Thursday 21 February 2013

N is for Now

It's week fourteen of Alphabe-Thursday!

N is for Now...

"Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be."
   ~ Eckhart Tolle ~

One of the books I read when I first started out on my spiritual path was Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now. I remember being blown away by what is actually a very simple idea - the present moment is all there is.

For the first time in my life I was able to stop and take a moment to really process that idea. Now is all we have. The past is gone and the future hasn't arrived yet. Before then I'd always spent my life going back over things from the past, or fantasising about the future I wanted to have. But once I read Tolle's book I started to focus more on the present moment. I found it to be a very powerful exercise. It made me feel intensely alive because I forgot all about the stuff that was weighing me down and I gave up trying to predict my future.

Of course our daily lives require a certain level of organisation and forward planning. We all have appointments, holidays, meetings etc that we need to book in advance. Ignoring our calendar entirely would make us very unreliable people! :-) But just like any other spiritual practice, focussing on the present moment doesn't mean we must give all our time and energy to it. In fact, living in the present moment is effortless. All it takes is a choice.

I remember in The Power of Now, Tolle suggested practicing present moment awareness while doing mundane chores like the washing up. Instead of letting your brain run on with endless chatter, allow yourself to really feel the soapy bubbles on your skin, to really feel the scrubbing sensation of the sponge against the saucepan. When we focus our awareness in such a specific way we can't help but live in the present moment. If your full attention is on the washing up you'll have no more room in your consciousness to moan about the next day's meeting or chide yourself on what you think you did wrong that day. All your stresses will slide away from you; much like the soapy water draining from the sink! :-)

Placing our attention on whatever we're doing at any given time is actually quite rewarding. We become alert to things around us and we can start to feel more alive and more accepting of life as it is. We can engage with the life we're living and set about making any necessary changes from a place of clear understanding, rather than just interpreting situations based on past experience.

Living in the moment can free us from dwelling on past hurts and it can help us to stop worrying about the future. Most of all, it allows us to fully appreciate the miracle of being alive.


  1. I try so hard to do that when practicing yoga. The times I'm successful are wonderful! I feel like an hour yoga class was a two week vacation.

    great reminder!

  2. This is so wonderful- I had to laugh at first, because Now is kind of my post too, although we went way different directions! I am a fan of your thinking!

  3. Living in the moment is a great way to go. I had a friend once who practiced what she called "mindfulness," and one of her exercises was doing mundane, everyday things with a new awareness. I have tried to adopt that, especially when I am feeling harried.


  4. Good advice and reminder to live in the moment♫ Thanks for sharing♥ Here's my N effort:

  5. Living in the NOW is a great idea. Imagine how much stress would go from us if we could all do that!

  6. What a wonderful quote and post!

    I do a daily reading that reminds me that life is right NOW!

    I really enjoyed reading how you shared this. And I like how Sue's comment supported everything you shared here.

    Thanks for linking.