You Have The Right To Remain Present

Life is truly a remarkable thing! It is easy to take for granted outside of special events we refer to as a "wake-up call."

What if every day contained a wake-up call? How would it shape our way of existing?

There is a beautiful invitation always before us to embrace the present moment. Somehow, in spite of that, we humans can easily find ourselves wrapped up more in what’s coming next than what is now in our grasp. Making plans for the future is wise, but dwelling always in them at the expense of here and now has come at a price.

We’ve all heard this quote:

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.
— Bil Keane

Sure, it is a gift. Yes. I want to be very clear about this, though: The present is also a necessity. It is everything to us in this moment. It is our birthright! And yet time and time again, we let the gods of productivity and performance steal it away, along with our joy and peace.

A constant state of urgency as a way of living means we will always be reaching and sacrificing for a yet to be realized goal. The future is a horizon that moves out before us as we take each forward step. To live as though it were all that mattered is a common foil, and the source of much heartache.

As an Enneagram Type 7, this happens to me a lot. I struggle to make peace with the present because I need to know exactly what’s required of me in this moment in order to ensure that my future is as pain-free as possible. Not only that, but my future actually needs to be pretty glorious: full of adventure, excitement, experience. Not a day goes by that I’m not worrying about whether any of my dreams are going to be realized. As a result, I push myself daily, hoping that if I just do far more than enough today it will speed up the timeline of dreams coming true.

The information available for the future is derived from information and experience in the past, and because life has had so few moments of ease, worries abound. Taking time for creative presence can often feel like cheating, as though we are borrowing from our futures to pay for a temporary relief.

Who wants to live that way? And yet, I do. I often do. I do it so well I don’t even think about it most of the time. It’s The Way Things Are.

It needs to change. I have never been more certain in all my years that the time for change is now, and it starts right here in this moment, in this choice: The choice to love my life. Not the idea of my life, but my real, actual presence; to love the me I am today, in place, time, body and energy. It would be a huge error to call that cheating, when in fact the opposite is true. In order to enjoy whatever future comes my way, I'm going to have to take care of myself now.

Will you join me in this endeavor? I have never been good at waiting, so I'm going to need your help and I would love to lend you mine. We can do this hard thing together.

What is one thing you can do today to engage wholly in the present? (Pro-Tip from an overachiever: Choose something that doesn’t feel like hard work!) Let's learn from our collective wisdom.

May your life be beautiful today!



Jamie Bagley