It’s true in Vegas, and it’s true in life.
We all fall victim to being absent from the moment, and we see it in others constantly. It’s hard to stay present! We are conditioned to be active, to “go” and “do” and “accomplish”; to strive, solve problems, do better, etc. Think of it this way, when was the last time anyone said to you, “Why don’t you just go somewhere and sit quietly”. The last time that was said to most of us was when we were kids…and it was a punishment!! The dreaded Time Out! What kind of message does that send our little developing minds and psyches? We overvalue activity and undervalue stillness in our culture.
Now, being present doesn’t necessarily mean being still. It means really being present in your body and in the moment, really experiencing in a deep way what is happening in each moment. As I said, it happens to all of us. How many times have we been doing something really cool like taking a beautiful walk along the ocean, or in the woods, or having some wonderful experience…and our mind is somewhere else? Planning, remembering something in our past, thinking about what we’re going to tell someone about what we are doing, or what we’re going to post about it. Or even worse, spending the time tweeting and posting while it is happening! Tragic! Now, I understand the value in capturing the moment, and from the Herbalife business perspective, conveying the incredible lifestyle we enjoy, but it should never be at the expense of the moment!
The real wisdom here is that ensuring this presence, having a healthy relationship with the present moment and with your spirit/soul is the surest way to ensure a healthy, happy, productive, successful life (in any way you measure success). We have to start with us, and there is nowhere to start but here and no time but in this moment.
The great Western born philosopher and spiritual teacher Ram Dass wrote the groundbreaking book Be Here Now in 1971. In it he reminds us to ask ourselves two questions, Where am I? (here), What time is it? (now). Yes. There is no other place or time that we can ever do anything.
Call to Action – come up with reminders to help you break the habit of what the Buddhists call “the chattering monkey mind” and bring you to the present moment. It could be an hourly alarm on your smartphone, some beads hanging from the rear view mirror in your car, some pictures in your house, a rubber band around your wrist, etc. You get the picture. Like house/paper training a puppy, when you wander off into planning, lamenting the past, or other unskilled states of mind like greed, anger, envy, etc., bring the puppy (your mind) back to the paper with (self) love, knowing that smacking the puppy is not the right thing to do. Then, sooner or later you will learn the habits, be in the present moment…and you will win! What will you win? A beautiful life filled with presence and awareness! 🙂