The value of being present can be a tricky concept to grasp for those of us who put a high value on accomplishing. We want to be productive members of society. We want to have something to show for our lives. We want to ensure that our children have the best life has to offer. But it seems like time is always working against us. We never seem to have enough of it to attend to everything we have going on. In our hurry, we miss giving the present moment its due. Not only are we more impatient, but we actually miss out on opportunities to be happy. It may sound corny, but happiness really does lie in the little things, and more than in the things themselves, in the way we go about attending to them. While we all need goals to give us direction, it is important not to trade today for tomorrow in our attempts to achieve them. After all, in the big scheme of things, they aren’t all that important. The awakening of our Soul is the real reason for our being; everything else is just busy work.
If we want to know firsthand the grandeur of life, then we need to stop and survey the spot in which we are standing. It is not further down the road. We are knee deep in it right now! If it doesn’t look so grand from our vantage point, it is just because our negative perceptions are clouding our view. We need a way to focus on the present without the overlay of negativity. One way is through the practice of mindfulness: the observation of thought.
When we practice mindfulness, we observe our thoughts from the perspective of an outsider. We watch our mind run its little games without getting attached to the outcomes. Come what may, we can never be completely swept away by our thoughts as long as we are watching them. Mindfulness is a powerful exercise in becoming present. If we never sought to anchor ourselves in the present by any other means besides it, we would make great strides.
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