This is one I’m still figuring out and trying to grow with, day after day. It has been the source of countless tears, nostalgia and melancholy at several points in my life.
It is about being present.
I have found that it is increasingly hard to stay fully present and aware
at every moment. Countless distractions pulling and competing for our attention at every second: our phone vibrating, our Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and so on are filled with requests for attention from friends, family, strangers, people trying to sell us something. Our computer and several email accounts getting clogged with work mails, spam mails from that one exercising website we gave our email to several years ago, television for those who watch it, and the biggest wall between us and the present: our mind.
Add all of these up and you end up wondering where time goes.
We have become numb to the mundane. We no longer rejoice in the contrast of colours, the feeling of textures, the subtle smells of our neighbourhood, the sounds, the taste.
Do you remember being a kid? we would spend hours touching, staring, smelling, feeling and licking anything we could put our hands/mouths on. Literally. And no, I’m not saying go out and lick everything you see, yet it is clear how distant we have become from noticing and experiencing the simple things.
For most people, their first kiss caused a stronger impact all over their body than their most recent sexual experience. Holding hands with the person we loved in our teenage years was enough for us to feel joy and endorphins rush throughout our bodies. Today we can have sex and barely feel a thing.
So what’s the lesson in all of this?
To me, it has been to take a stand and fight for ability to take in, FULLY, every moment. And then the next, and the next and the next. I’m done looking back at amazing experiences and wishing I had been more present. I’m done longing to be with my loved ones upon realizing how much I miss them, then meeting up with them and being either in my head or my phone. I learned that we must consciously choose to ignore all distractions. To get off our phones and give that attention to the now. To notice the different colours of the landscape, the beauty of architectural contrasts, to slow down… take a breath… close our eyes… and really feel and hear this moment. For as soon as we experience it, it is already gone.
The tradeoff: people getting mad at us for texting back too late or not texting at all. Being disconnected from all the social media noise.
The benefits: creating deliciously enriched memories, connecting deeper to the space and people around us now, having peace of mind.
Living life to the fullest.
After all, the present moment is all we will ever have. How deep we get to feel and experience it depends on us.
Time will pass anyways.
“We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don’t think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you’re hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time.” – Art Buchwald
If you feel someone you know could use a little more presence, a few less distractions. PLEASE SHARE! 🙂