All my pals, writer friends, and driven souls in my life, I know you can relate.
Alot of us just aren’t built to live in the now, are we?
True also of most of my friends who work in government, have law and accountancy practices, we just aren’t savouring the present.
We are all, yes, myself included, busy living for the ‘what ifs”. In fact I think we’re living precisely because of those ‘what ifs’. When I think of the steps on my personal journey to be a writer, each step is fraught, far in advance, with anxiety and what-ifs.
Sound familiar: (these are my writing life what-if’s) What if I can’t get this manuscript into a viable first draft? What if I can’t pull myself to the desk for a minimum of three hours a day for the next three months? What if I can’t hook an agent who deals with motivational, non-fiction? What if ten other books like mine get published in the next year? What if I just can’t sustain this life anymore? You get the pattern. You likely have your own.
Buddha taught, and authors including Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron have written convincingly that now is all there is. So, why bother expending the energy, when you can’t change this actual moment? What is all the worry about, when we really control only this moment and how we react in it?
It’s the other F-word–fear.
If we could live fearlessly, savour the present, know we have enough, think of the dreams that would come true in their own time, successes that would arrive at the right moment.
Today I’m going back to the affirmation–All that matters is now.
Here’s why: I should know better than to slip into the not-savouring, the burdening myself with the ‘what-ifs’ because I’ve had the moments of terror with the tiger that teach a person to live differently. I’ve looked into the dark eyes of the menace that threatened to rob me of my child, and him of his future, and felt no fear.
Today I will look across the table at the fantastic men that are my gifts to the world and hear, “he is still here” rather than the soothsayer’s “he’ll be gone soon.” I will savour, not waver. I will shock myself back into the knowledge that only now exists and the rest, I’ll deal with it when it comes. Because I always have.
Turn the questions in on yourself. Do only what you can now.
Do you really need it? What is the likelihood that worst-case scenario will occur? Stop fearing the possible because it is costing you the joy of now.
All that matters is now.
The past was once the now. The future will one day be the now. If we act, savour, revel or let it melt in our mouths– rather than ruminate over the fear–we are living.
Put simply, while we are cracking the spines of our 2016 planners, preparing the GANTT charts and sketching the project timeline, the folks living in the now are already on the bus to Disneyland.