“The only thing you ever have is now” Ekhart Tolle
I remember the first time I heard about the “power of now,” I thought it was strange. Now is a
moment in time but saying it is more important than planning for the future in
order to have peace didn’t feel right. I was taught by watching that you always
needed to have a plan. You had to work for the future you wanted. You had to
spend time better understanding what went wrong in the past so that you could
learn from your mistakes. This is what life was about, worrying about and
planning the future and learning the lessons of the past. Who the heck took time
to “smell the roses?”
Of course all this did was start a pattern where I would never really truly revel in the present.
Was I even present in my life or was I only focused on what did go wrong or what could go wrong? The more I read,
the more I recognize that I was existing a lot of the time but perhaps not
living as much as I should. The present meant feeling. The present meant no
excuses. That is a scary concept, or at least it was for me. I did a lot to numb
those feelings. I didn’t allow myself to feel my anger, disappointment or fears.
But then I also didn’t allow myself to feel my joys, my happiness or my
gratitude. I numbed my feelings by partying, through my self deprecating sense
of humor and by ignoring them. I suppressed a lot this way but never healed. It
was rare when I would allow myself to ever just be in the moment.
My early thirties, after my first divorce, was a time of worry or reflection, with only some
time dedicated to the moment. Being in the now. After some therapy I realized I
needed to feel some of the dark emotions I was suppressing in order to heal
My second husband helped me to begin to be more in the moment and in the
now. That’s the only way he lived. He wasn’t a planner and he never reflected on
much. I didn’t realize when I met him. Our vacations were in the now. In fact one of the most
memorable in the now moments was a weekend away with him to Boca Raton Florida.
We stayed in the present the entire time. We didn’t discuss the past, or try to
understand it. We didn’t prepare or worry about the future. We didn’t bring up
issues. We focused all of our attention on where we were and us as a couple.
That may have been one of the best weekends of that marriage. But with him it
was never sustainable. He had a motive that went far beyond mine. His motive was
always about sex. Mine was peace, and love. Some of what went wrong I
I have found that travel is an amazing way to stay in the now.
Recently I spent a weekend in Wildwood and Cape May with my cousin. It
was an amazing time focused on spending time together. We ate at great
restaurants, sunned ourselves, watch beautiful sunsets and just were. We talked
about just being. We walked, talked, laughed, cried, and loved. Travel as a way to stay in the now coupled with someone you are most comfortable. A perfect combination.
I found myself completely relaxed when I returned home. I realized that I
felt at total peace. That peacefulness lasted only for a few days forcing me to
realize that I need to spend more time in the now. Spend more time with those closest to me.
Focus on meditation as a practice versus my current sporadic attempts. Having faith and letting things happen.
Sometimes you need to just be.