the moment of now, that I was in, then. Huh??? Too much mouthwash makes mommy sleepy. I guess what all this “time stuff” really boils down to is that where we’re at right now, this very moment, is what matters most. How often are we answering calls, paying bills, or polishing up our antique coconut collection, totally focused on what we’ll be doing next, or what we should have said to that cute UPS driver when we had the chance? How often are we shuffling to pick kids up, planning our way out of the Tupperware party we don’t want to attend, or trying to understand who in the Hell said, “Let’s bring Dallas back”?
I think the point of the power of now, of being present with our bodies and our minty fresh breath, really reminds us that when we are in such a hurry about the future, or a worry about the past, we are not enjoying and experiencing what’s in front of our silly little faces right now. Kids grow up (can you imagine the kinds of questions Jessica asked me when she was little?), and then we realize we rushed through their childhood planning for the future, when the whole time it was the now that is the now. Now, now, don’t let me confuse you. Why not read the little guy’s book as he clearly explains it under the influence of much less mouthwash than me: http://www.eckharttolle.com/
And in the meantime, enjoy the ride, live in the moment, follow your breath and please, floss between meals.
Shameless self-promotional part: Hey, if you’re into personal development, check out my more serious books here. If you like comedy, just wait till this book is released (Spring 2013). Put your email up in the corner box and lets be best friends forever!!!!