“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present.”
– Joan Rivers
I know someone that is obsessed with the past. At times, they are so wrapped up in it that they miss opportunities in the present. Mindfulness is about bringing our minds into the same timeframe as our bodies. Our bodies are ALWAYS in the present. They can’t be in multiple times simultaneously. Our mind, however, can be stuck in the past, the present, or the future. It is only when we bring our minds into contact with our bodies that we have the power to act skillfully.
When our minds are stuck in the future, we are most often worrying. I am not talking about the process of planning for the future and then executing your plan. That is healthy – looking forward to plan, then coming back to the present to act. What I am talking about is the constant fretting that circumstances that have not even come into existence yet might affect us.
When our minds are stuck in the past, we are most often depressed. I am not talking about the process of applying past learning to present events. That is healthy. What I am talking about is the constant dwelling on past accomplishments or disappointments so that either we are disappointed at our inability to reproduce the good in our past or angry that bad things happened to us.
Here is the key, though: none of that exists in the present. The present, when our minds and our bodies are united there, is the only place we can ever accomplish anything. It’s also the only place to work on becoming what we want to be. This is the arena where Life Coaches work. When we say that we are not therapists, one of the corollaries to this is that we do not work in the past or the future with our clients. We help them work in the present, or at “worst” we help the client plan the future, THEN help them work in the present. Ultimately, happiness and joy cannot be experienced in the future, and they cannot be found in the past. They can only be cultivated in the present. If you need some idea where to start:
– Josh Walles
The Mindful Life Coach