“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
Winnie the Pooh
Everything we do is new. Everything is something we’ve never done before. Whether we let ourselves in on it or not, we’ve never had this moment before. Eaten this dinner on this day with these people. Made this phone call, sent this text, parked this car, walked this dog on this day in this moment at this age.
Yes, of course, we’ve done these things often and repeatedly; and when we’ve done them often enough, we let them go on automatic. We don’t really need to pay attention on the drive to work. Our automatic self will get us there. Getting dressed, brushing our teeth, doing the dishes–so many things can be done on automatic.
We go on automatic and we live in our thinking and we ignore the moment to moment of life until something new happens to get our attention; something loud or garish enough, something frightening enough, something exciting enough to get our attention.
We live in our thinking about the world, rather than in the world itself.
We listen to our thoughts about what our friend is saying, rather than fully to what our friend is saying. We worry about tomorrow or try to wish yesterday into a better experience and we miss out on the moment that is right here, waiting for us to become involved.
The present moment is the only time we’ll ever experience. Living in the present moment is the only way we’ll ever know happiness. We’ve trained ourselves for years to live in our minds, in our thinking, in our worry, in spite of the fact that our thinking has never brought us lasting happiness or fulfillment.
But happiness and fulfillment are available to us. In the here and now.
Today we can begin training our attention to the here and now. Today we can awaken to the wonder of the world we live in. Today can be our favorite day.
Today I will wash the dishes while I wash the dishes. I will listen to my friend, rather than to my thoughts about what she is saying. I will drive to work as if I have never driven this route before, as if I don’t know what the driver in front of me should be doing, as if I am on an adventure that requires my complete attention and willingness to enjoy.
View from the Couch, Studio City CA