I love Pixar films. The stories are good, the animation is great, and there are always a few life lessons. Here we have another quote from one such film: The Incredibles. If you haven’t seen it, the woman pictured here is the costume designer for the family depicted in the film, and her name is Edna Mode.
Many of today’s inspirational persons would agree with Edna’s statement. Their teachings focus on being present, being in the NOW. After all, can you change anything that has already happened or that will happen in the future?
As much as possible, I try to keep myself in the present, in the NOW. The past hasn’t been an issue for me. It has already happened, I accept that I can’t change that, and I move on. However, I admit that I do struggle with keeping myself out of the future. You see, I’m a planner, and I like to have control. It’s something I’ve been working hard on over the past few years. While I realize that I simply cannot control the outcomes, opportunities, or lessons that are yet to come, I have always gotten a sense of security by at least planning a possible, ideal scenario.
How wonderful would it be if we could all be utterly and completely focused on the present moment and ONLY the present moment? Instead of getting lost trying to sort out events that have previously occurred or events that are yet to come? The saying “easier said than done” comes to mind. You see, our minds are a complicated thing. Left to its’ own devices, it will wander and dwell and drive us nuts. In all honesty, being present isn’t really a hard task in itself, but it takes awareness. If you are chopping vegetables for dinner, focus on the vegetables, the motion of your knife moving up and down on the board. If you are doing the dishes, focus only on the dishes and appreciate that you have food to dirty the dishes that you are currently cleaning. If you are playing with your child, focus on your child, give him/her all of your undivided attention and love. If you are late for work, accept it and don’t be frustrated because frustration will not change the time on the clock. Be in the moment. Engross yourself in what you are doing.
I’m willing to go out on a limb in saying that I truly believe we would all be happier and healthier by adapting this one practice. We would certainly all be more calm, less stressed, and much more effective at the tasks at hand. There would be fewer accidents, less frustration, and less anger in the world.
And that sounds like a better world to be in.