One of the most popular spiritual sayings is “Be here now,” by Ram Dass. As simple as that quote is, it has been interpreted many ways, depending on what it means to you. For me, it means to be in the present moment with awareness, but for someone else, it could mean that “be here now” is being anywhere but here. If you feel that way, I’d have to ask, “Where are you?”
There is a tendency for the mind to wander, and often times we focus on either what happened in the past, or what “might” happen in the future, and being in the very moment we are in, doesn’t get our full attention. We can view the present moment as not good or interesting enough, and let our mind wander to places we think are more stimulating or exciting. But if we get into the habit of doing that, then we are always going to be longing for another moment than the one we are in to satisfy us, and that’s when boredom and frustration can set in. We must train our mind to be satisfied with what exists in the moment we are in, and the more of ourselves we bring to that moment, the more we will get out of it, and the more satisfying it can be.
A good way to find out if we’re anywhere but “here” — the present moment of our lives, is to ask ourselves “Where am I?” — especially if we find ourselves thinking about other things more than thinking about what’s happening in that moment.
If you find that your mind wanders when you’re in the present moment, ask yourself these questions to find out why:
1. Am I unsatisfied?
2. Am I bored?
3. Am I unhappy?
4. Am I frustrated?
5. Am I lonely?
6. Am I burdened?
7. Am I sad?
8. Am I restless?
9. Am I anxious?
10. Am I disheartened?
If your answer is “yes” to any of those questions, ask yourself, “Where would I be happier than in this moment?” and if you feel in your heart that there’s somewhere better to be than the moment you’re in, then ask yourself, “Is this moment truly not good enough?”
By being in the present moment, we may find out that it genuinely isn’t where we want to be, and perhaps need to change a situation that we’re in. But if we find ourselves out of the present moments more often than being present in them, it might not have anything to do with a particular situation, but that our expectations are interfering with the moments we’re in, and diminishing the quality of them, therefore making them constantly not good enough.
If that’s the case, ask yourself what’s better than being fully alive in the moment you’re in? If you view each of the moments of your life as a blessing, you might find yourself feeling more expansive and abundant, and want to stay exactly where you are, and nowhere else. “Be here now” is exactly where you’ll want to be, and no other moment will be able to steal you away from it.
Ora Nadrich is founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of "Says Who? How One Simple Question Can Change the Way You Think Forever". A certified life coach and mindfulness teacher, she specializes in transformational thinking, self-discovery, and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers. Contact her at theiftt.org.