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  • Writer's pictureGiacomino Nicolazzo

This Moment. Right Now...


Edition 65. June 2024

Nothing ever happened in the past. It happened in the now. Nothing will ever happen in the future. It will happen in the now.”

Eckhart Tolle

There is only one place in all of nature where it can be said yesterday, today and tomorrow exist all at the same time. There is a flower with this name...

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

The Latin name is Brunfelsia pauciflora and it gets its name from its blossoms. It has flowers that last for three days, and each day they change colors...

On the first day, they are purple (Yesterday)

On the second day they change to lavender (Today)

And on the third day it changes to white (Tomorrow)

The blossoms are unique in as much as their color goes through transformations over three consecutive days. By simply observing their color, one can easily make out whether the bloom is yesterday, today or tomorrow.

Sadly however, such simplicity does not exist in our personal world of time. To our detriment, we are not so fortunate as to be able to see all three days at once...

“Yesterday is dead and gone. And tomorrow’s out of sight.”

There is so much truth in these Kris Kristofferson song lyrics. There is absolutely nothing we can do to bring back today once it has become yesterday. And we cannot live today as if it were already tomorrow...

For tomorrow does not yet exist

We can’t should’ve done something and it is foolish to think we could’ve been something. And yes, we might do something and we might be something...tomorrow. But it all depends on what we do and what we decide today...

All that we can do and all that we will be is what we will do and can be today.

If yesterday was meant to last it would still be happening.

But it’s not! It’s gone.

We spend much too much time remembering a day that has already forgotten us.

And why do we suffer such anxiety about tomorrow...

We haven't even met yet.

Yes...we can try our best to predict what will happen tomorrow. But the truth is, life is is not static. It is always changing. It can and does change in a heartbeat...

in the blink of an eye.

The wonderful truth is that we need not be tomorrow that which we are today. The greatest of all insights is that we cannot be tomorrow what we don’t envision ourselves today.

This moment, right now, is all that exists.

It is all that matters.

But there are a very small percentage of people who actually experience and live in the moment...the here and now. Many are stuck in one of the other days, one that has either traumatized them in the past or promised them something in the future.

If you are living in one of the other two, you are cheating yourself out of this

Today the sun has risen just for you!

Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention.

But if you are stuck in yesterday or focusing on tomorrow, today is going to flow away like water over a broken-down dam. You are going to wake up tomorrow morning and not even realize that you’ve wasted a today and that it has now become a yesterday.

And trust me on this...there is a strong possibility that the today you wasted had some really great moments or wonderful opportunities in it for you...

ones that you could be experiencing in the today that just yesterday was a tomorrow!

I wrote about this in my book, THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE. The positive sentiments, words and instructions found in AFFIRMATION 72 read like this...

I am living today.

I did live yesterday.

I shall live tomorrow.

But...I will put my energy into just today.

I will truly inhabit its moments and experience what it has to offer me.

I will take a deep breath, open my eyes and my heart

I will greet the most special day there

Today is a new day.

I make the conscious choice to embrace it.

Today I stop being a victim of my circumstances.

Today I start taking action towards the life I want.

Today I will no longer permit my history to interfere with my destiny!

I won’t permit my today to be stolen by the ghost of yesterday.

I will not allow my today to be compromised by the ‘to-do’ list of tomorrow!

I recently had the pleasure of re-reading the Hans Christian Anderson story, The Last Dream of the Old Oak Tree.  I was just a child when I read it for the first time. It is a children’s book and was written in 1858. It is about the cycle of life and how after the storms we encounter, there will indeed be peace.  But reading it again, this time as an old man, another theme came through for about how important the present moment is. 

The beginning of the story captures this so perfectly...

A centuries-old oak tree, standing at the edge of a grassy field, took notice of a mayfly that had landed upon one of its leaves...

“Poor little creature!” the tree said. “Your whole life consists of but a single day. How very short! It must be quite sad...melancholy.” 

“Sad! Melancholy!” the mayfly exclaimed. “Whatever do you mean? Why would you say such a thing? To the contrary, everything around me is so wonderfully bright and warm and beautiful. It makes me joyous, not sad or melancholy. You may live thousands of days, but I have thousands of moments in which I am happy and content in my single day of life.”

Without saying more, the little mayfly took off from the leaf, dancing and floating in the air., rejoicing in its delicate wings of gauze and velvet. Flitting through the balmy breezes laden with the fragrances that rise from the meadows...rife with the smells of clover and wild roses, elder blossoms and honeysuckle. Combined with the aromas of the garden hedges of wild thyme, primrose, and mint, it created a perfume so strong that it nearly intoxicated the little mayfly.

The mayfly’s one long and beautiful day of life was coming to an end. The day had been so full of joy and sweet delight that, when the sun was finally setting, it had become exhausted from all the happiness and enjoyment. Its wings no longer able sustain flight, gently and slowly it fell from the sky, twirling and circling down to the soft, waving blades of meadow grass. There it fell into a peaceful and sweet sleep from which it would not wake.

The mayfly in the story embraced the one day of life that it had been given and made the most out of every moment in that day.  It knew that life unfolds in the now and it focused all its time and energy on the present moment. 

There are lessons in the mayfly’s approach to life that are there for us to learn from. When we live in the present moment...

We are mindful of what is happening now.

We are neither distracted by the past nor preoccupied with the future.

It keeps us grounded, connected, and happier.

And you should put those lessons to work in your life. You should try to be in the present moment the majority of the time.  If you visit the past, you should have a reason for doing so...

Perhaps to reflect on a success or mistake in order to gain insight.

If you look to the future, likewise you should have a reason...

perhaps to plan and prepare for it.

But you should live mindfully and as fully in the present as possible for this reason...

today is the only day that matters.

I have a final and quick story for you regarding mindfulness. A parable if you will. I’d like to share it with you...

In a beautifully peaceful courtyard, in a beautiful and far off land, a young monk was sitting, his eyes closed and trying to be present in the now. But the sounds of the birds and rustling branches in the nearby trees and the children that had come to visit the monastery annoyed him. He found it much too distracting...

“It is impossible to be mindful with all this noise,” he declared, abandoning his meditation and standing.

In frustration he made his way to where his master was teaching the children from the nearby village a lesson about meditation and mindfulness. The children were attentively listening to what the master was saying. Respectfully, the young monk waited for the class to be over before approaching the master...

“Master,” he began timidly. “Why is it that I can’t seem to experience this presence of mind you were talking about with the children today? Why can’t I be more present?”

He stepped back, bowing his head and waited for the master to answer...

The master smiled and reached out to the young monk, resting his hand upon his shoulder...

“Why do you think you aren’t living in the present moment?’ he asked.

The young monk had come seeking answers and he was confused by the master’s question. Nervously he looked around, trying to think of a reasonable way to respond...

“I am too easily distracted master,” he began. “My mind wanders in thought. And all the noises outside the courtyard disturb my peace. This is why I can’t be more present.”

Again, the master smiled. He pointed to one particular child, a sweet young girl, playing just outside the courtyard gates...

“Do you see that child running around in the field out there? The one playing with the grass and dancing joyously?”

“Yes, of course, I do,” the monk answered, unsure of what the master was getting at.

“Does that child look mindful to you?” the master asked.

‘Yes, she does,” the young monk answered. “She seems quite happy and free. But she is a child. She has not a single worry on her mind.”

“If even a child can do it, why can’t you? Why do you still think that you aren’t living in the present moment?” the master quickly inquired.

Not waiting for an answer, the master continued...

“To the child there is no difference between being present and listening to her own thoughts or taking in the noises and sounds around her. She knows that everything is happening at and in this very moment. If her thoughts wander or if her imagination comes to life and takes her away, she doesn’t say to herself that she is failing. She doesn’t believe she is doing something wrong. She continues to play. She remains mindful. She knows perfectly well that nothing can happen outside of the present moment...not even her wandering thoughts or her vivid imagination.”

A slight smile came to the young monk’s face as the master continued...

“You’ve been making such a big deal out of living in the present moment that you forget what it is really all about. It is all about paying attention. That’s what the child does best, she pays attention to everything. And she marvels over everything. That’s all you need do to live in the present moment.”

“Thank you, master,” the monk said while bowing. “Now I see more clearly.”

“You need not thank me for I did nothing,” the master insisted. “So go on now...go and pay attention. Be as free as that child. Live as joyously as she does.”

I hope this little story changes the way you look at mindfulness and living in the present moment. I know it was a game changer for me.

The moral here is that being present happens at every moment. There is no moment where we are not here. Children know this because they can think and wander away in thought, yet they are still paying attention to the here and now. Only their here and their now is sometimes filled with wandering thoughts and child-like imagination rather the stillness or silence of meditation.

We cannot be, nor can we learn to be more present. There is but one simple practice and that is to pay attention to what’s happening right here and right now. If you do this, you’ll know that meditation isn’t just sitting in a lotus position in the courtyard of a faraway temple but something that you can do anywhere, any time...just like prayer.

In this very moment, you are alive. So for goodness sake, make the most of it by falling in love with life!

In my new book, TRUST IN THE PROCESS...BELIEVE IN THE OUTCOME, I can help you learn how to fall in love with the life you are living, despite its imperfections. I can show you how to shift your mindset from seeking perfection, to seeking purpose.

Your life will never be picture-perfect, but it’s the only one you’ve got. So why not make it a masterpiece?

embrace the imperfections

make decisions that you can be proud of

be at peace with what is

let go of things that are clearly out of your control

connect to your senses and truly experience what is going on around you

look for the wonder in ordinary things

slow down and enjoy life

get lost in the flow of the immediate task

have an attitude of gratitude for everything and anything

find the good in all things

engage in what is happening right now

...and most importantly,

never stop believing that you can fall back in love with the life you are living.

Page by page, together we will explore what trusting in this process actually truly know that there is a divine plan moving through you and through your life at any given moment, and how the most important attribute you will ever develop is believing fully and unequivocally in the outcome.

Thank you for staying with me to the end. See ya next month!


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2 commenti

03 giu

Before reading your blog this morning, I was feeling quite overwhelmed. At 86, we're remodeling our kitchen for the first time since we moved in here in 1969 and the thoughts of all the decisions, appointments with contractors, stone masons, etc - not to mention the fact that the current 54 year old kitchen cabinets have to be completely emptied of all their "mostly" 54 year old contents - is rather overwhelming. This morning, I took my coffee out on the deck along with my phone - but I got distracted by the gentle breeze that was wafting through the trees, the hummingbird at the feeder, the sound of cheerful birdsong and then shook my head and said to myse…

Mi piace
Giacomino Nicolazzo
Giacomino Nicolazzo
03 giu
Risposta a

You are perfecting the art of paying attention. Good, good, good for you my dear friend!

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