Here and Now #Guest Post

Time flies and as I turn the calendar to June, I realise that half the year will soon come to an end! Today is the middle of the week and the middle of the year.  How many of these moments have whizzed by and how many did we savour, enjoy and cherish? Sharing these thoughts is Esha Mookerjee-Dutta, who blogs at SOUL TALK. She is  one of the many  delightful bloggers I meet on WriteTribe. She  is also an excellent photographer  whose images are as evocative as her words.

Today , I bring to you her post “Here” and “Now” where she captures  the importance of living in the NOW because time does pass by. 

‘Here’ and ‘Now’ 

image for here and now

Source – Google Images

 

The adage, ‘life unfolds in the present’ has hit me hard! It is one thing to ‘know’ it but quite another to ‘live’ it. Having recently returned from a family vacation, I am only too  aware of this once again. I do practice mindfulness quite often and am aware of how much it helps me. And, yet, I struggle so often to achieve this ‘living in the moment’ thing! Why so? Ask me not. I have no answer.

This much-awaited five-day trip was one that I had been looking forward to. My sole purpose was to ‘let go’ of the baggage that I have been carrying for a while now. The trip let me think at an unhurried pace; allowing me to sift through my thoughts and making me even more aware of how my thoughts were actually leading me on, carrying me forward. But all I could do was think of the pressing issues that were bothering me; things that I have not been able to get out of my mind recently; in fact, all those things that I had been trying to get away from, were coming to haunt me. I was ruminating about things that I had no control of, and worries that were lurking around in the near future. I worried that my ‘to-do’ list back home was still incomplete and that I had a few tasks scheduled for the next few days which was now impossible to tick off since I was away on holiday. Oh, why couldn’t I just get that list out of my head, I thought!

The beach was quiet, save for a handful of tourists. Some were lazing around, some ambling along, busy watching others, and some in absolute delight and child-like glee, splashing in the waves, making the most of the moment. A handful of  newly-weds sat glued to each other, smiling and chatting away, when not posing for selfies. Before me was the vast horizon, a phantasmagoria of spectacular hues that changed in quick succession. I was back from a long walk, resting my tired feet and trying to capture the most dramatic sunset on my phone camera. Although miles away from the busy city where I lived, my thoughts were taking me back and forth, as I kept oscillating between tasks, worries and concerns, constantly swaying between yesterday and tomorrow. I could hardly tell when dusk came and enveloped me and the evening was all but lost!

On my way back to the hotel lobby, where I was due to meet some folks, I was angry with myself for ‘losing’ the moment. I felt defeated. That night all I managed to scribble in my diary was, “Unable to unwind. Tried best.”

I wondered why I let the moment slip away, squandering my precious evening by the sea with a gorgeous view that I would only dream about, later on. I was suddenly reminded of something that I had read only a few days back. I must admit here that until that moment, I had not taken my thoughts in awareness. I soon realised how I was being controlled by something far beyond my present reality. Why could I not savour the moment? What was getting in the way?

An expert on Tibetan Buddhism, B. Alan Wallace once said – “We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence. We’re always doing something, and we allow so little time to practice stillness and calm.”

Exactly my point. Isn’t it worrying that we’re losing our ability to live in the moment? Or else, why is it that when we’re at work, we dream of being on holiday; on vacation, we tend to worry about tasks piling up at our desks. Our minds harp on the memories of the past or fret about the uncertainties of the future. Our minds, like monkeys, swing constantly from thought to thought, grabbing our present and controlling us.

In ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about a friend who, whenever she sees a beautiful place, exclaims, “It’s so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!” Gilbert writes, ”It takes all my persuasive powers to try to convince her that she is already here.”

It didn’t take me long to realise that the most fundamental paradox of mindfulness is that it isn’t a goal; and yet, just as we set goals, it is essential to set the intention of paying attention to what’s happening at the present moment. That’s all there is to savouring the moment and living in the present. Sounds so simple yet demands so much of practice! I don’t know when I drifted off to sleep, reflecting on that day’s happenings. The next morning, I told myself that I was going to savour the rest of the vacation by enjoying the little acts of the moment—watching a sunrise, eating a meal, enjoying a swim, soaking in the bath, drinking a cup of tea, reading a book, strolling on the beach, or capturing fleeting moments of the clouds in the sky. There is so much to gain from those precious seconds. Wouldn’t it be silly to fritter them away?

To all my readers, I urge you to do this right now. As you read these words, wake up. Become aware of the fact that you’re alive. And breathe. Focus on your breathing and feel the rise and fall of your diaphragm. [ctt title=”Feel this moment. You need not wait for the next moment for something to happen. THIS is the moment. This is it. ” tweet=”Feel this moment. You need not wait for the next moment for something to happen. THIS is the moment. This is it. ” coverup=”x7HAb”]You are where you ought to be!

Are you one of those who ‘live in the moment’? What has been your most enriching experience while doing so? And, if you, like me, are prone to faltering, how do you cope with it?

                                                      by          Esha blogging @ SOUL TALK 

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Thank you Esha for those beautiful thoughts. I particularly appreciate the time you took to pen these down considering how busy your days have been.
Esha, like many bloggers had taken the month off after devoting April to the A to Z Challenge and I missed her regular updates so I am glad indeed that she did this special guest post for me.
For those who don’t know her do visit her delightful travelogue on the A to Z Challenge this year. Also look out for her weekly photos on #SkywatchFriday.
I hope you enjoyed this post,
Image for BellyBytes

Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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12 Responses

  1. Truly Happy says:

    Enjoyed this post! Very beautifully written.

    Given the fast paced life that we all live in, it is hard to ‘ live in the present’ as we are all always thinking about ‘ what next?’, ‘ I want to do this, that, ‘ etc or about some pending task. We are constantly thinking about the past or anxious about the future both of which are out of our control anyway.The mobile phones and laptops don’t help either.

    Lately I have been making conscious efforts to not to worry about past or future and just live in the present. It isn’t easy but not impossible.

    I am in the midst of a huge relocation plan ( moving countries) and there is lot to do and only few weeks left. It can be quite stressful but what I have been trying to do is make the most of the current time. I have been visiting places, catching up with friends, trying new things here in current place of residence and basically making loads of memories that I can cherish on when I have relocated.

    Nice post. Loved the message -‘ This is the moment , this is it’. Indeed

    • Bellybytes says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. Esha has been kind enough to share her time with me . I’m glad that you are enjoying the moment. Moving isn’t easy especially with a little one asking a hundred questions and packers asking a hundred questions and a husband asking yet some more and everyone else you meet as well.
      But in the journey of life one must move on and I commend you for taking this step forward and coming back home to look after those who looked after you .
      I hope your move is as seamless as possible . Take care.

      • Esha Dutta says:

        Gladly, Sunita! I was hoping to do my best within the circumstances given the limitations that surrounds my workspace at the moment.

        Thank you for your kind words, Pia! As you rightly said, ‘living in the moment’ isn’t impossible and that was the premise I was emphasising here! How we take this forward is entirely upto us!

  2. I fear that I’m still lost in the other category for most of my time.
    But yes, I do make it a point to take regular breaks from work in the hospital and travel out of the state. During those times, I and my fellow docs make it a point not to discuss medical cases (which is something that regularly happens when docs meet 🙂 )
    Living in the moment is a lot tougher than it should be, honestly
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…My Moments of #Gratitude in April & May #MondayMusingsMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      I agree with you and the funny thing is that people who live in the moment are often criticised for not thinking about the future!

  3. Dashy says:

    This happens almost all the time with me. During holidays all I can think of are what I have left to do later on. To think of nothing but the present makes me feel slightly guilty and irresponsible. I myself have told people to live in the ‘now’ time, but it is ever so hard to practise what you preach sometimes!

    This was a nice read, I haven’t visited Esha’s blog yet, will do now. 🙂
    Dashy recently posted…The Phone CallMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Yes living in the now is easier said than done . Talking about the past and dreaming about the future is what most of us do in the now

  4. Beautifully written, Esha. Living in the present moment is easier said than done, but it’s important to work towards it.
    Presently, I’m rushing about trying to complete things ahead of a beach holiday like yours – but no sense rushing mindlessly to spend ‘now’ time in the future, is there? 😉
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Personal Space Invaders #fridayreflectionsMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Hear ! Hear! Enjoy your rushing around today so that you can enjoy your holiday tomorrow

    • Esha Dutta says:

      Thanks Corinne. Agree it is easier said than done but the point that I was trying to get across was that it makes perfect sense to live and experience little moments of joy and happiness in the most insignificant things that we do every day if only we focus on ‘now’. Certainly not to mean that we exclude planning and working towards a better future.
      Have fun and enjoy your beach holiday, Corinne!

  5. rajlakshmi says:

    Beautifully written Esha. I am one of those who is constantly doing something. It’s only when I get to watch a beautiful sunset or the magnificent sea do I actually try to just watch and soak in the moment. It’s a deliberate attempt to be at peace with myself. I absolutely loved reading your thoughtful post.
    rajlakshmi recently posted…Zentangle : Little GirlieMy Profile

  6. It’s such a brilliant post on living in the moment, enjoying every breath. A great and inspiring post Esha. It reminds me of the book, The Power of Now.
    Vishal Bheeroo recently posted…Fiction on Tuesday: An impossible loveMy Profile

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