Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Being in the moment

The other day I learnt for myself about living in the present moment. Or to be more precise I learnt about not living in the present moment, but in a way that taught me about living in the present moment! It reminded me of "The Power of Now", a book I read many years ago now, but which had a big impact on me. It said that the only time you can do anything is now - worrying about doing it in the future is just a waste of effort. Something that I have tried to adopt, but which I find hard. The other book on this page is one that I have been meaning to get round to reading, but have never quite managed!

Anyway, back to the story - we had just finished an informal Eucharist when the vicar invited us all back to hers for drinks (for future reference this is not a regular occurrence, so don't come to the next one expecting it!) saying that we would tidy up afterwards. This was unexpected at the time, but welcome. When the time came to leave I was so conscious of the things that I had been going to do that it was only when I was luxuriating in my bath that I remembered that we hadn't cleared up. This might seem trivial, but it struck me forcefully that it was the focus on what I was going to do, rather than what I was doing, that had caused me overlook the tidying up.

I now have an interesting follow up question - if we are living in the moment all the time - what happens to all those things that do require planning? I can see the attraction of living in the moment and not worrying about the future - but what about other people - suppose we have agreed to meet someone, and don't turn up? We could say that we have been living in the moment, but I don't think many would be impressed. How do we manage to hold the two in balance? Answers on a postcard...

1 comment:

  1. My solution, when I apply it, is that if I choose to be with someone for an hour, then I am fully there for that hour, not thinking about the next meeting, but then I get to the next thing on time and am fully present there too. In terms of planning I think you can be in the moment at your desk when that moment consists of preparing things for the future...

    I think what threw you here is that you had plans that you didn't want to change, but you accepted the invitation.. so it had to change your plans.. but the two remained in conflict for you, hence you couldn't fully do one or the other



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