A familiar adage…”no time like the present!” This phrase encourages us to accomplish something in the moment, right now, rather than putting it off till some distinct time in the future. Good advice because in many respects the present moment is all we really have.
Let’s unpack this, in Mindfulness practices and Yoga we refer to present moment awareness constantly. The theory is the only reality we possess is the present moment. The past is no longer our reality, it holds a memory fixed in the mind.
These memories can be collective, as in documented history, or personalized. When memories are held in the collective subconscious, they carry a lot of weight and energy, making them feel incredibly tangible and accessible. We feel them and attach to them.
Personal memories, particularly when charged with trauma or emotion do the same. We can go back, quickly and easily. A look, a touch, a smell, a song, and words, all serve as triggers to take us into our past reality. But here’s the thing, it is in the past. The energy of the memory is held in the mind and the mind is part of the body. The experience is no longer real, a present moment illusion. However, the body remembers, the body resists releasing the stories of the past for good or for ill. The body hangs on for dear life.
This is just one side of the coin making it difficult for us mere mortals to stay present.
The other is the future, arguably easier to believe is an illusion. The future has not happened yet. We intellectually know we have little or no control over what will come.
The illusion of the future is logical. Yet our desire to know and control, or influence in some beneficial self-serving way is huge. We can hardly help ourselves. We need to know; we want to be prepared! We fear, we fret, we worry ourselves deep into the night.
This is part of our collective Truth, the human condition. The practice becomes to embrace “no time like the present.” The present moment is a gift we must continually give ourselves. It is our reality.
We can reduce the amount of needless day to day suffering by constantly reminding ourselves of this gift; “no time like the present.”