Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Present of Being Present

This is that time of year where it feels like anything could happen. There's that hint of magic that seems to quietly waft through the air. There are also those moments when the burning flames inside us feel nearly snuffed out by cold breezes.

It's a time of warmth and reflection. It's also a time of nostalgia and melancholy. This year, I'm making a point to stay in the present as much as I can. This is one of the most tested times for me in that regard. My mind has already begun playing and replaying its myriad of thoughts, memories, emotions. Some of them are kindling, other are anchoring.

I've been reading more about the past/future patterns of the mind lately. I notice them still at play in my own when I'm "not paying attention" to it. But it's lessening and lessening the more conscious I'm becoming. However, I also notice it in others a lot more acutely now.

People I talk to, they reminisce about the past ... they feel anxious about the future. They stress about gifts, about bills, about their love lives, their unhappy relationships, friendships, jobs. Especially at this time of year. It's like everything that's already stressful is that more potent — the fumes nearly suffocating us. Or we get lost in the superficial aspects of life or think upon how rough the year has been. It's only natural to look back on the year as it nears its close and try to categorize everything that's happened. It's easy to reflect on past holiday seasons, to remember things, people, moments, emotions, family, experiences.

Why do you think we do this so much? Sometimes I think our minds are on total automatic, we don't even realize how often we're a million miles away. How rare we are actually "living in the moment." Yet, the present moment is literally all we've got. Everything else is a figment.

Even the timeless classic, "A Christmas Carol" deals with the past, present and future. But when you think about it, it isn't until Scrooge finds his spirit again and embraces his present life that "life" actually begins for him. Yes, the notion of a sad future motivates him even further, but his transformation takes place in the present.

That's how I feel lately. However, I believe reflection has its place, as it did in this story. It offers us a glimpse of where we once were, how we've become what we've become. But notice I say "what" and not "who." Because, I'm realizing, who I am is who I've always been, deep inside. Sometimes, however, it's easy to lose the "who" in all of the "what." Most of us are doing it right now. Like this quote I came across tonight:

Who we are never changes. Who we think we are does. ~ Punit Ghadge

But if we all embraced our inner spirit more, not identified with everything on the exterior or in our minds, we will truly be our real selves. And what better gift to give the world and those around us, than being our truest selves.

Instead of stressing about buying the perfect tangible gift for your loved ones, focus more on giving the most beautiful thing you can give. Yourself. You'll be amazed at how once you tap into that stream of realness, that hint of magic in the air becomes the very essence surrounding you. And the love that is reciprocated back ... is quite possibly the most precious gift we could ever receive.

Happy Holidays my friends <3



  1. I love this post. I think that we spend so much time harkening back to the days of yesteryear, or looking forward to the future, that we neglect the "precious present". Great post Cassandra :)