“For unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for a future which you will never be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond. You will never, never be able to sit back with full contentment and say, ‘Now, I’ve arrived!’ Your entire education has deprived you of this capacity because it was preparing you for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now.”
“Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.” – Alan Watts
Alan Watts was a British philosopher who interpreted Eastern thought for a Western world. He died in 1973. Wisdom certainly does stand the test of time.
It’s Spring here where I live in the mountains of western North Carolina. The migrating birds are coming back. There is an ongoing party of birds at the feeders outside my office window pretty much any time of the day. They are hungry this time of year. Hungry for life. Time to mate, build nests and raise their young.
The daffodils and other early Spring flowers and trees are blooming. Sure signs the dark of Winter has cycled off for another year and the warmth and light of Spring is here again. It amazes me how well animals and plants in the natural world have adapted to their lives. They naturally live in the now. This day, this sunshine.
How much of our time do we spend in the past and the future and how little time do we spend right here, right now? Real life, this moment, sort of slips right on by most of the time without us even being present. The reason I think is that most of us are not living in a now that makes our heart’s sing. We don’t want to be “here.” We do the responsible thing. Balancing head and heart, desire and responsibility is a lifelong challenge. In our society all too often the yearning of our heart is relegated to the future. I’ll be happy and do what I truly want – someday. We lose balance today.
Consider practicing living life just like you listen to music. Tune into a “song” that makes your heart sing. Gardening, time by the ocean, walking in the woods, creating, talking with a child, playing catch with your dog, enjoying friends, feeling the sun on your face, your own personal favorites! Learn how to be alive now and listen to your heart in this moment.