“I’ve got nowhere to be and nothing to do.” This is a sort of mantra a dear friend of mine and I used to say often. There is nothing more destructive to relationships and quality of life than entertaining worry or fear about where you should be or what you should be doing. The issue is that if you are thinking about “where and what”, you are consequently not living in the “here and now”. If you feel this is a small or trivial matter then you are more deeply immersed in a lifestyle and mentality of fear and stress then you think. Living in the moment is something one must be consistently aware of; indeed, by definition living in the moment requires a state of conscious awareness of the present that few walk in (this kind of conscious living even seems to be discouraged in western society).
Breathe deep three times. In through you nose…. out through your mouth. Lifting them slowly, look at your hands, right now, and as you do feel a sense of peace move through your body, beginning in your chest. Take another breath and be aware of any smells you may have missed. Is the air cool on your skin? Are you hot, tired, alert? How does your physical body feel? Now, take one more deep breath and smile slightly. How do you feel in your spirit, heart, and emotions? We just took one moment to be aware. Did you notice that when you were taking those breaths and feeling peace, you were not worried about your job, finances, family, or anything else? You weren’t afraid of the future, regretting the past, or wondering what else you should be doing. You were present. Do that exercise one more time from the beginning right now, this time with your eyes closed.
This was a very basic exercise that helped you pay attention to the here and now for a few seconds, but this can be a way of life. Through practice and habit we can begin to live a life that is not absent in thought and action but one in which we are fully engaged in the moment we are experiencing. It doesn’t matter what you are doing. Whether working, talking with our spouse, hiking, riding in a cab, or sharing a meal at a restaurant with friends, to be more present is to be more alive and less inclined to fear or stress.
“I’ve got nowhere to go and nothing to do” is not about actually doing nothing, but is a way of thinking meant to encourage our heart and mind to rest and enjoy wherever we are and whatever it is we are doing. Life is short. To dwell on yesterday or dream about tomorrow is a mistake for it is here and it is now that your life is happening. Love and joy happen now. Peace is experienced now. Hope and excitement don’t exist outside of Now. Let us endeavor to live in an Eternal Now, where we have no time to spend on worry about the future or shame about the past because we are too busy being mindfully engaged in wherever we are and with whatever we are doing. If you are longing for Heaven, this moment, right now, is where you will find it.
Today is going to be a wonder-filled day. Peace to you.