How’s it going with your relationship to time?
Sometimes, we can find ourselves sort of living in the past. (“If only this or that had happened—or not happened—things would be better.”)
Or, we can find ourselves running so fast that we hardly notice the present; it’s like we’re living in the future. (“One of these days, when X happens …)
Living in past tense or future tense can leave us tense. So when I find myself slipping into either one, I like to recall this wonderful reminder from film maker Mel Brooks:
“Let’s have a merry journey and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves more. “Now thyself” is more important than “Know thyself.” Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be greener pastures It’s crazy … Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful.”
Don’t you love that?
We are meant to live in the now—it’s really the only place where life happens! And the pandemic hasn’t changed that.
Instead of saying “Wake me when it’s over!”, we can use this time to wake up more fully to the power of being present in the now.
One way I try to take hold of this: I go through my day sort of telling myself that whatever I’m doing, that’s what the universe wants me to be doing.
If I’m washing dishes, I’m washing dishes. I don’t want to be anywhere else doing anything else. Same goes for writing or having dinner or having a phone conversation or talking to my grandchildren or playing golf—even when I hit a bad shot. Especially when I hit a bad shot. (I’ve had to work on that one!)
It’s one way to sort of relax and inhabit the present. As someone has said (I think it was that wise old sage, A. Nonymous):
“Plan as if you would live forever, but live as if you would die tomorrow.”
So this week, the word is “Now thyself!” No matter what tomorrow holds, let’s have a merry journey now.