As the new year unfolds you might well be busy taking down the Christmas decorations and putting away the gifts and leftover cards and thinking about what might come in handy for next year. It often feels good to clear a space and create room for new.
It seemed amusing to me, only yesterday, to notice that as the local supermarket staﬀ had cleared out some of the Christmas debris, the easter eggs were already on the shelves. Human beings are very good at looking ahead, projecting into the future and seeking the very next opportunity that might bring some dreamed of happiness or fulﬁlment. It can seem that the present moment is lacking, that happiness is absent and that we have to work hard to make sure that we ‘ create’ a prosperous life for ourselves by kicking up the dust of the now and fast tracking into the future. I am inviting you, here, to ‘hold your horses’. The good news is, my friends, that the now is all you need to be happy. You are happy. You just don’t think you are.
This present moment is a delight in itself, except perhaps for the thoughts that it is not. Much of the time we are distracted from our moment to moment activities by the thoughts that are buzzing in our heads, like bees around a honey pot. When we can devote ourselves to being in the moment, these thoughts calm down very quickly. Have you noticed ?
Maybe whist you are reading this article your thoughts have quietened. Possibly, because you are relaxed and have allowed your consciousness to shine on the page, simply drinking in the message that the words point to, you are not so focused on other matters. As you sit quietly you may well notice your breathing and the gentle rise and fall of your chest and diaphragm. Your tummy might be gurgling as your digestive system operates harmoniously when you are relaxed. If you take your eye oﬀ the page as you consider an insight you are having as you read, your consciousness lights up an object in the room or the beach where you are seated. In these moments of a calm mind we don’t need to label what we see. Can you notice that you can look at something beautiful and not need to label it as a good or bad experience, or even name what you see. Instead, there is a beautiful feeling, deep inside and an appreciation of life in the moment.
Our New Year’s gift to ourselves can be to allow ourselves to live in the present moment from time to time, and focus on our experience as it unfolds rather than the thoughts that are buzzing like bees in our heads. Never mind if the thought activity continues for a while. You can just notice them like a tv or radio in the background and keep your focus on what you touch, see or feel.
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