Time is a psychological phenomenon. Hence, our individual minds can run at different speeds. We are often quick to jump to conclusions, yet slow through the process of learning acceptance. Our minds jump from here to there, naturally moving two steps forward, often oblivious to the present moment. In today’s society, our thoughts are often centered on what we want to achieve in the future. It is common for us to worry about not attaining that goal and we spend our time visualizing the negative consequences. In a sense, we’ve sabotaged the dream in our minds before we’ve even had a chance to work towards it. Instead of trusting that everything will work out the way it is supposed to, we often become skeptical of that idea when the thing we want does not work out the way we expected it to.
With our current thinking, we move so quickly that we lose track of what is actually authentic – what our true self, our soul, desires. We wish to achieve everything now instead of waiting until the time is right. It does make a lot of sense: once we visualize what we want and recognize how perfect it seems, we are desperate to do all that we possibly can to acquire it now. Even though the steps that we take in achieving what we want is performing action in the present moment, our minds are in the future, thinking about the goal that has not happened. If we want the best results, we must take a step back and admire what is going on now. If we do not pay close attention to where our minds and hearts are in the present moment, the future will simply be a reflection of our muddled thinking and feeling.
There are many other benefits to living in the present moment. When being able to truly get a sense for all that is happening around you in the exact moment, your thoughts are not capable of wandering off into the depths of a false you. Living in the present is being able to acknowledge the serenity and simplicity of your surroundings. You do not overthink situations and construct judgments when allowing yourself to connect with everything going on now. When you focus on your breath and really become aware of your thoughts, you release all unnecessary feelings and emotions. The focus is no longer directed only at yourself but also radiated outward as well. When desiring to do something, the mind makes the intention all about the self. However, when being present, the focus is all encompassing and includes how to affect others in a positive way too. It’s not all about you!
Noticing the breath is a great way to connect with the present. Focusing on each inhale and exhale pushes the mind’s distractions aside. If you stay with the breath long enough, the concept of time may even disappear… you’re in a state of timelessness, of simply being. In this calming space of presence, you experience clarity; you’re connected to the divine. The chaos and stress of expectations, worry, and confusion fade away. Everything you need to know just begins to pour into your heart. You are connected to infinite wisdom. When you’re grounded and connected to the Divine, there is no longer a sense of panic to pursue what you love.
In the pursuit of goals, the mind creates so much tension, hassle, and unnecessary urgency. Liberate yourself from this common human condition by noticing when you’re focused on getting things done quickly versus savoring the steps along the journey. Focus on your breath and be present. What you thought was the best route may be overshadowed by a more divine, illuminated path. Be open to new possibilities to reaching your goals. Opening yourself up to the answers beyond your mind’s limitations keep you in the mystery of life.
Ayesha Patel is a high school student who seeks to inspire people to follow their passions while compassionately dismantling society’s limiting structures. Her interests includeyoga, photography, writing, and metaphysics.