Throughout my life, I made many attempts to understand the concept of living in the now. Walking the Camino de Santiago provided the key to this puzzle in a most innocent manner. Each day on the trail is a mystery loaded with complete uncertainties. Nothing is planned and each corner is filled with intrigue. The weather is unknown, there is no room reservation, the body may register a strong objection without notice, and the scenery is all new. In other words, my mind and body were in a constant state of challenge. Well, in that moment there is literally no time to waste on the past or the future. When you live in the present, you are living where life is happening. A Million Steps in this new home makes the old digs seem foolish.
When you are not living in the now, life only exists as an illusion. My time in this unwanted space is typically spent flogging myself for some unpleasant mistake from the past or worrying about some future event that may or may not come to fruition. If you are living in the past, there is nothing to changed because it is gone. When you worry about the future, you waste time in a place that does not exist. Most of us spend time in these fields with the hope of change. Well, the only place where change can occur is in the present. You don’t lose weight yesterday or tomorrow.
Lions are easier to tame than the mind. A head chock full of worry creates an unreal reality. Why do things that have not happened or may never happen seem so real? Why do we allow the ghost of yesteryear to enter the dance floor? Pulling yourself back to reality if the difference between what-ifs, what-was, and what is. A final piece of the puzzle is learning to accept what is.
It is impossible to eliminate the past or avoid all pleasant or unpleasant memories. However, when I visit my past now, I try to go in, learn, and get the hell out! I am not going to be anchored by some event or trauma from my past. The same goes with the future. While hopes and dreams for a bright forecast are always present, I refuse to walk the rest of my life with eyes solely focused on the horizon. I yield to the current moment.