“The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now.”
- Robert G. Ingersoll
Today I was reminded of an essential teaching on the path of mindfulness - to be present now, to be happy now. Practicing mindfulness is all about living in the present. It is about seeking joy in the moment and not being stuck in the past or overly planning for the future. Too often we hold off living fully, until life is perfect and we have everything we want, how we want it.
Like many people, I so often feel as if my life is in limbo, and my focus then becomes on the future - usually an ideal future I have built up in my mind. I tell myself, “When I get there/when I am that/can do that”, yet ultimately waiting for the perfect time or place is fruitless. The perfect time is now.
I have taught this practice countless times and I am reminded to apply it to my own life, daily. Forget worry or procrastination. Don’t postpone. There is only one perfect time to do anything you are thinking of doing - now.
Too often we put things off, plan and plan and put things off some more, waiting for life to be ideal before we will allow ourselves to take that risk and live. I am not saying don’t make plans for your future, it is wise to do so. But don’t put off living until then.
One of ways I stay present is seated in mindfulness meditation. I return to the breath to center myself. To the awareness of the inhalation and exhalation. This simple practice of just sitting, just breathing, allows the day and its’ worries to slip away. It allows me to become humbled, present in the moment and in awe of its magnificence. In that moment I am aware of life’s impermanence and am grateful to be present as a witness.
I teach constantly that living in the now is enough, that your life is enough, that we just need to sit and be present and not obsess over desiring it to be anything other than what it is in the moment. When we are fully present and make peace with the now, we experience inner peace and at times even bliss.
Life is happening right now, it is unfolding as you are reading this - live it. So, wear that beautiful dress you were saving for the special occasion, use your best crockery and silverware when you eat dinner tonight, make that phone-call to the one you love, book that trip you have been considering, take that chance and live in the moment. Life will never be perfect but there is no moment better then the present to start living it.
My affirmation for today is : I CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY NOW
Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash