Friday, March 28, 2014

Start Where We Are, Begin Right Now

Our presence is the vessel and our awareness is the sails in which we navigate from our inherited past into our mutually created future.
In everything we do and don’t do, we must come from where we are, not where we would want to be, not where we once were. We have to work with the present reality. Seeing the present clearly is not something modern humans excel at in their daily lives. Too often, we have pressing needs that require past, present and future work to fulfill. This can occupy our minds. For some, it presents itself as worry, to others fear, while others micromanage or attempt to control people and situations.

Learning balance can be a key in coming from where you are; it can also keep us so pre-occupied with all the juggling we do that we lose sight of a broader perspective. Other times, we become so fixated on one narrow angle making us become oblivious to the reality of the present situation. There will always be other methods in which we can meet our needs, which is why we must always remain open to being mistaken.  If we cannot become more aware of the present, however, we will not be able to absorb guidance and experience by others nor able to create new methods on our own.

Returning our mental, physical and emotional awareness back to the here and from the right now has to become a priority. We can do this in every moment and with every breath. However, we must make a conscious choice to make those moments and take those breaths. Running on auto-pilot can yield benefits. It can even be preferred in times of difficulty or stress. However, if we don’t take the time to make sure we’re not heading off a cliff or losing altitude, we can find ourselves in trouble and directly in harm’s way. This harm is often avoidable, but if we’re not grounded in the present and in our awareness of the present, we can ignore the road signs on our way to our demise.

Some part of our mental, physical and emotional awareness has to stay in our life cockpit, in our driver’s seat and at the helm. There are so many obvious analogies. Our life is similar to so many intricate endeavors. If we ignore any aspect for any extended period of time, we become lax; we become damaged. Our systems no longer work effectively nor efficiently.  We have to refuel and perform maintenance constantly.

There are many options to aid us in doing so. The key is to create opportunities every day that align our intention with our thoughts and feelings in order to perform an action. From meditation to physical exercise, from brewing coffee to sipping tea, there are many ways in which we can individualize our focus on returning to the present and opening our awareness. For too many, we focus so much of our attention on everything outside of ourselves. Instead of taking care of us, we take care of bills. Instead of managing our bodies, we manage others. This is not to endorse inattention to these crucial aspects of modern life, but we can always do better.

There are always improvements that can be made to what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and why we’re doing it. We need to make our life the business we manage. We can find ways to not spend so much time or waste so much of our effort. We can discover more effective methods for achieving a, b or c separately or concurrently. We can explore the difference between what we want from what we need and from what we think we’re getting from what we actually already have. 

We simply have to make being present and being aware our priority. In the midst of our busy modern lives, we have to make it the only priority. Without our presence, without our awareness, we absolutely are missing out on this amazing opportunity that is our life. Certainly, none of us have perfect lives. We may even be in the darkest moments of our life. If we don’t take the time in those dark moments to open our mind up to now and to being more aware of what is vital to our survival, we will expire.

As much as we must come from where we are, we must also understand that everyone else is coming as they are as well. Some people may actually have an awareness of their intentions in all of their actions, but most simply lack the current capacity to do so. Others cannot begin to connect the cause, their actions, to the effects, their life. Understanding who we are around is only one part of awareness of others. We need to attempt to understand how they are as well. No one gets to what they’re doing all on their own. Every single one of us has two biological parents. We may have other parents as well, but none of us could even exist without others.

Newborns have so many needs in order to survive, and they have only one way to meet those needs, from others. As the baby becomes a child, it has to be taught how to not harm itself. As the child grows into an adolescent, there are countless opportunities to learn about cause and effect. However, adolescents need guidance in order to expand their understanding of their role in their own life and in the life of others. In order to guide an adolescent or young adult successfully, many aspects of their upbringing must be considered in formulating the strategy to help them learn how to learn and adapt on their own.

All of these people in our families and our communities are important. The histories we share, the predispositions we hold and the disagreements we have can bring us together or tear us apart. They, as much as we do, deserve understanding, deserve patience and absolutely deserve compassion. We know how much we have suffered, and we can do something productive with our suffering in applying it to generating compassion and understanding for others. 

We must continue to come back to the present, return to opening our awareness of now. Our presence is the vessel and our awareness is the sails in which we navigate from our inherited past into our mutually created future. If we don’t know ourselves, we cannot hope to comprehend others. Otherwise, we’re in a dense fog heading into the unknown, just like everyone else. If we can more clearly see where we are, we at least have the opportunity to do something about it. If we can more clearly see others, we can find partners on our path instead of enemies. If we at least continue to try, we still have hope.

We can make a difference. We begin here. We start now.

1 comment:

  1. Someone asked about the rudder for the vessel. The rudder could be seen as your intention.