Being present is truly a rare gift, when we are able to sit comfortably with what IS in our lives. Have you noticed that most of the time we either look forward to the promise or challenge of the future, or we long for or run from our past? We are either obsessing about what has been or worrying about what will be.
Why do we never want to be where we are? Part of it, I think, is that we are constantly receiving messages that what and where we are is not enough. The media bombards us with messages of the things we do not have. Our friends and families remind us of our shortcomings. Even our inner voice has plenty of opinions about how we need to change.
There is something about the human condition that keeps us striving for more. But what is the point of striving for more, if by the time we get there, where we are is not enough? At some point, we have to appreciate the moment in front of us.
The truth is that each and every moment we face a choice. We can make the decision to be at peace with what is at any time we choose. At the end of the day, it boils down to a choice we can make for ourselves.
Now if I am honest this insight is both liberating and terrifying at the same time for me. On the one hand I know that I have the ability to make my own decisions. On the other hand there are times at which it seems utterly impossible for me to be comfortable with carrying excess weight or not feeling my best.
After much soul-searching I still come back to the conclusion that I have the power of choice.
For the sake of clarity, it is worth unpacking what choice means. I would not say that it means taking a naive approach to our lives pretending that every experience in our lives is good and every thing is perfect. Challenges and difficult situations are a part of life.
On the other hand I think that it also does not mean that we shut off and shut down and completely withdraw from life.
It seems to me that choice is really a choice to:
- sit with the current situation,
- see our circumstance clearly,
- ask for and accept guidance from within,
- make the best decision at the moment,
- and make peace with that.
Some times the guidance we receive will inspire us to move forward with ambitious plans. Other times we will be led to withdraw and gather our inner strength before we move forward. Often, areas of our lives in which we feel restricted help us become more efficient and effective stewards of our resources.
It is important to understand that stewardship of resources does not mean having everything we want now. It is really about learning the lessons of the past, getting clear about what we really need for the moment and knowing that we will have access to what we truly need each step in the future.
My journey with raw foods has given me a new understanding of being present. On the one hand, this all began with the idea that I have struggled with my weight for so long, I had given up hope of being able to make a lasting change. On the other hand, this time around I had a clear vision of needing to make a change and a specific path to make the change. With that clarity I started the raw food cleanse cold turkey, but have really had no major struggles, much to my surprise.
I have been monitoring the scales but not obsessively. I have hit a couple of plateaus but this time I am just enjoying eating the foods that are health-full. Eventually my body will make another downward adjustment. In fact, strangely enough I am actually happy that the weight is coming off more slowly now. I figure that I have had plenty of experience with rapid weight loss followed by rapid gain. Maybe plateaus are my body finding a new lower set point.
It feels different this time, I do not know where it will end, but I am enjoying the journey more than before. This idea of holding the lessons of the past with a vision for the future while staying grounded in what is in the present has profound implications and I am looking forward to exploring it in more depth. Being present in each moment will change the meaning and purpose of the journey.