Tuesday, January 24, 2012

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you heard of the expression, 'live in the present moment'? You may have heard it to some extent and many different adaptations. So my next question is, have you ever actually took time to consider what it really means and how it can affect your life? Briefly, you can imagine, it has to do with being concerned with the present moment only. Not overly fixated on the past nor anxiously awaiting the future.

Why is this so important?

Take the past. The past is nothing more than a collection of experiences that have made us into the person we are today. They are a memory and have no power over us today- unless we let it. Dr Richard Carlson, in his book, "You can Be Happy No Matter What" uses the following example: "Imagine a boat on the water, steadily moving forward. Behind, it leaves a wake. The wake is real and was a sure sign the boat was there and it is constantly created as the boat moves forward. However, the wake, DOES NOT power the boat. its simply a reminder of where it once was. So too, our past has little power over us"

How can we apply this practically? Take my back for example. at present I have a couple of herniation and some disk slippage. That is my 'boat'. Constantly thinking about the ways I hurt it (the wake) will not change the current condition of my back. If I spend too much time thinking about it, I will become distracted, saddened and my boat; ME; will veer off course and crash. 

By keeping my mind fixed on the present I regain a sense of control. I can improve my back and prevent further injury. You can too.Take whatever condition your boat is in and STEER it! Don't let it be steered by others or by outside influences. We don't ignore the past but we prevent let it become the present. As my friend Steve Keating said, The past is a nice place to visit but a terrible place to live.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.