We are all trying to get to the next thing. It may be as small as wearing slippers so that you sit on the couch or finish up an interview for your next job. Most humans are in a hurry, but nobody can explain why? Because all that is waiting for us, in the end, is death.
There has to be more to life than trying to get to the next thing and dying at the end. What would that look like – living your life instead of wanting another life all the time?
For example, I daydream about getting a Tesla. I have a Prius hybrid which is relatively new. And I keep driving my Prius thinking about Tesla. What’s the result of all this – that I neither get to enjoy my Prius nor do I enjoy Tesla? The result is I am unsatisfied all the time. Common sense would tell us that I need to enjoy what I have before going to something else. I must experience Prius fully before buying or even thinking of another car.
Most of us live our lives without fully experiencing what we have but wanting something else, resulting in a deep dissatisfaction with life. We have never learnt to enjoy what we have right now because we are addicted to wanting something other than what we have.
I have been immersing myself in Byron, Katie, and Tolle quite a bit, so being in the NOW dominates my thoughts more than usual. So, one day I was complaining about a colleague at work in my mind when the thought arose unbidden from the depths of my being – ‘How grateful I am that I can have this thought and experience this situation in the first place?’ And from then on, as I went about my day, it dawned on me that I had never really known what I already had.
For example, I complain I am fat but never notice that I have enough food to feel that way. I complain about work but never realize that I have work that I go to. I am constantly finding what we can do with our current house without having ever enjoyed it for what it is. I was frustrated by traffic and never realized that I had a car where I could experience frustration. I begrudged the dance class on Saturday without realizing I had a dance class I could attend in the first place.
These words may sound similar to being mindful, but my experience this time was at a much deeper level. Thoughts stop when I express gratitude for what I already have. And I realize how I am never where I actually am. I am always somewhere else. This practice is challenging as our minds are used to living elsewhere – hence gratitude helps to centre it to where I am. If I find myself worrying or stressed about the situation, it’s because I have resorted to fantasy instead of living in reality.
Wouldn’t it be better for me to enjoy the fact that I can write a blog than worry about whether it is good enough or not? Where are you right now?