Living In Now

It seems to me for many of us living in right here, right now is one of the greatest challenges we all face given our conditioning.  For most of us who have been brought up in western culture we think in lineal terms of past, present and future.  We think in terms of what has been, what is next, where we are going, what we want to achieve and many of us like to make plans, be organised and know what we will be doing from one moment, one hour, one day, one week to the next.  All of which really just becomes a story we tell ourselves we become attached to and often re-act to, if it doesn’t go according to our little plan or story we are creating around it all.

My mum, bless her, was the Queen of Organisation as I was growing up.  She had to be as she worked and also ran a home consisting of herself and five other people.  We all had our set jobs and times/days when they were to occur.  Her week was mapped out and ours with it, so I was brought up in a very well organised environment where we always knew what we were doing from one minute to the next, generally speaking.  Being organised and knowing what I would be doing, whilst many curved balls occurred, was rather comfortable.  I grew to see the more organised I was, the less stressed I became when I myself became a mother.  This flowed into my work and whilst I am not as rigid as my mother felt she needed to be, her influence couldn’t but help rub off on me.

Working in the legal industry for nearly three decades also reinforced my organisational skills.    For many years I too made plans and was set in an automatic daily rhythm, which gradually turned into a rut, ultimately boring me silly and sapping me of excitement and joy for life.  I also began to see that organisation, whilst it alleviated stress and helped me achieve goals, when it was out of balance and too rigid, was a form of needing to control.

As I started to become more aware and more conscious of time not really existing, of all time being now and of there only truly being one time anything can occur, that being the right time, life became easier, disappointment and emotional re-actions became less as I learned not to expect anything and I began to experience detachment to ever so much.

Less plans were made and I moved from what many of us term “going with the flow” to becoming one with the flow of life.  I became less attached to things, to people and to outcomes, more open to spontaneity and realised the most I could ever have in terms of plans in place was a very basic skeletal plan for one day at a time, no longer for a whole week and certainly not as is often asked in job interviews – where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years time?    How can we honestly even know that?  That we put pressure on ourselves and our children with a question such as that or one like – What do you want to be/do when you grow up – is so very indicative of our cultural conditioning and it is conditioning which so very often robs us of the moment of now, along with the infinite possibilities that exist, by becoming set on a fixed direction or plan for not only our day but also our lives and anything in our lives we are wanting to achieve.  I learned the hard way that plans NEVER go according to plan.

As I moved more and more consciously into the moment of now, anything that didn’t feel right to do or wasn’t working I would let slide and move onto whatever was next for it seemed and still seems senseless to me to get myself all stressed, frustrated etc., if I am wanting to do something and everything around that thing is just not working.  I began to see how very stressed and distressed folk often become if things don’t go according to their plan and how the expectation of their plan manifesting leads to major disappointment and sometimes even angst which creates barriers to come up with other folk in their lives.  I also began to see that if something isn’t working as we want it to, it just means something else needs to fall in place which will make it even better than we thought it would be.  Until all the pieces of any puzzle are in place and until energy matches up the time is just not right for whatever to manifest in the physical.  Often too if we want to do something and it just isn’t happening, we are actually being protected.

I “thought” I had “got” this whole it’s okay to have a skeletal plan and to just be one with the flow of life, being fully present in each moment without any thought of what was next, to do list and calendar in place so I wouldn’t forget anything important which needed to be done, as it all seemed to be working just fine and dandy, until this week.

I was in a situation where communication hadn’t happened effectively and I didn’t know what it was I was “supposed” to be doing next.  I started re-acting as I’d been told one thing, which suddenly changed and now I was floundering and getting frustrated.  I was also totally confused.  This lack of organisation wasn’t sitting well with me and I could feel myself starting to get really annoyed as my head told the story of how it would be so much better if communication had of been clear from the outset which would have alleviated my thinking I was doing this thing, then suddenly I was doing something entirely different, that I wasn’t really expecting or prepared for.   It was all pushing me out of my own little comfort zone, what little there is left of it.

Along came the wisdom of another and the lesson they were giving me.  Seriously what did it really matter what I was doing next?  Just because I “thought” I was going to be doing one thing which then changed and I was clueless and confused, who was really creating that confusion?  The person who had not as far as I was concerned communicated effectively?  Or me for having a story in my head of what I thought I would be doing next, which was pushing me into future, into an emotional re-action and out of being fully present in the moment?

I couldn’t help but laugh at the simplicity of the wisdom, the lesson or the very effective way in which this other person had actually taught me this lesson of all that is truly needed by any of us, is to just show up, do whatever is needed in the moment and truly enjoy each and every moment of now without any thought of what is next.


Cheers, Cheryl.

© Cheryl O’Connor 2015.


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