Here, now are perhaps among the most commonly used words till it starts to become a cliché on what these two words possibly mean. Let’s be here, now. I am here, now… and several other ways that you and I can possibly say it. The truth is that more than half of the world’s population users of these words do not still fully understand the implications of living a life in the here, now.
I could be here, but still run through my thoughts as though I’m the actor of them; I have been a victim of this for several times, in the name of reflection and contemplation.
Here and now is all that we have to decide and be or do whatever we ever wanted to do. Not in the sense that we can decide to jump off a cliff if ever we wanted to do so (even though this could be one of those things you want to do now) but a deep and calm awareness of where we are now, what we are doing, what we can see and what we feel.
You see, I can be here, but have my mind running over activities of the past or what shall possibly happen this evening. Well, whenever I am doing this, I may miss the vital fact that all these are happening now till I start thinking I am in the evening or in the past, and go further to identify with these thoughts as me. What if we could stay HERE, NOW; and even though we can go back to the past or reflect on our future, we recognize that all that is happening is NOW.
In my entrance into the here and now, I have managed to look back at some of the simplest and most profound ways to gain this state of being.
1. 30 seconds of breathing
Most people complain about the lack of time to do anything constructive for their well-being. Let’s see if we can miss 30 seconds to take deep breaths and relax. Take deep breaths and count to 30 to be sure you did it. Remember what we always do when going for that interview or starting that speech? Now is the time we made it a habit to take those deep breaths. Try it now and see how relaxing it feels.
2. Practice intentional looking around you
How many of us go through the same path everyday and miss seeing certain parts of that path even after two years of doing so? Then one would complain of a boring job and same routine. Now, attentive looking proves that with an increased attention, we can see several things along the same path and even notice the changes each time we go down the same road. This can also happen in the house, with a family member or a colleague. Practice seeing them with new lenses and you shall be surprised what you see in that looking.
3. Start catching goodness and positive efforts in others around you
I wonder if it’s just me, who, when I notice something bad in an environment or a person, end up drawing several reasons as to why that thing is bad and how it could be better. I make up judgements in my mind in that moment of noticing the bad trait that prevents me from being with the person or thing. In entering here, now, we learn to see the good side of anything we set our eyes upon. We actually go further to tell our friends and people we meet the good things we notice about them. When it becomes a habit, we quieten the mind so used to drawing conclusions based on what it sees. This way, we also begin to start changing people’s behaviour, because they can trust us enough to listen to us.
4. Gratitude moments
If you were to count all your blessings and name them one by one, how many would you possibly say right now? Counting your blessings and privileges in your life makes you open to see them over and over again. So, counting your blessings every moment is a great way to enter into the present moment. When you see nothing to be grateful for, take a deep breath, look closer and smile.
5. This too shall pass
Imagine a long trail of sunny days without any end. Would that not be quite boring? That we had a stream of joy and bliss all through our lives with no sadness? Or, bouts of sadness with no smiles of laughter? Impermanence is the nature of the world and as can be seen, nothing really lasts forever. As the sages would say, this too shall pass. Reflecting on these words at every moment of our life brings us into a calm and neutral place where we can see the world with sober eyes and avoid overindulgence.
Remember, even this, too, shall pass, and the only time we are sure of is here, now.
Ideally, presence is never to be created. It’s always here, now and forever. What we do is just calm our mind enough to enter it.