Do you know of a time when you didn’t want to be a better person? A time when you didn’t want to find peace and joy in your life, rediscovering your creative center? Finding the time seems to be everyone’s excuse. Waiting for a time when it ‘feels right’. Well they’re not making more time and it turns out that the only time that’s right is NOW!
Some of the best times for me have been when I am sitting down to write about the momentous occasions in my life and realize that they are here and now. I’ve recently returned from an amazing trip to Ireland and a week later, in my mind’s eye can still see the beautiful countryside and adorable villages with the buildings and roads unchanged from the 19th century, when most of them were built for horse drawn carriage traffic and a few human shoppers. I remember how mindful I was of my physical and emotional sensations during the long hours of travel, the waiting, the sitting. Because I accepted these things, I could stay focused on moving through the moment, not cursing it because it didn’t live up to an impossible standard. I am an average person who travels coach-it’s expected-not someone who has a private plane, staff to take my luggage and handle the paperwork. Because I stayed in the moment, I was less exhausted. Resisting the difficulties of travel would have led to an irritability and an aggravation that would have sapped my energy. I would never have noticed and enjoyed the smallest details of my visit to a magical country with friendly engaging people….and animals. Especially the moment spent with a lone horse in a field, who chose to meet me at the fence and greet me in a language we both understood.
I now understand fully and have experienced first-hand, what it means to live in the present, the way the horses do; how to avoid dwelling on the difficulties of the past or hope for a better future while completely ignoring or dismissing the value of what is presented to me in this very moment. For the horses, it is survival-paying attention to what is in the immediate vicinity and avoid missing a small but critical piece of information that ensures safety, allows them to live another day.
Our awareness or lack of it may not mean the difference between life and death in the dramatic sense that we think, but if you pay attention to small moments of the day-a child smiling shyly after a compliment from you, a spouse laughing and hugging you for understanding and being patient with him or a daughter showing a few nature photographs to her dad as an affirmation and appreciation of their shared love of the outdoors-you’ll discover that what we desire most in our life-love, beauty and joy IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! It looks so….common and not at all what we expect from our over the top, dazzling, high speed, comes with a soundtrack, instant gratification, pleasure driven world. We miss it because we aren’t paying attention, because it doesn’t GRAB our attention.
Horses pay attention to everything in their environment because their life depends on it. Well, I think our life depends on it too! I’m keeping a “jar of moments” this year and on small pieces of paper I jot down the instances in my day when I noticed something. Something that made me smile, that made me grateful, that made me wonder how I could have missed it in my former life. I accept that not all moments are positive, but even the ones that are not are included in my jar. I accept them equally: light and dark, happy and sad, good and bad. Horses do not overthink the moments when life is not working for them. They try a different approach to see if it works and move on with life. They have no time to dwell on mistakes or sit and wish for something better. I like that.
NOW is the time to begin your search for a better way, a better place…a better life! Look for a glimpse of it in this very moment!