March 2020 was going to be many things.
And it sure was. Just none of the things I expected.
I’m beginning to get the sneaky suspicion 2020 is determined to teach me to really be in ‘perpetual creative response to the present moment’. I got this phrase from the wonderful Martha Beck. Let me unpack that as it might hold some gems for you too given the amount of uncertainty and change we’re all facing.
The present moment is all we ever really have. It’s just so gosh darn hard to stay there.
The illusions we create in our minds, reliving past events or imagining a (possibly catastrophic) future can absorb nearly all of our attention, not leaving much for the present moment.
This isn’t a flaw. The ability for the mind to take us back to past events and into the future is a strong evolutionary trait but it does have a cost: when we are not giving the present moment our attention we miss it.
We miss the opportunity to fully experience the richness of the present moment, be it a warm hug or the cool light at sunrise. Being in the present moment helps create a richer and deeper life with greater connection to your loved ones, your environment and yourself.
‘Perpetual creative response to the present moment’ is a practical phrase. On one level it says to hold your horses, to not respond until you know what you’re responding to. 2020 has demonstrated many times, in dramatic fashion, we don’t know what’s around the corner. Life can turn on a dime, so stay in the present moment and respond to what IS. (Of course, it doesn’t mean never make plans, but rather make your plans and then return to the present moment. Avoid ruminating and mentally executing your plans over and over.)
The phrase also holds a delicious space for some magic. It asks you to really drop into your own self, to look beyond the chatter and analytics of your mind, to determine what is the best way for you to respond from the present moment. This is where your intuition and true self can come out and play.
Intuition and cues from the body exist in the present moment. You need to come back to the present moment to detect this diamond dust to incorporate it into your decision making. The mind is wonderfully powerful and analytical, but I will always encourage my clients to listen to their gut, that nagging feeling or intuition (call it what you want).
Returning to the present moment is a skill that can be developed. The tools are simple although the practice is hard. I keep a number of tools in my tool kit to return me (over and over and over) to the present moment. I think 2020 will require I use all of them. Bring it on!
I hope you're all well and keeping safe xo
18/4/2020 10:20:05 am
Jen, I love this so much. It resonates with something that I've been reading about in buddhism - the maras. My clumsy reading is that there are 4 maras or, sort of neuroticisms or fears. One is the continual need for re-invention. I experience this a lot. But, in fact, we are equipped with all we need (internally) - the present moment. And, I feel such responsibilty as someone who is so privileged, and well-equipped externally, to be present to the moment. I have all I need. I love it when universal truths make themselves known in different traditions and wisdoms. Thank you!!
20/4/2020 11:37:21 am
Thanks for your comments Kate. I'm so glad it resonated with you xo
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