The moment I’ve waited for….

Suzan Visser "Marchen"
The magical artwork of Suzan Visser, “Marchen” (Fairy Tale)

There is no spiritual concept that has given me more trouble than the idea of living in the now…in the moment. The first time that I consciously remember hearing it, was when I was 30 years old and entered AA. The way that it was stated there was, “One Day at a time” and I had no idea what it meant, so I relegated it to the file in my brain labeled, “Meaningless, Stupid Concepts”. After all, if I couldn’t understand it then it must not be valuable.

This moment, always seemed so mundane, so unspectacular, as compared to what some future moment could be. Life to me was a struggle and a race to get something, and to get somewhere, better; some place in the future that was bright and fulfilled. When I tried to stay present, meditate, slow my thoughts down or drop them for just a little while, my mind would  begin to mock me with thoughts like, “You think that this is Ok? You are missing the boat. You should be doing something more. Success doesn’t just happen. You need to make it happen and you are not doing enough. What is the purpose of your life?”

The conscious mind is like a critical parent. It says things like, “What do you have to show for all the time that you spent just sitting?! You must produce something tangible, something that you can see, something that the world will applaud. Otherwise you are wasting your time and you are a waste”. If you said to it, “I watched a bird sitting on a telephone wire this morning.” It would say, “And?! Please tell me that you did more than that!” and if you said, “I did. I noticed that when a car rode by, it lifted both of its wings, as if to catch the wind, and it made me laugh”, the mind would shake its head and tell you that you were a hopeless failure, doomed to live a boring life of mediocrity.

But I have discovered that this is not true. I don’t understand the Now, but I have experienced moments, and sometimes hours of being present, and what I know is that it is vast, deep and so beyond the little minds capacity to understand, that while there, while in this state, all ideas about it being nothing, seem funny. It is heaven, and it cannot be understood with the mind, it must be felt, and as soon as we acknowledge it, it opens up a realm to us, that we had previously not experienced.

And it is right where I am, right where you are, right now.

Did you ever catch a glimpse of a flower and feel the beauty of it in your whole body? Or look at the face of someone you love and feel flooded with Love?…that is it. What we tend to do, what takes us out of this precious state, is rushing past these moments with thoughts like, “I wonder what kind of flower that is? or I forgot to water the flowers! or some other thought that seems more important…and then the mind is off and running.

We don’t think it’s enough to just be, and so we rush past the Now. We rush past heaven on our way to what we hope will be a heavenly future.

It is Friday, June 14th, 7:41 a.m. as I finish writing this. This moment is the culmination of a lifetime of hopes, dreams and love. What are you doing right now? Did you know that this is the moment you’ve been waiting for?

“Without stirring abroad, one can know the whole world. Without looking out of the window, one can see the way of heaven.” Lao Tzu


16 thoughts on “The moment I’ve waited for….”

  1. “It is Friday, June 14th, 7:41 a.m. as I finish writing this. This moment is the culmination of a lifetime of hopes, dreams and love.”
    This took my breath away this morning! The last week and a half I have been settling into my new life as a retired person, leaving behind 11 years in a super-stressful job, and this is exactly how I have been feeling. Thanks for putting it into words. I will add iit to my affirmations and remind myself of it every morning.

  2. AMEN!!!! My Friend, thank you for putting into words what the NOW is, Feeling!!! Jill

  3. Wow, thanks so much. Your post makes me want cry — not a great idea at work but I’ll respect the feeling!

  4. Dear Mary, this is a beautiful description of the now. I find that when I focus on what’s right in front of me, the experience I am having right at this very moment, and I do it with curiosity and innocence in my heart…an entire world of insights and a kind of fulfillment opens up to me. I often watch animals for a better understanding of what it means to be in the now. They allow themselves to become completely absorbed with each and every single moment….they willingly become consumed by every experience, never missing the opportunity to allow life to support them in every way. Thank you for reminding me this morning how precious every second is and how it is filled with so much wonder and so rich with enjoyment.

  5. Mary and Cynthia you both made me breathe deep and smile in gratitude in this moment. A few evenings ago my husband and I were sitting on our back porch while it rained outside but still the birds were flying around and singing happily. And we both recalled, while in the midst of the stress and hustle and bustle of our careers, how many times we thought and said ‘is THIS all there is’? Our minds were too cluttered and we were not awake enough to feel the moment back then…busy fulfilling expectations that weren’t always our own. We’ve had many wonderful moments…and we’ve missed some too. As we both sat there listening to the rain, we said ‘THIS is perfect…THIS is what we’ve dreamed about…THIS IS everything…THIS IS all…THIS is ALL…AWE’!

  6. I am sitting in my favorite chair,gazing at my pink striped socks and I am thinking isn’t this perfect? Mary you articulate the now so very well,thank you over and over. Thanks too for the comments of others, so richly added. May you all be in the moment.

  7. I never thought, in earlier years, that I would even live to be 70. When I realized that I had, I learned conscious gratitude for every day. Now I am learning to be grateful for the ability to live every moment, just through a matter of focusing. At any point, one can enter the beauty of the ‘Now.’ What a gift. What an accomplishment to have achieved.

    Thanks, Mary, for showing so many facets of this miracle.

  8. This is It! It so big, so inviting, so here and now. I am so looking forward to visiting the newly opened Butterfly Museum of Scottsdale today with my ten year old grandson and my daughter in law. I know I will be easily swept up in the awe of thousands of winged beauties. And to experience this with a child? Icing on the cake. I will never forget something my yoga teacher said once as we began our class seated, breathing deeply. She said that every breath you have ever taken in your life has led you to this moment, to the very breath you are taking now. It put such a huge significance into THE MOMENT and an awareness of the majesty of our faithful bodies, breathing us along, day by day, breath by breath. Peace to everyone this day! – in case you want to take a peek at my adventure today:

    1. How fun Susan! It looks like a magnificient place to spend some magical moments with your family! Loved the Flight of the Butterflies trailer!!! I think I’d love to experience that someday! XOXO

    2. Oh Susan, what a day you must be having with your grandson! Thanks for sending the link. I hope to get there someday. My heart is ALWAYS in AZ.

  9. Mary, your last paragraph so succintly says it all. For several weeks now I’ve been listening to the readings by Eckhart Tolle; A New Earth and The Power of Now. I feel presence and joy in the way that I perceive you’ve just described your experiences.

    I’ve taken my self to the coast, to the mountains to hike and the great Columbia River Gorge all to experience what I AM now, in this place, now. I love the quote by Lao Tzu, I experience this.

  10. Mary, there are times when I wonder where your inspiration comes from and I wonder, too, if the well ever runs dry? This is a gem of a posting this morning. All the more so, because in the area in which I work (work being a euphemism for unpaid work) this is exactly what I’ve been feeling about quilters who are so tied into just this thing: a beginning, a middle and an end result…but who don’t stop to enjoy the process of creativity..and in order to be creative, one must sit. And sit, and sit. Thinking, imagining, playing with shapes and space and scale and sitting some more. In the end, there may be nothing to show for just sitting and thinking and playing with shapes and images, lines and negative space. Quilters can’t give themselves permission to do this as much as they could. I found this to be a serious issue for me when I went into Art College…playing, sitting, imagining, I was used to accomplishing something. Felt guilty when I didn’t. Wise words, Mary,
    Sandy P in a finally sunny and not rainy day in Southern Ontario, Canada.

  11. We are fortunate enough to have a choice (however difficult it may be to make it) of living in the now or the not-so-now. Most humans on the face of the earth have no choice but to live in the now, because poverty dictates that immediate needs be addressed 100% of the time.

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