November 7, 2012

The Struggle to Stay Present

I've written about the importance of "living in the present" before; and I'm sorry to tell you that neither that post - nor this one - is filled with particularly groundbreaking information.  (What can I say? I'm no Eckhart Tolle or Swami Satchidananda.)  Regardless, recently I've really been struggling with the idea of embracing the present moment.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I feel like I am living right on the periphery of life-altering change.  


It's as if I am standing at the edge of the cliff, and I know that I have to jump.
I also know that I will land safely.
But the moment right before I leap... I'm standing and looking over the cliff... utterly terrifying.
The result is that I want to be anywhere, anywhere but there, on that cliff.
I just want to have jumped already.
I want to have already landed safely.
I want to skip over the actual act of jumping...
...the free fall...
...the terror of transitioning from one place of stability to another.

As Bo and Lola and I finish up our last few weeks here in Jacksonville, FL, I feel the tides of change swirling around me.  And even though I feel that change coming, and I KNOW it is coming, it is also really crazy to think that everything from where we live, to who our friends are, to where we grocery shop, is about to change.

And this change is different in so many more ways than ever before.

I have never lived in the Pacific Time Zone before.
We will have real winters.
I will work...somewhere I'm sure...but, as of yet, I have no idea where.
We will live in the same house for three years.
I won't be this close to my family again for a long time.
God willing, we will start a family in this new home.


For all of these reasons and more, I am having a hard time staying present, living in the here and the now, and embracing today.  I catch myself rushing ahead, wanting to skip over this time of "goodbye," and I find myself wanting to hurry through this time of transition just so that I can feel "settled" again.

I'm not sure, but maybe our best growth happens during times of transition.  Maybe personal growth requires you to feel a little unstable.  Maybe, when I am at my most uncomfortable, I have no other option than to "let go" and just "let it be."  And perhaps the greatest gift of all is learning that when I "let go" and just "let it be," happiness and joy are still mine.


Maybe it's all as Swami Satchidananda has said:
[Life] is all just a carnival.  We meet people and sit with them on a carousel for a while.  Your neighbor might be sitting on a tiger, you might be sitting on a horse.  You say, "Hey, hello," and go around in a circle.  When the ride is over you get down, but he may continue.  Or he may get down and go somewhere else.  Just think of the whole [life] as a carnival." (Source)
Yes, life it just a carnival.
Get on.
Get off.
Get on.
Get off.
Be happy.
Be joyful.

Question of the Day:

How do you stay present when things are about to change?  Any and ALL suggestions are welcome in the "Comment" section below!

Ally and Bo


  1. With Peepaw's favorite quote...."This too shall pass"...Breath!!

    1. What a wonderful quote. I tend to forget it, but it is so true. Everything - truly EVERYTHING - really does pass with time.

  2. Even though I am in the ashram in one of the most "present" places, I find my mind wandering to the future as well. I am wondering where I will teach and daydreaming about making a meditation setups. To stay present: read lots of quotes about the present!

    1. SO true, Paige. Even when our surroundings work to our advantage, our minds still struggle to race ahead to the future. Reading Gurudev's "The Golden Present" always helps me!