Stop waiting for the perfect moment. Take a moment and make it perfect. ~Unknown
If you came to this site by Twitter, by Googling Mindfulness or through a random click, I believe your impulse wasn’t entirely random; there is an underlying impulse that made this topic, which is ultimately about mindfulness, desirable to you. Well, congratulations, because you are already being mindful. You are paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and acting positively, seizing the moment. But is your life always like this? I know mine wasn’t and often still isn’t.
The majority of the time we are trapped in the past or the future, rather than claiming the only moment we really have, which is now…this moment. We are always trying to get some place else. To some better place where we believe it will all come together and we will feel at peace. But actually all that happens is we become more driven for change, more impatient with ourselves, which ultimately makes us unhappier and impacts negatively on our relationships with others. If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, “things will be better when….,” ”I’ll be happier when…” When what?
- When you move home?
- When you get a better job?
- When the kids go off to college?
- When you finally take that holiday?
- When you get a bigger car?
There is this insanity we all live by called “when.” Some imaginary future we are bound to that will be better than now and better than the past. In truth, the only perfect moment is now. Life is a series of moments, and every one you throw off, dismiss, dislike, ignore, you will never get back. You will, however, get another moment to seize, embrace, appreciate and love…probably. I say probably because one day you won’t get another moment. There is actually only one moment we really have, and that’s this one. And this moment, if treated mindfully, can bring so much joy, so much fulfilment, so much contentment. The thing about this moment is that it has a direct affect on the next moment and the one after, so, even though we may get another moment, if we aren’t realizing this moment then our chances of fully realizing the one after this one are minimized.
My mindfulness exercise today is for you to try and stop longing for something new to happen in the false hope that it will bring you happiness, whatever happiness may be. There is no perfect moment. There will never be a more perfect moment that this one. There is no “when” that will make things fall into place. You know this is true because every time you get to your destination you realize you still don’t have that sense of achievement and contentment you were seeking. And so you set a new target and thus the cycle continues.
I am going to be bold here and propose to you that the elusive feeling, that longing for a certain knowing, that nagging emptiness that is tempered consistently by temporary fulfilment, is actually your soul searching for mindfulness, and that, dear reader, is what brought you to this page today.
We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas. ~Alan Watts