There is something about living in the moment. We hear it all the time. Be here. Be in the now. But most of the time we are someplace else.
In the future. Or in the past.
We let ourselves wander through time and space and often that wandering takes the shape of worry or fear. What should I have done? What am I afraid might happen?
In those moments, we lose something very special – the current moment.
When we time travel into these past and future fears, we become untethered from the present moment. Our anchor is in the now. Our truth is right here. And so is our power.
Something came up a few weeks ago that put me in a big reaction. I helped out some friends who were shooting a webisode by doing work as an extra. I went to the set early one morning, put on a very unflattering costume that I would never wear in real life and shot the scene. Afterwards, I didn’t think anything about it.
Until I saw the footage!
I looked horrible. I looked fat. I went into complete reaction. Within seconds, I began berating myself.
I’ve been struggling with about 10 (or so) pounds of extra weight that I’ve had trouble losing. But when I saw myself on video – wow – it looked like I needed to lose a lot more than that!
Big feelings of reactions rose up in me. Feelings I have felt before. Out of control feelings. Need-to-change-things feelings. Need-to-fix-things feelings. And fix them now!
My fight or flight response was so heightened, you’d think I was being chased by a tiger. But the tiger was just my old belief system that says I’m not good enough or acceptable or worthy unless I look thin.
In that moment, I heard myself saying –
If I can just lose those 10 pounds, I can feel good about myself.
Then I felt a little curve form at the corner of my lips. The tiger quit chasing me. I found myself smiling as I said to myself:
Or I can just feel good about myself.
That is the power of the moment. It’s the moment of choice. Do I live for some future something to make me feel satisfied or okay? Or can I simply remove the condition and be okay anyway?
Meaning, whether I lose 10 pounds or not, it is in my power to feel good about myself now.
That is the power of the present.
Now, in the big scheme of things 10 pounds is not a big deal. But how I felt about myself in the moment was.
When something happens that really gets our reaction, it’s usually not its first appearance in our lives. As humans, we are experts at dragging our pain from the past into the present and making a big compounded mess of things.
We react, we freak out, we employ unhealthy coping mechanisms – until finally we start to feel okay again. Then something else comes along to put us back in reaction and the cycle starts all over again.
That reactive cycle keeps us in pain and helplessness when all we need to do is turn to the now for the answer.
Because change happens in the moment. Change happens in the now.
It is in that moment of reaction that we have the opportunity for most growth. That horrible, embarrassing, hurtful moment has in its seed a precious gift.
In that moment of reaction, we can take a breath – or throw a plate. I’ve been known to do both.
Plate throwing keeps us in the old pain and drama. Breathing calms us down. It connects us to who we are. It connects us with the now.
In the moment, we can decide to feel good about ourselves, to be okay with ourselves. To know our value.
Without being different. Without changing. Without conditions.
We can accept ourselves unconditionally in the now.
And that is a powerful moment.
That is a moment that can change our lives.