Living in the present, looking forward to…

Bodhi and Fred on the radiator
Bodhi and Fred on the radiator watching something

As Jack and I were driving home late last evening, we both noticed that our conversation was not very uplifting. We were sort of randomly talking about some long-standing difficulties with a couple of family members, the recent illness of a good friend, and how another friend (that we had just run into) didn’t seem good…nothing really big, just all rather gloomy topics. I suddenly saw us as a couple of gray-haired, middle-aged people with more life behind them than ahead. We felt old, and our conversation reflected this.

It also dawned on me that frequently talking about the past, illness, ect., can become a way of life, until we are not really living anymore, we’re just re-living old worn-out scenarios, or mentally dragging along and reworking relationships that should have been let go of long ago; more concerned with what has been, than what we are looking forward to.

As we drove along, I suggested that we start a new conversation, Jack agreed and yet we found it a little challenging to get out of our rut and think different (new) thoughts. But we persisted and the idea popped up to pretend that we were newly-weds just starting our lives together. Jack loved this idea and the whole atmosphere of our trip changed.

A few minutes later as we exited the thruway and gave our ticket to the young woman in the booth, she smiled at Jack and said, “Well hi there happy traveler!” She noticed Luke in the backseat and we put the window down so he could stick his head out and she could pet him. As we pulled away from the toll booth, it occurred to us that we had never run into such a young, lovely, upbeat, friendly, toll booth operator. If was as if we made a mental switch and then literally lined up with the human equivalent of our new mode of thought.

I don’t mind physical aging, but I want to live all the stages of my life and show up every day with a fresh mind, a young mind….open to Life. I want to honor the past but not live in it.

“It is a universal rule, as we all know, that living things produce offspring after their own kind. Thoughts are living things. Indeed they are particularly vital living things, and so thoughts naturally follow this law. Positive thoughts produce positive , harmonious conditions: and negative thoughts produce fear and limitation.”Emmet Fox, from Alter Your Life

***The winner of the skin balm is Dave!******

36 thoughts on “Living in the present, looking forward to…”

  1. Mary,

    Living in the present means being here now in this minute. Looing forward is living in the future, not the present. There is no forward just here and now. Forward doesn’t exist; it is always experienced as the now, as Eckhart Tolle writes.


  2. Wonderful thoughts this morning. Thank you for the reminder that our thoughts create our reality. What power we have to live a happier life!

    1. He really is that Susan…everywhere we go with Luke, people smile. even when they pass us on the highway and notice his huge shaggy head looking at them, so often we’ll see them light up. Thank God for animals!

  3. Dear Mary, thank you for this great story and for the reminder that we grow old from the weight of negative thinking…..and young with the lightness of positive thinking.

  4. Mary, I wanted you to know that thanks to you, I was there when a friend really needed me. I had thought that I could not be bothered to go and meet her and a friend of hers this morning. We normally meet up on a Monday but somehow yesterday my heart wasn’t in it. I thought ‘what would Mary say?’ and came to the conclusion that you would make the effort and see it as an opportunity to meet someone new and not just shy off as I have a habit of doing with people I don’t know. Well, I went and I find my friend in tears over a family situation. Together we sat and talked it through and also I went with her to get some stuff sorted out. The other friend didn’t come when she became aware of how upset my friend was. I left her feeling much better, as I did myself. She and I owe you!

  5. Thank you for this message on my 67th birthday! It has started my new year off perfectly.

    1. Happy birthday Marilyn! May we all grow younger and lighter (in our hearts) as we celebrate with you today.

  6. I echo the rest of these comments–Thank you–a perfect reminder for this moment, this day. Experiencing immediate results is a clear gift of affirmation. May we all embrace your ability to recognize when we need to shift our thoughts! You are goodness, Mary Muncil!

  7. What a great lesson Mary, thank you! I love being 61! I love being married for 30 years! I love this moment and I love the anticipation and expectation of every future moment as well..and I often say that I believe the next 20 years worth of moments will be the best ever…if we choose to live in the ‘now’ along the way. I go to bed each night with gratitude and trust and I awake each morning with gratitude and expectation…I love your advice to start a new conversation, think a new thought…sing a new song…look for the color in our life…we can rewrite our script today, tomorrow, whenever we want to…and as often as we’d like…thanks for the reminder of what power we have!

  8. So lovely to see you and Jack……saying goodbye to my husband and best friend of 41 yrs yesterday was easier with you both there. On Thurs. when he passed unexpectedly at home, I was out walking and had stopped,( I believe at the same time exact time ) to buy a cute little bracelet I saw in a window, I don’t shop, I don’t buy bracelets , that’s not me…….it was my birthstone!!! After my tears and pain have subsided I plan to celebrate new “birthings” beginnings, be grateful for the time we had together, and all that we accomplished as a team, and look forward to what happens…….next! RIP Peter XXO

    1. What a brave and courageous post Sandy. You leave me speechless and in awe of your love, your strength, and your resiliency. May your sweet memories begin to heal your heart…and bring a smile amidst your tears…loving thoughts from a WFF friend…

    2. While I have no doubt that you will live a wonderful life Sandy, knowing how many people you have loved, supported and encouraged through difficult times, please know that we are here now to support you. Before I met you, Jack said, “You are going to love Peter and Sandy!”…he couldn’t wait for me to meet his closest friends and after we did meet, I knew why. Even yesterday, your strength and peace were amazing…even through your grief, your love for us was so present. You are a blessing to all who know you and we are holding you in our hearts.

    3. Reaching out across the miles with a warm embrace, Sandy. I hope you feel much love and support from friends unseen. Though most of us have never met, our connection here is so genuine. Our hearts are with you in your sorrow. And as Mary reminded us on Friday, be ever so gentle with yourself. Love to you, Susan

    4. So very sorry for your loss Sandy…will be praying for wonderful memories and new beginnings for you, when you are ready. xoxo Marian

  9. Yesterday was my oldest son’s birthday. We were having trouble selecting a movie due to all the age differences (from 12 to 70) and finally found one about a family. My son’s only requirement to see the movie was that all the children live. As I read your post today it again spoke to me in my own unique way. My interpretation of my son’s request was not saying just the physical but the mental as well. After the movie we stopped for treats and a chance to each talk about the movie.

    Among the topics we spoke of our pets. They have two dogs, one named Tolle (after Eckhart Tolle) and Nudge. I was describing how my youngest son had come to visit and for some reason my cat had decided to stay in the room with us. Very unusual, as she usually just finds a safe place to stay until the visitor leaves. Not only did she stay in the room she was very vocal as well. My youngest son said to me that he really didn’t understand her and I, as well, told him I did not understand her but the fact that she was prancing around her food bowl gave me a clue. We both had a good laugh.

    Back to the outing with my oldest son – he reported that their dog Tolle also attempts to speak to them but as much as he tried to speak the human language he has not yet mastered the art.

    We truly enjoy each other, laugh when together and delight in each other’s spiritual, physical and mental growth. Thanks again for reminding me to continue enjoying, learning and loving my life.

    1. That sounds like a wonderfully warm and loving day Betty…I could imagine you all laughing and talking together and it made me smi

  10. As I was logging off your post noticed the winner of the skin balm was Dave. Thanks again for my smile and I sincerely hope Dave enjoys the skin balm.

  11. Resonating with your words today, Mary, as I prepare to enter another year. I love my age, usually, but have also been conscious of carrying some baggage that I hope to transform through ritual tonight. Saying Yes to honoring, with gratitude, all that has gone before to bring me to this moment. And my prayers go out to Sandy as she moves into this transition and “birthing” time in her life.

  12. I sincerely don’t know how you do it Mary. Your post today gave me so much to think about as do all your postings. I love the thought honor your past but don’t live in it.
    Thoughts are with you Sandy and sending you a peaceful hug.

  13. All I can think of is Forrest Gump saying “We was like peas and carrots” when it comes to you and your man Jack.

  14. A day late: Dave, congratulations on winning the skin balm. And Mary, your comment: “I want to honor the past but not live in it.” provided me with the words I’ve needed in dealing with a very serious issue for me in my life in regard to a much loved stepdaughter with whom I’ve had a fractious relationship pver the years and a very needy, insecure relationship with on her part. Having been left by her mother at a young age, it’s been a difficult path for us both since. I’ve set the relationship aside for now, not able to cope with the pain of the past year but your words of honoring the past and not living in it led me to feel some resolution within myself for the past does affect the present; it doesn’t have to encroach upon the future but it does allow for lessons to be learned and patterns of behaviour to be recognized. When it is not recognized, it became time to make a very difficult and painful decision on my part. My thanks for putting into words what I was not able to.
    Sandy P in a very foggy Southern Ontario, Canaad

  15. SandyP, I’m so glad I checked back in today. I, too, value so much this idea of honoring the past, but not living in it. I just happened to notice a houseplant on my kitchen counter, that every couple of weeks, I keep giving it a little turn around, because it ALWAYS wants to face and grow into the light. It does so naturally, not having CHOICE as we humans have. By honoring the past, we allow it to trail us, and not lead us, – we can choose to face the light. Love to you. Thank YOU too for helping me to put this into a picture I can remember. My little houseplant! 🙂

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