Living In the Now – Or At Least Striving To

I recently tried out an online platform to use for my new nutrition website. At one point I had to decide which plan to use – the one where I pay each month, or the one where I pay annually upfront for a much lower monthly rate. Even though I had only had one week of experience so far with the free trial period, I was already envisioning paying for one year upfront after a couple months of first paying the more expensive month-to month rate while I tried it out.

Why was it that I could so readily foresee a future with this online platform?

It was because I waned to jumpstart my private practice so badly and I convinced myself that this would do it.

I guess that partially answers my next question, the question which led me to actually sit down and write all this – and that is: Why is it so easy for me to fantasize about the future? To project glorious white-picket-fenced realities? And not just professionally, but personally as well – in my romantic history I was so good at imagining a wonderful future together with someone. In fact, I was living so much in that future, that I tolerated some very difficult experiences in the present.

I have read about the importance of living in the present in Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and other mindfulness teachings. I have heard and practiced mantras on how to live more fully in the present moment. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of G-d, which is why we call it the present.” I know that future-oriented thinking is often associated with anxiety, which I am no stranger to.

Maybe there are rational explanations to how and why I get caught up in the future. But these explanations paled in comparison to the visceral feeling that hit me this evening as I lay daydreaming on my couch: My glorification of the future, and ability to paint a romantic, idyllic picture of what is to come, truly prevents me from feeling the depth and textures of the present moment.

I want to better access my raw, gut feelings of my current experiences. I don’t want to get caught up in the “What Could Bes?” or the “Wouldn’t It Be Perfect Ifs?” I want to give myself time to process all the ins and outs of what presents itself to me at this very moment; instead of getting distracted by a projected illusion- no matter how real it feels.

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