Living in the Moment

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.  ~Buddha

When I first heard the phrase “living in the moment” I found myself laughing sadly and shaking my head at the gullible fools who would buy into something so inane.  Live in the moment?  What fool would settle for living in the moment?  Man oh man, talk about boring!

I didn’t want to live in the moment.  What I wanted was to live my dreams, to achieve my goals; to make something of myself so that when I died the world would remember me!  Forget about this living in the moment stuff. Obviously it was a cop out by those who hadn’t done anything with their lives; people who perhaps had once dreamed big but who had failed to follow through and were now regretting it; something to fall back on in order to make themselves feel better.

I knew better.  I knew that if you wanted to be anything in life; if you wanted to make something of yourself, you had to remain in control; not only of yourself but of everyone and everything around you.  Leaving anything up to chance was just plain foolishness.

If you wanted to get anywhere in life you needed to focus on your goals and break your projects down into small steps that you could accomplish and then, when all of the steps were completed, presto, your goal would be achieved.  Well, that was the plan.  And hey, it worked for businesses, why not for me?

There was just one problem. The goals that I had set for myself were not in alignment with my soul purpose.  Hell, I didn’t even know what my soul purpose was.  I had created a nice neat fiction for my life; a belief that when I attained a specific level of financial security or professional achievement that I would, at last, be happy. Well, that was the plan anyway.

And so it was that even when I had achieved each goal there was always something missing.  It was like baking a cake.  I’d followed the steps – added all of the ingredients in the proper order – and had a perfect cake sitting in front of me, but even though it looked perfect, it didn’t taste quite right.  What had I done wrong?

Over time, however, I have discovered something; I found out what was missing, and it was far simpler than I could have imagined and all the more difficult because of that to implement.  What I was missing was living (dare I say it?) in the moment; enjoying what I had already achieved without the expectation of what came next; of what I could do better next time around.

For all of my lists and my schedules; for all of my hopes and dreams and plans; for all of my visualization and projection; without being able to step aside and get out of my own way I ended up with a picture perfect cake that had little if any flavor.

This isn’t to say that we can’t dream.

This isn’t to say that visualization will not bring you your heart’s desire.

All this means is that we need to take the time – right now – to enjoy the moment that we spent all of our yesterday’s dreaming of and visualizing.  It is the enjoyment of the moment that we have created that brings us the flavor of our days. And it is here, in the quiet of appreciation and the letting go of expectation where we will find that happiness has been waiting patiently for us all along.

 

 

Living In The Moment

To take each day as it comes

To live each moment as it arrives

To hope for nothing

To fear nothing

To expect nothing

Makes each moment a priceless gift;

A gift from the universe

Straight to your heart

A gift to be treasured and adored

A gift to be enjoyed, experienced

And then released.

~SSHenry

 

The Price of Love

As strange as it may seem, it is possible to love without attachment.  I’ll grant you, that is an alien concept in a day and age when the concept of love has been watered down to the point where it is used in regards to your like of soft drinks and computer games.  But it IS possible.

Love without attachment is also love without expectation.  The object of your love is not required to do or be anything other than exactly what it is.  If it should change from one moment to the next; if, like a rabid dog, they suddenly turn on you and attack for no reason other than the fact that you are there, it won’t change the fact that you still love them.

Most people can get to the point of wrapping their brains around the idea of unconditional love; of love without expectation and attachment when it comes to a parent’s love for their child, but what about love for a perfect stranger?

For love to be truly unconditional it has to be based on more than what the person (or object) can do for you (give you love back in return, provide you with financial or emotional support, give you validation for your choices or provide you with a justification for being alive).

Truly unconditional love comes from a realization that all of us; you, me, the person standing next to you, the homeless man on the corner, the obnoxious politician – all of us; that each and every one of us is instrumental to the well being of the universe and of life on this planet.  It comes from an acknowledgement that even though we may each seem completely different, at our deepest core WE ARE ONE.

The True Price of Love

 

True love comes with a price – the price of pain;

 Of giving up a tiny bit of yourself to the one you love,

Knowing full well that you will never get that piece back;

Of knowing that as long as they live they will hold a tiny piece of your heart and soul.

 

And the true cost of living a life of love – whether it is the one love of a lifetime

Or many loves throughout your life – is that by the time you are done;

By the time your heart stops beating; there is nothing left of your heart.

It has been spread across the world – across the universe.

 

It has become a part of everyone and everything you have ever interacted with.

No matter how large or how small a part they played in your life,

You loved them; and in loving them you gave them a bit of your heart;

And in them your heart beats on and loves forever.

~SSHenry

One Twisted Sister

I don’t know how many of you remember this, but during the 1980’s there was a heavy metal band by the name of Twisted Sister.  (Note:  Actually, I believe that they are still performing, but I lost track of them after their break up during the late 80’s).  Anyway, my freshman year in high school they came out with a song that spoke to an entire generation of young people and became the battle cry for change, or at least for rebellion.

That year it felt like We’re Not Gonna Take It was playing everywhere.  You heard it at parties and on the radio and kids screaming it in the halls.  It was the classic case of teenage rebellion against parental control; against societal expectation; a million kids standing shoulder to shoulder and screaming that they would be damned if they were going to become their parents.

Well, just as with every other generation, we focused so hard on what we didn’t want that we brought it to us.  All you have to do is look around at the 40-something generation to see that (with a handful of exceptions) they have become what they most feared; they have become their parents.

So what happened?  How did an entire generation of kids so determined to NOT be their parents end up drinking the Kool-Aid, buying houses in suburbia and haranguing their own sons and daughters to get haircuts and clean up their rooms?  Frankly, it was a lack of intention.

You see, one thing that many of the Law of Attraction gurus fail to focus on is that without adding intention to the mix you can focus on happy happy thoughts until the end of time without ever seeing any change for the better.  In fact, if your focus is fear of something (in my generation’s case a fear of becoming like their parents) just wanting to NOT be like them was (obviously) not enough.

So going back to 1984; you had a generation of kids screaming that they weren’t going to take it; that they were NOT going to be like their parents (many of whom had been a part of the flower power generation in their own time but who had then gone mainstream), and for a while it worked.  These kids (like every other generation of teenagers in the history of mankind) went out and did the exact opposite of what their parents wanted.  They let their hair grow and played guitar loudly in the basement.  They refused to give a crap about their education or to take life seriously.  They escaped the demands of reality by escaping into video games and shut out the world around them by strapping on their walkmans.

But for all of their breaking away from reality, for all of their refusal to conform to societal standards or to give a crap about anyone other than themselves, it all fell apart due to their lack of intention.  They knew that they wanted to change, that they wanted their lives to be different; to have actual meaning and purpose, but they had no idea what exactly that meaning or purpose should be.

And so, like so many generations before them, these 80’s children went from screaming “We’re not gonna take it” to accepting it in order to get a job that would pay the bills to bending over and taking it in order to keep the job and continue being able to pay the mortgage and their own children’s college bills.

Yes, as with every other generation there have been exceptions to the rule; individuals who broke free from the traditions and the expectations and who focused their intention on creating a life for themselves free of restrictions.  But for the most part, those without intention; those who were not able to focus their wants and desires into actual decisions simply lost their momentum and turned into replicas of their parents; working within the system if not by choice then out of necessity.

Regardless of what generation you grew up in, just because you find yourself stuck in a (seemingly) unalterable lifestyle does not mean that change cannot happen.  All it means is that you are less likely to break free from it than you were as a teenager when there were fewer obligations and responsibilities weighing you down.  Change can still happen. It just isn’t as easy.

Indeed, if you can pause in your rat race for long enough the need for change can become an overwhelming urge; the desire to break free from the traditions and expectations that have turned you into something that you are not can wash over you with the force of a tsunami and the race for an authentic life; one lived from the heart and not from someone else’s expectations of who and what you should be can take on a driving force all of its own.

But what is to keep you from failing again?  What is to keep your dreams of a fuller, richer life from being just that; dreams?  The answer is in intention.

Just knowing that you want something more; something different is not enough.  Every teenager wants something different. For that matter, many adults do too (even though they repress it with their need to be responsible and ‘mature.’)  What it takes is intention to turn your dream of something more into your reality of the life you know that you were always meant to live.

Mind you, as adults you have more baggage to sort through, and it is going to be harder to let go of many of those expectations that have become ingrained parts of your life and that are keeping you from creating your dream life, but it can be done.  It is possible to create the life you always wanted; you just have to be able to live life intentionally.

When you can do that, when you can turn the universe’s perverse sense of humor (bringing you what you focus on; in most people’s cases – fear) to your own advantage, everything will fall into place and you will cease regarding the universe as a twisted sister who keeps you from getting what you want and see it instead as simply the source of your own power for change and intentional living.

On Awakening

There is a moment; a moment in time when everything falls into place and it doesn’t matter what you believe.  Suddenly you know, and the knowing makes all of the difference.  It all makes sense; all of it.  Everything that you’ve been railing against finally slips into its niche and you can see for yourself why things are unfolding the way they are.

There are people who stuggle all their lives to reach this moment, and there are people who were born knowing.  Sometimes it comes to you in a rush of trupets and buglehorns, or with the happy bumbling of a playful puppy.  But sometimes it comes upon you gently; a gradual knowing that suddenly blossoms like a rose opening itself up in the morning light.  And sometimes; sometimes it steals into your heart like a lover’s kiss and leaves a searing mark on your very soul.

The important thing is that you have finally experienced this moment for yourself, and once you have, it doesn’t matter what anyone says or does, that moment can never be taken away from you.   People can make fun of you until they are blue in the face and you’ll just smile and shrug it off.   They can demand proof that what you say is true and argue their point until the cows come home and you find yourself sitting back and smiling at their enthusiasm.  They can claim that it is all in your head and that you must be suffering from some sort of mental illness and you’ll l augh.T

The knowledge that comes in that moment; that knowing; it doesn’t make you better than anyone else.  It doesn’t make you smarter or more worthy. It doesn’t get you any brownie points with any deity.  It simply marks a rather momenteous milestone on your own personal journey; one that you will wish that you could share with everyone that will listen, but which you will instinctively understand can only be experienced in order to be truly understood.

ON AWAKENING

Somewhere in the space between one blink of your eyes and the next;

When your heart is poised between heartbeats;

It is there that awakening occurs.

In that moment you open your eyes and the world has changed;

completely, totally and irrevocably.

You are seeing everything for the first time and exactly as it is.

And when your heart deigns to beat again

The wonder of it breaks you wide open.