Do you spend more time in the past or future than in the present? Do you invest energy cursing your current situation rather than doing something about it? Do you obsess about what you should have done? Do you worry about what will happen?
I have been guilty of all of the above. For starters I mull over what I should have done, the clever repartee I should have delivered, the thing left unsaid. A small amount of this is okay. It’s learning from mistakes and assessing previous actions.
Likewise, anticipating and planning ahead are positive attributes up to a point. Again learning from past mistakes and applying the learning to future actions is a desirable trait.
The balance or “Golden Mean” of the situation is to not get so wrapped up in either history or planning the future that you miss the present. Picture walking in a beautiful meadow with yellow, white, red, purple and blue wild-flowers dotting the emerald-green hillside while a bubbling brook rushes out of snow-capped peaks. And being so preoccupied with the past or future that you don’t even notice your surroundings. This is our predicament. The moment has so much to offer in beauty, humor and life. Don’t miss it.
So the secret entails accepting our current circumstances and making the most of the moment. But the flip side involves implementing the actions to improve our situation. We need to take responsibility. We aren’t hermits sitting on a mountain ledge meditating our lives away. We are vital human beings participating in the mystery of life. We can always do things to improve the world around us.
Take the next step, visit the next valley, help someone in need--this is participating in the flow of moments. Being alive now leads to being alive in the sequence of moments. Life isn’t static. We have an opportunity to grow our souls and improve the environment in which we live.