Life in the Now-Zone – Part 2: What is “Now” & Where Can I Find It?

“What we seek is the experience of being alive” Joseph Campbell

“The experience of being alive is realized when we discover and live our “Now” Joan Kappes

Learning to live in our present moment – our “Now” is one of the most important tools to master for living a “Come to the Edge Today” life because “Now” is where our L-I-F-E dwells.  ”Now” is where our focus shines its beams.  “Now” is where the power to create the life of our dreams lives.

In this reflection, let us look more closely at what “Now” is, what it looks like and where it can be found!

I have pondered and sought after this thing called “Now” for many years.  I knew it existed, yet it always seemed to elude me.  ‘How do I live in the present moment – my “Now” moment when I have miles of ‘to do’ lists to complete?  How do I fully experience my “Now” when there are children to raise and family to tend to, etc. etc.  How can I do this when I must plan for the future, while learning from the past?  (Can you relate??)  HOW DO I FIND THIS THING CALLED LIVING IN THE ‘NOW’?  Where do I find it?  Where to begin?

Let’s begin with the dictionary definition of “Now”: (Adverb) “At the present time, often as opposed to in the past or in the future”.

Ok, I agree with this definition, at least partially; after all, we live in present time, don’t we?  Our moments are filled with planning, goal setting, multitasking, creating, accomplishing, shopping, accumulating, entertaining, etc.  Activities such as these are valuable and we give much meaning to them.  We often think of our accomplishments and our activities as “living”, right?  When we do not find the feeling of “aliveness” from these, oftentimes we create more and more of it with the logic that doing and having more will eventually get us to this “aliveness place”.

However, mechanically moving from one thing to another, without experiencing what is occurring will not satisfy.  While doing, accomplishing, accumulating, or any other description we give to living a good life has great value, (after all, it is one of the perks of being human!) it is not the actions themselves that give us satisfaction.  Aliveness comes when we EXPERIENCE, in real “Now” time, complete awareness of the doing, feeling and thinking of what we are involved in.  THIS is what we are really after!

Here is our “Come to the Edge Today” definition of “Now”:  (Verb) The “Now” moment is being completely engaged and aware of what you are doing, thinking or feeling at the present moment.

“Now” living is a way of being.  It is a habit, that if fostered will lead to the “aliveness” that all of us seek.  It is a habit of awareness.  Awareness of what?  Awareness of a full engagement with what you are doing, seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking because when you are aware of it, you can experience it!   For example, have you reveled in the experience of grappling with a problem?  Are you aware of the experience of sharing a conversation with another?  Do you notice and experience the color and smells of your surroundings?  Are you aware of your feelings as you read the newspaper or watch television?  Are you aware of the experience of eating your food?  Have you been so engrossed in a project that time just ‘vanished’?

The activities we involve ourselves in are only a means to the end that we seek –the experience of aliveness!

Upon first hearing, this may sound rather odd, but it really IS key!  Living in your “Now” is a state of being – an awareness so you can

  1. Experience in real-time your life (which is the point, isn’t it?)
  2. Be aware in your “Now” so that what you are giving your attention to is serving you”. (Abraham)  For example, if, right now, you are thinking about a past event with thoughts of guilt and unworthiness – these thoughts are not serving you – they are weighing you down.  Living in your “Now”, means noticing what is going on with your thoughts (which you have total control of) and stopping to ask this important question: “Is what and how I am thinking (Now) about a past event serving me or not serving me?  Is this line of thought adding to my growth or not?  Is there another way I can think about this past event that is more fitting for the wonderful “Me’ I have come to know?  THIS living in complete awareness is how to be alive!

So, how to begin living “Now”?

  1. First, know that developing this way of living is a lifelong process.  There is no end to this “aliveness” experience so just begin wherever you are.
  2. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so just practice!  (See part 3 for ideas on how to practice this new way of living!)
  3. As I mentioned before, this is a habit and habits are formed over time with persistence and practice.  Make a commitment to continue and continue and continue.
  4. This is what you have been looking for, so “Come to the Edge Today” and leap into this new awareness of your life with trust that great gifts and adventures are in store for you!  Play with it!

 

Be sure to read Life in the Now-Zone  Part 3: “How to live Now” and Part 1: ”The Now Experience

Practicing this is so much fun – Joan Kappes

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

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