“It will all work out for the best if you stay in the present,” is something I heard about a year ago from a therapist. It piqued my interest then, and it piques my interest now.
Yet the more I think about, the more questions I have about it. How does it work out for the best? How can we know? Don’t we learn best from our past experiences? Don’t we need to plan for the future? As usual, my overactive mind is working really, really hard to grasp this concept. It’s a hamster running in circles on a hamster wheel.
And then I breathe and stop. I stop and breathe.
It begins to make some sense to me. When I stay present, I am fully in whatever experience I am having. I am living it, feeling it, breathing it, soaking it up. I am in it. I am not thinking it through, wondering about what I’ll eat for dinner, worried about the amount of work I have to do, or thinking about the night before.
I am living it.
Perhaps this is some Karate Kid lesson, or maybe it’s the secret to life. What if it’s not about the end game? What if life isn’t about the accomplishments you can check off your list? What if life isn’t about the grades you achieve, the letters behind your name, or the dollars and cents on your paycheck?
What if life is really better measured through the fullness of your experiences? What if your happiness is measured by the richness in which you experience moments?
The smell of dark-roasted coffee brewing in the early mornings.
The warmness of the morning sunshine on your cold forehead.
The feeling of the grainy sand beneath and between your toes.
The colors of a thousand cherry blossom leaves resting on the ground in springtime.
The rush of joy and warmth in your heart when a loved one returns home from a long day.
Maybe that’s what she meant when she said “Life works out for the best when we stay present”.