No doubt you'll have come across countless articles, books, and Facebook posts that talk of the great gift of the present. So over-saturated is this topic that I felt there was little point in writing, but Buddha twisted my arm and urged that he may speak for himself.
So without further delay, I'll let Buddha have his say:
Many have spoken of the present and its gift to us, and while a number of them have embraced its power, there are still those who dwell in the illusion of past and future. They follow the counsel of their past, one who cannot adapt the the shifting shape of time. This false counsellor then advises the person on their future, offering an old map of lands now changed. Some blindly follow to discover the old ways won't work in the here and now. How many elders have been locked rigidly in a set way, one that served them years before?
The truth is that if we can understand every aspect of the present, we can make ourselves more fluid. We can shift shape to match the time itself, ensuring there is no place we cannot fit. We become adaptable because our eyes are open. We open ourselves to greater detail and external understanding. If you are constantly shifting focus from past to present, much of the detail around you goes unseen. An answer to your troubles could stand beside you, yet you seek it in the wrong directions. That which could bring you joy goes unseen.
I have spoken already of the abundance you may receive from following your joys. Now, I ask you to apply it to present circumstances...Not your finances or career, but the world around you - as it is - right now...
What's in this space around you that makes you feel joyful? Be it something large or small, focus on it...are there any thoughts or feelings you have that could bring you joy?
Do your clothes bring it?
The seat you may be sat upon?
The sensation of breath entering and exiting your lungs?
Do you notice how good it can make you feel?
Can you allow yourself to relax right now?
Does relaxation bring you joy?
Or... would you rather feel excitement at the possibilities open to you...believe it or not, but you can make a decision to do something great today. The potential opportunities are there! Liberate yourself! Do something NOW that you normally wouldn't!
(even if that means closing this article and doing something this instant! You can always come back to it later!)
Whatever it may be, know that you are allowed to do it. The universe will not stop you! Only your own fear, which is another illusion the past gave to you.
That isn't to say that joy cannot be found using the past. However, it's wise to use it only as an indication that something can - or has - brought you joy. Does the past say something to you that seems wiser than usual? If it makes you feel GOOD inside, then you can trust it.
The same applies to the future. If something indicates joy and makes you feel good, then its a good idea to follow it.
However, know that the force holding the two together IS the present. Past and future may only indicate and guide, whereas the present can create. A future hope is not enough without present action. A past issue cannot intervene with your life without the permission of the present. Both are illusions you have created for yourself. Both can be made to serve the present, and rightfully should! They owe it to their existence!
Many others have spoken of the present, and this is good. I am one more among a sea of great voices, yet I add one important note. The past and present shouldn't necessarily be ignored, nor should they overpower. They should be considered as advisers, and their counsel may be accepted or denied based on what you feel will bring joy.
Until next time, blessings of joy upon you :-D