By Gregg Sanderson
Gurus from time immemorial tell us to “Be Here Now.” What the heck does that mean? It reminds me of the advice columnist who tells the guy with pimples, “Develop your personality.”
By itself, it’s pretty useless advice. Let’s approach “Be Here Now” from a different angle. Let’s practice being “here now” by getting rid of the stuff that puts us “there then.”
And that brings us to the fourth pathway: “I always remember that I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now, unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.”
Start where you are…At this place (here) at this time (now). At this moment, what can keep you from enjoying it? Perhaps you’re enjoying it too much (guilt from past) or concerned about punishment (worry over the future). Maybe you miss somebody who left (past) or wishing they’d come back (future). Either way, they’re not here.
Woosh! There goes the moment. Look around while you have all that mental chatter going on. What are you missing right here and right now?
Living in the here and now is like going to Disney World. The whole world is Disney… UNLESS you focus on what you left behind, or on what’s yet to come.
Disney World itself is called “The Happiest Place on Earth” because it’s a here and now experience. It’s a world of here and now wonder—from the meticulously detailed rides and attractions to the spontaneous interactions with characters, other visitors, and cast. They make it easy to focus on each moment as it happens.
Nobody ever worries about their rent coming due while riding the coaster on Space Mountain, and when that thought does come up at the ticket office—it’s a signal to apply the fourth pathway.
Of course, planning for the future, near or far, is a perfectly valid activity. The problem comes when being happy is part of the plan. Beware if it includes a “justassoonas,” such as, “I’ll enjoy Disney World justassoonas the fireworks start.”
Or in life: “I’ll be happy justassoonas…(choose one or more)
- …I make enough money.
- …I get married.
- …I dump this loser.
- …I retire.
- …I reincarnate into a better life.
Well, you get the idea.
We get a lot of encouragement to escape the moment, and it takes vigilance to guard against the subtle input. I remember a conversation with a fellow who joined an organization because they had a great retirement plan. He was 26.
TV commercials and insurance companies assure us that disaster is inevitable, and churches tell us it’s hopeless anyhow because somebody we don’t know is reported to have eaten an apple a long, long time ago. Happily, there’s an easy way to neutralize all that input:
Look around and find something to appreciate or be grateful for.
SHAZAM, you’re in the moment. Guilt and worry can’t coexist with appreciation and gratitude.
And if all else fails, go back to step 1:
“I always remember that I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now, unless…”
Gregg Sanderson, one of our long-time contributors, passed to spirit in September 2021, and we are continuing the 12 Pathways Series in his honor. He also authored Spirit with a Smile and The World According to BOB. During his life, he was a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books include What Ever Happened to Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing the Pain of Divorce.