The Robe Visualization

I think every moment we are able to stay “here” with our experiences, whether good or bad, is a win.  Life only happens in this instant.  It doesn’t happen yesterday or tomorrow.  It doesn’t even happen in an hour.  Our lives are only experienced in the singular moment that we are in right now.  As you read this, it is now.  And again, it is now as you read this next sentence.  Faster than every breath, life is renewed, refreshed, started again.  Plug into that.

With some exceptions, living in the past or future seems to be a strange kind of indulgence.  And yet, I find myself doing it as well.  I’m not really sure why we fixate on times other than now.  I mean, you can rehash your mistakes or regrets, difficult times, but to what effect?  You can worry about the future, personally, as a nation, as a species, but does it generally help?  Most of the time, value isn’t derived from either of these, the past or the future.

When I suggest to live only in this present moment, it is not to say that we shouldn’t contribute to our 401(k)s or not have an eye toward the realistic future, things like keeping an eye on our physical health or our finances.  There is a prudence that is not negated by living in the present moment.   Be present when you make the plans.  Revisit them when necessary.  But realize that much of what we try to control is actually outside our sphere of influence, and it doesn’t serve us to try.

A visualization that I starting using a few weeks back is of imagining a thick and heavy, wet robe sliding off my shoulders and onto the ground.  Every robe that slides off is a fresh start.  I don’t have to hold on to worry or frustrations when they visit.  When the robe falls, I start over.  The brow smooths itself out, the jaw loosens, the shoulders go down and back, my breath regains an easy and deeper cadence.

After using the visualization for a time, I don’t have to even visualize it anymore.  I can just breathe deeply and close my eyes just for a minute, and start fresh again.  It’s a pretty quick way for me to to reset myself into right now.  Maybe it will work for you too.

Since right now is the only moment we’re guaranteed, let’s see if we can be “here” for it.