Right now, in this moment, right here, this very nanosecond, and this nanosecond and this one…. Right now, everything is ok. Right now in this body, you have breath. Right now in this body, you have spirit. Right now in this body, you are energy. Right now you have life.
Right now, everything is ok. If you’re thinking it’s not ok, then you are not in the present moment. How do I know? Because I’ve spent half a lifetime outside of the present moment, and I’ve shifted my focus to learning about, studying, intermittently and obsessively chasing the seemingly elusive present moment. But I can also report that I have successfully dropped right into the space of the present moment where time, matter, and the energetic vibration of all human problems does not exist, but is replaced by unlimited human potential.
Be present. We hear it all the time. We see it’s oversaturated message on t-shirts, printed on yoga mats, even on the bumper sticker of the jerk who just cut you off without even being considerate enough to use a blinker to indicate he’s cutting you off, right next to his coexist sticker. Breathe… come back to the light of the present moment, where everything is ok.
What does it actually mean to be present and why is it important? I feel like being present is shoved down our throats, for good reason, but nobody every really tells you WHY! Well I’m here to break it down for you!
Continually training yourself to come back to the only thing that actually really exists right now, the present moment, is perhaps the most important skill to carry you through this thing called life. Because right now, you are whole. Right now when you are focused on this moment, this breath, your energy completely belongs to you, at center, full and complete. Right now, with your acknowledgement of your completeness in this moment, you strengthen the energetic muscle that allows you to return to this completeness more effectively and efficiently.
Here’s a really important perspective I’ve heard a few times over, neither depression nor anxiety can exist in the present moment. Depression results from past thoughts and anxiety arises with future thoughts, therefore neither can exist in the present moment, thus the present moment is perfect. Truly a present, a gift!
How can this be true you may say, because presently I’m feeling pretty miserable or presently I’m overcome by anxiety. The truth is if you experience either or those feelings, you actually are not by definition, present. In actuality your current experience is informed by vibrations of past experiences by way of allowing memories and projections to set the tone of your analysis of your current experience.
Finding the present moment, the ACTUAL present moment takes practice. When you sit in silence and thoughts arise or you catch your mind having wandered off, the exercise is in acknowledging it and bringing it back, catching yourself and returning back to where you started. It can feel daunting and perhaps like an exercise in vain that nothing will stop the mind from its own fodder. But consider for a moment… do you have the expectation that your little chicken legs could squat 200lbs just because you decided to start working out? No, of course you wouldn’t!! You’d set a schedule of going to the gym, multiple days a week, increasing the amount of weight you put on the squat rack, and you’d have patience and grace with your muscles as they began to get on board with your goal of squatting all those L.B.s! So why not have the patience and grace with your mind as you’re training it!
Maybe you didn’t know that you were training the mind. We’ve set expectations that WE are in control of our mind and we can change it whenever we want… because, well, its our mind. Yea, right! I’m so sure… because how easily we break down when we’re on a diet but some co-workers brought in donuts, or you’re doing 30 days of no drinking and your friends call for a happy hour. Yea- you can control your mind! No, it needs to be trained! You see, we’ve trained our mind, or rather, our mind has trained us, utilizing a survival technique, which admittedly we’ve corrupted. That survival mechanism is called the path of least resistance. Instinctually, this mechanism is very important, it is set in place so that we preserve our energy. If you’ve got a boulder you need to get from point A to point B, and there is a hill in between point A and B, the path of least resistance response would inform you to go around the hill, because going up and over that hill, although it’s a shorter distance, will require far too much exertion and would tire you out, even put you in danger. It’s a smart mechanism, the problem is, we’re no longer Neanderthals with a centered focus on mere survival, so our mind has adapted its survival mechanisms in a new age, and we tend to misuse it, often.
Lets go back to the happy hour example. You decided “I’m not going to drink for 30 days so I can give my liver a rest and some time to repair,” now this isn’t a life or death situation, OR it may actually be a life or death situation for some, but in either case, what is comes down to is exertion of choice. It’s much easier to bypass the mental decision making than it is the physical. What I mean is that, if you were having to roll that boulder the implications of your choice would be pretty immediately evident, but we live is a pretty cushy day in age where we don’t have to roll boulders for shelter and thus this path of least resistance survival mechanism still operates the same in a much different setting. In this day and age, typically, we apply our survival mechanisms far different than the application during Paleolithic times. We’ve become more of a thinking society vs. a physical survival society and the impact of our choices, which train our mind, are more subtle and actually likely more long term!
The subtlety of the choice to defy your well intentioned self and just go to happy hour, while it may not seem like a big deal, and it may not be, is reinforcing how you are directing your energy and building that energetic muscle. So let’s bring it back, I started this tirade talking about training the mind and the path of least resistance. Since the immediate harm and subtlety of changing your mind about going to happy hour appears innocuous, its actually becomes the path of least resistance. It’s hard to say no to “fun,” We all know this! Making a choice to stand firm on your commitment to yourself requires a change, backed by energy and while it may feel like rolling a boulder up a hill, its evidence that we have conditioned a misuse of that survival mechanism, because the reality is… If you’re cutting out drinking to repair your liver, you’re probably going to survive longer!
That was an intense example and I may have called the majority of my audience out, so let me gentle win you back with another example of what training your mind looks like. If you were navigating a dirt path through the woods to get to, let’s say, Grandma’s house, and suddenly you realize you are no longer on the dirt path, that you’re wandering through a deeply wooded forest, you’d likely find your way back to the dirt path that’s leading you to Grandma's so you could actually get there, right!? But when it comes to our mind, that simple example seems like a futile endeavor, that’s why most people give up and resolve to “I can’t meditate,” or “I can’t sit alone with my own thoughts,” but I’d argue that these statement arise from either just not understanding the value of observing one’s own mind or just plain being lazy. There I said it! Shoot I said I was going to gently win you back, sorry! I will concede that laziness is a byproduct of not understanding the importance of exercising the mind to continually find the imperative present moment. Why is the present moment imperative…because, again, depression and anxiety DO NOT exist in the present moment.
Lets tackle a few arguments that are likely to arise, shall we?
Argument 1: Depression is a chemical imbalance.
True. But how do you think those chemicals became imbalanced? Do you think that one day the body just decided to clock out and not do its job. That Sammy Serotonin took a lunch break never to return!? The one thing I’m certain of is that the body is designed to heal. All of nature is constantly seeking homeostasis, but certain events can cause a shift, sometimes a storm, resulting in a wake of restructuring to find homeostasis. When our physical body’s chemicals become imbalanced, something in our environment has shifted; it could be diet, location, relationships, emotions, even consciousness, as we live and accumulate experiences, our wisdom and consciousness shifts, and what we needed in the past may no longer serve us, so the body calls on all signals to fire, to get our attention to work with it and get us back into our correct energetic vibration.
Argument 2: Anxiety can be hereditary. It’s not my fault.
Of course, there can be a predisposition to it. Proven by science to be genetic even! However, I will not allow that disempowering statement be where we end this debate. With the mass amounts of epigenetic studies, proving that situational experiences pass down from generation to generation, and further studies are proving that the environment plays more of a massive role in the expression of a gene, than the actual gene itself… then simply, genetic coding is not a strong enough ground to stand on! If a situation can change a gene in the first place, science has already proven itself that it can be changed back to a state as if that initial ancestral experience never happened, by way of changing the environment! Summed up, if you are continuing the vibration of what you’ve learned from your parents or that same environment, (environment encapsulating culture, location, or even the environment of your own mind and thought processes that is perpetuating how you feel) then you, my friend, are furthering that vibration. Science has proved that you have the power to change!! In fact, the simplest scientific law is that the only constant is change!