01 Jan Right Here – Right Now
There are always new ideas and points of interest in the field of mental/emotional health. Sometimes we are advanced with brand new concepts and sometimes it’s fresh ways of describing what we have known for awhile. One of the hot topics in my profession over the past several years is that of mindfulness. This would qualify as one of those “fresh ways of describing what we have known for awhile.”
The basic concept of the mindfulness movement regards the value of the present moment. In very, very over-generalized terms, depressed people live too much in the past, anxious people live too much in the future, while the healthiest and most balanced people live more in the present.
That is not to say that the past and future are not important. They are vitally important. Only fools ignore the lessons from the past. Similarly, jumping blindly into the future can be the height of impulsive and destructive behavior. Yet, you and I both know people who dwell almost exclusively in the lament and pain from the past or who are so obsessed with trying to control the future that they forget to live in the now.
Writing this as my first blog of a new year, I hope to remind us all that the best stuff (and all the stuff we can control) is the stuff of right here and right now. The Mayans warned us recently that there will be an end to all this, even though they apparently missed the exact timing of it! Rather than thinking about that in a morbid or fatalistic way, I hope we will all take a few minutes here at the start of 2013 to commit to living more in the present. Sure, learn from the past and set goals to guide you into the future but live it NOW. Find a way to make your highest priority the precious present so that when the Mayans finally get it right, you will have strung together a hopefully long streak of right here and right now moments.