I think at this point in my life I’m focused on the present in ways I wasn’t able to before. I meditate and have a mindfulness practice. This has helped clear away much mental clutter. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about the past and the present much of the time. I seriously do. ALL THE TIME!
I have a nostalgic and romantic streak so I like to think back about the pleasant experiences of childhood – like family picnics and adventures in nature with friends. I like to tap into the excitement and infatuations of adolescence and my early 20s – like discovering interesting pieces of world knowledge and figuring out my sense of self and values. I also look back with a sense of regret though when I catch myself doing this I change things up. I bring loving kindness to the younger version of myself. This is a very healing practice and I’m so glad I discovered it.
As for the future, I do worry. I’m 45 years old. I’m about half way through my life – if accidents or illness doesn’t strike. I want my future to be filled with connection and purpose. I fear poverty and poor quality of life. I want to live with a sense of stability and security. I want to be well.
I also like to dream about the future. To ponder about what it will look like. These dreams can easily turn into post-apocalyptic nightmares so I need to step back and remember that I can only control my own actions and the more I focus on my Core Desired Feelings and acting accordingly the more resilient I will be regardless of what the future holds.
And this brings me back to the present moment (by way of the past). I’m reminded of my favourite yoga pose – Warrior 2. A yoga teacher I had some 15 years ago would describe the position as having us being planted firmly in the present with one arm stretching back to the past and the other stretching towards the future. This pose has become one of the keys to my sanity.
The more I action I take – mental, emotional and physical – to ground myself in the present moment the more I feel content with each breath and step I take towards to the future and the past are but gentle reminders of personal evolution and growth.