The Possibility of Now
Often times I catch myself reminiscing about (or regretting) something that happened in the past. Other times I’m not here but somewhere else looking forward to the future. That’s fine every once in a while.
But what I want to share with you today is another form of avoiding this moment—waiting for whatever we’re experiencing now to be over, stifling the outcome and the time in which it’s being born.
And as Thoreau once said: As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. When we close up to this moment, in effect killing it, we hurt our chances of seeing the opportunities of growth and contentment.
When we detest what’s happening now, can we do something to make this experience not suck as much? In most cases I found the answer to be yes we can.
There will be painful experiences that we want to clear out of our lives as soon as possible. But these are the exception, not the rule. Our resistance is on automatic because the grass is greener somewhere else or the past was more fun than this monotonous now (or so we believe).
If we continue to look at most daily experiences as devoid of meaning and fun, we will not see what’s possible within them.
Imagine sitting in your office bored out of your mind, hating the project you’re working on, a colleague passes by and asks if you want to meet up after work for a drink. You say no and hide behind some excuse. You are sick and tired of seeing the same people for more than 8 hours a day, why would you go out with them?
Had you gone, maybe you would’ve bumped into an old friend who’s starting a business and would’ve loved to talk shop with you and maybe get you on board. You injured your chances by saying no without thinking about it.
When we’re in the blind zone of resistance, we tend to overlook the most obvious signs of possibilities—a new romance, an idea for a short story, a business venture and so on. We are killing our chances and injuring our destiny.
How to open up to the possibility of now
To become more aware of what’s right in front of us, we need to take a look at the reasons we block ourselves in the first place and resist our life as it is.
The three common threads of resistance and limitation as I see them are:
Lack of self worth and doubting abilities
This is the biggest cause of missing out on your own life and your own possibility.
A few rejections combined with a few failures and we’re not worth it. We can’t do anything right and we don’t deserve much of anything.
You pass by a beautiful home and wistfully say I wish I could live there. All the buts start darting out of your subconscious before you can blink. Nah it’s not for me. It’s too expensive I could never afford it. I bet the person who lives there did something illegal or at least unethical to be able to afford it. No I’ll never have that.
Right there you closed up the possibility of you living in a place you’d like to call home. Maybe you can’t afford this particular place. But if we know anything about this life is its endless possibilities.
Opening up means you don’t judge and close up your own path.
When you see the beautiful home smile and say to yourself I would love to live in a place like this one day. And leave it at that, no second guessing and no limitations upon yourself or the universe.
Negativity towards others
Harboring resentment, hatred, jealousy, envy or any other negatively charged emotion is a sure way to block your own potential. You are too busy looking for what’s wrong with other people that you don’t see what’s right within you. Also you won’t be able to see the good in them that may inspire your own success.
Judging others for success is more common than ever. It sparked a whole industry of gossip and negativity. And if we don’t pay attention, we do it almost instinctively. It’s easier to find fault with others’ success than to take responsibility for our own shortcomings or pursuing our desires.
In the example above you judged the people who live there and questioned their ethics. What you’re saying is that they don’t deserve it and then projecting that right back at yourself—if they don’t deserve it, neither do I.
What if instead we wished them well and that they enjoy their living space?
I’m not saying you won’t or shouldn’t have negative emotions. Far from it, it’s part of being human. In your journey you will manage to piss off and hurt more than a few people. And you will be hurt or angered by others.
The important thing is to feel the emotion and recognize it for what it is—a momentary reaction—and then let it go like you let go of carbon dioxide with every exhalation.
Forgive others and ask for forgiveness. There is no point in dwelling in guilt and what was. You’re wasting your precious now on something that won’t change.
I have been talking about lack of clarity in the past and I’m realizing more and more that it is the root cause of a lot of suffering in our lives.
If you live your day in a haze—work, errands, kids, gym and sleep, going through the motions without knowing why you’re doing it and what you want, you will miss the biggest of signs.
Being clear doesn’t mean being rigid in your plans. It’s more like having a general direction and intention and keeping part of you open to what might come.
During the day make a point of stopping for a few seconds before you do something and internally set an intention for it.
In the example above you see the house and you know in your heart that you would love to live in a place like that. Pause and ask if you can do anything right now. Maybe you can check out similar listings and figure out how much your mortgage will be or perhaps look into a similar home but in a more affordable area of the city. Who knows what might come up?
To open up to the possibility of now does not require a massive change in your personality or life. It requires a minor adjustment in attitude and perspective.
No one can make you feel worthy other than yourself. We all know that; we just need to feel it and keep reminding ourselves to feel it. And regardless of what others say or do, we can master our own reactions and decide to not fall into a circle of negativity that can only wear us down.
The truth is if you are clear about your path and remain open you will be amazed by how serendipitous life can be.
Dwelling in a place of maybe and why not can be quite rewarding.
And even if opportunities don’t show up, what’s wrong with having a good (or fairly okay) time in this moment?