Written by Lydia Singleton
This joyful moment
By Lydia Singleton
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have. Make the now the primary focus of your life.” —Eckhart Tolle
When I look back upon my life until now I am able to see my many selves. I can see the unfolding of my path. It’s tempting to decide that where and who I am today were determined by the big questions: Where will I live? Will I marry this person? Will I have children? Will I take this job? Yet all of these big moment decisions came to being through the everyday, moment-to-moment ones. The little calls made in the course of living each day. We tend to brush aside the majority of our moments as inconsequential and yet it’s the moves we make in every moment that make up the content of our lives. Day by day, moment by moment, choice by choice, we are unfolding. We are creating the story of our life.
What if we really understood and embraced the truth that our point of power is always this moment? That the past has no power over us unless we choose to focus on it right now and that the future never really comes, for when it arrives it is always only NOW. What if we knew this moment is all there really is and that right now I have the freedom to choose again?
The reality is that the only reason anybody wants anything is that they think they will be happier when they get it. Once we get that thing — that job, that partner, that house, that car we’ve been wanting — the happiness lasts only a short while. Our discomfort returns eventually and we choose something else that will make us happy when we get it. This never-ending cycle makes our happiness only available to us in some future moment and in turn makes the moment we’re living now just a means to an end. We completely miss out on the life we have because we are working toward the life we think we want. When we really look we can see that what we really want is not some new thing or new circumstance. What we want is abiding happiness and joy and those are never found anywhere but in this moment.
We have the capacity to truly live in and fully occupy each moment of our lives. In this our treasure lies. To fully occupy the present moment we must train ourselves to focus our energy and attention to what is directly before us. We can invite this way of being in by intentionally building in pauses to our streams of thoughts and feelings. These pauses are as simple as taking intentional, conscious breaths. We take a breath focusing on the stream of air as it fills the abdomen and then is expelled. Just a breath to bring our awareness to this powerful moment, it’s that easy. It is so simple our complicated minds can’t grasp the importance of it. The breath is always with us and carries with it the power to bring us fully into our lives. When our attention and energy are fully focused on each moment, we accomplish great things and experience great joy. Our moments become beautiful. Our lives become beautiful and that is what we deserve.
Lydia Singleton is the Spiritual Leader/Director for Unity of Appleton - A Community for Spiritual Growth located at 1366 Appleton Road, Menasha. Sunday service weekly at 10 a.m.