Buckle up. I’ve got a riddle for you:
I’m eternal, having always existed and will permanently exist, but will only be here once. I’m forever with you, never behind, never ahead. You rarely notice me, despite my constant presence. I’m everywhere at all times. I’m infinite. I’m three letters long.
What is the answer? NOW.
Now has always been here, but doesn’t exist in the past. This moment is eternal yet fleeting. The current time is real, and our current experiences are real. However, in a few minutes (even in a few seconds), the things we participate with now are gone. They are memories. Memories aren’t real. The only thing that is real is now.
You are eternal, never born, never dies.
The moment you entered your body is not the moment you began to exist. You have always existed. Your body is a tool, full of sensations, that enable you to experience the now. You can smell, taste, and feel the now-ness. You can no longer touch or experience yesterday, for it no longer exists. Yet, you still exist.
Your body grows with age. It gets more vigorous; it gets weaker. Nevertheless, there you are inside, watching, noticing, observing. Often though, the reality of now passes you by while you are pondering possible futures. Or, you are groping to change or hold the past. Why bother with things that aren’t real? What’s real is now.
Yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t here.
The only thing that is here is now. What do you want to do? How will you realize this moment? At this moment, you can do whatever you please. You can create, or you can consume. You can be, or you can do. The vital step is to recognize the current time and place and experience as the only reality. Sure, you can plan for the future, but isn’t that just pretending in the now?
What is it that you are expecting? Are you thinking about how you will interact with people in future conversations? Maybe you are daydreaming about another day in which you are the shining star during a significant event. Isn’t it all make-believe? You keep rehashing the past as if it were a play to be rewritten. The only performance is the one you are acting in right now.
When is the last time you showered in the shower?
How many times have we stripped off our clothes, soaked and lathered our bodies, and (here’s the kicker) were aware that we were cleaning ourselves? Our minds aren’t present while we clean our bodies. We’re too busy thinking of to-do lists, items to get at the grocery, or fantasizing about being a rock star. When’s the last time you’ve felt the washcloth scrub your skin? Do you remember noticing the smell of your shampoo? How did the water sound as it came out of the faucet and went down the drain?
I’ve got an idea. Next time you cook, why don’t you try cooking? When you get in your car to go somewhere, why not experience your drive? Often, we are cruising along life’s highway, both figuratively and literally, unaware and unattentive to the now.
Life is for creation. Life is for exploration. Let’s begin to get curious and explore with wonder the minute-to-minute and second-to-second. There’s treasure here. It’s ours for the taking.