The barriers to Being in the Now



Whether the coronavirus is actively affecting our lives or not, uncertainty is what is guiding the large majority of our decisions. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are guided by underlying questions such as: 

  • Am I really doing the best I could be doing? Isn’t there something more interesting or exciting waiting to be discovered?
  • What would me being the best version of myself look like? 
  • Should I be doing something now that I’m not doing? 

It is this uncertainty about the future, about how much (or how little) we know about the opportunities that exist, and about our own sense of lack and not being good enough, that drive a lot of our actions and behaviour. Maybe we break up with our current partner because we think someone else will fulfil us to a deeper extent. Maybe we quit our current job for a more interesting and better paid one. Maybe we self-sabotage because of the amount of anxiety that is felt. 


All of these behaviours point to the escape from the Now, to the desire to not be present. Somehow, what is here now is not good enough. The level of fulfilment experienced is not optimal. There is always the possibility for more, and an insatiable hunger is the result. So, we go looking for more. Some of us acquire more things, others don’t. The important thing is that all keep looking - those who acquire more want even more, while those who don’t feel like they won’t be satisfied until they do, or seek happiness in the letting go of material possessions or by living away from society for some time. 


The above is based on a belief that the material world can satisfy you. A partner can give you happiness and love. A job can give you security. A big house can give you a sense of being worthy. Not having much can give you freedom. 


The problem is, it doesn’t work that way - and that’s why all types of people mentioned above keep looking. 


Love, safety, worthiness - they are already here. The only reason for not experiencing them directly is the layers of unchallenged beliefs you hold about yourself that take you away from the Now. The belief that you can do more or better. The belief that you can become a better version of yourself. The belief that you can and should be doing something different. 


What’s beautiful is that you don’t even need to let go of those barriers to experience the peace and happiness that I am talking about, since the Now is what pervades them. 


Once you get a glimpse of true happiness, your thoughts and feelings will take you away again. But soon enough, you will be able to be with what is. Mindfulness practices help with this. You catch brief glimpses of a peace that is not determined by circumstances, and is always available. That peace is what you, and everyone else, has been looking for all along. 


Then, you begin to question the beliefs you hold about yourself. Are you in the mind? Are you in the body? Who are you, really? 


Continuing this exploration leads to the understanding that the past and the future are concepts in the mind, and not even the present moment is the destination. You find timelessness, that within which time and space (a.k.a. the present moment) appear. And, knowing your Self as that, you are peace itself. Your nature is to allow all things to be exactly as they are, without having any agenda for change. 


That, my friend, is a journey that I invite you on. It is the only way to lasting peace and happiness. 


Read more about the importance of speaking only the Ultimate Truth