“There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo
We rush through our days as fast as we can. We have so much to do and so little time. We have come up with “productivity hacks” and tips, tricks and apps to helps us make the most out of our days; to squeeze a few more minutes here and there. We have come up with excuses to have fewer hours of sleep and leisure in order to fill even more our plates. We hardly have time to contemplate anything. Such a luxury is not practical.
But sometimes, even for a second, a wild thought appears. While we stand in the line, while the web page loads or while the app opens, the thought that we must be missing something lingers in the back of our minds. It is quickly dismissed; we don’t have time to think about such things. We have so many things to do before lunch.
Those thoughts that we disregard as a bug in the production software that we think our minds are, won’t go away. Because such thoughts are not a bug, but a warning sign. When we are caught up in the frenzy of doing, having and being more, we are missing something: living.
Pause right now. The world won’t burn down in flames because you stood still for a minute.
Pause for a moment right now to notice where you are. Allow yourself the mindful contemplation of your reality.
When was the last time you noticed how you felt, not because your mind told you how you should feel, but because you paused for a minute to pay attention to your emotions?
Often our emotions are influenced by how our mind believes we should feel in a given circumstance, but so many times what we actually feel is quite different to what we think we should feel.
Be mindful about your feelings, allow them to live within you, to pass over and through you, without judging. Just let them be and contemplate how it feels. Feelings are not our enemies, even the most negative ones. On the contrary, feelings are the most accurate feedback we can get about the path we are walking in life and the alignment of such path with our purpose.
No matter where you are right now, is further from where you were yesterday. You have come a long way and nobody can take that away from you. Contemplate your achievements, starting with the person you have become. Our own development and growth is our biggest award.
Yes, the finish line of your goals and dreams might be even farther ahead, but never forget progress is not measured by the distance between where we are and where we want to be, but by the distance where we are and where we used to be.
The sole fact that you are a conscious being is a great reason to be grateful, because that’s all you need to achieve anything you want.
What if you don’t like where you are? This is something to appreciate as well. Stop and feel your emotions about where you are. See that you are hurting. See that you wish things to be different. How does that feel in your body? Allow it to happen, and realize that it is temporary, but a part of life. Not good or bad, just happening.
Then think about all the things you aren’t suffering from: If you aren’t in a war-torn area of the world, give thanks to the stars. If you aren’t suffering from health problems, aren’t sleeping on the streets, aren’t about to die, that’s a minor miracle.
You are alive, and life is a wondrous thing to participate in. Of course we have things to do, deadlines to comply with and professional goals to achieve, but acknowledge that this is only a small part of life.
Don’t let it go all to waste by hiding yourself behind a pile of irrelevant tasks.
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