The Present In My Present
It will probably sound a little odd when I say I am sitting at my computer to write this blog entry so I can get really cold but that is my goal.
It is winter here in Australia and that means it is cold. I just got home from work so I have been outside in the cold but I pottered around when I got home and I warmed up a bit. Now I want to get cold again. I want to get so cold I will shiver. The flat is cold as I have not been home to have the heating on but my electric blanket is on and my bed is hot.
I know if I sit at the computer for long enough the lack of movement will cause me to get colder and colder and I will begin to shiver. Once I am cold enough I plan to hop into that hot bed and wallow in the physical pleasure of feeling my cold flesh be enveloped in hot blankets!
For most of my life I thought to be happy I had to achieve things or get things or go some place or find someone or something. For most of my life happiness was, therefore, off in some future time and never in the here and now.
I didn’t pay attention to the here and now. My mind was always on the past or future so I spent most of my life missing out on my present.
It is no coincidence that one word for this moment in time is the same as one of the words we use to describe a gift – “present”.
Most of the time, if I focus on the moment in which I find myself, everything is really all right! Right here, right now, I am physically safe. Right here, right now, my needs are met. I am not hungry, thirsty, too hot, naked, in danger, unwell or in need of anything at all except some warmth.
It is night time. There is nothing I can do about any bills or problems I may have so there is nothing I need to do right now except fix the problem of being too cold.
I have a choice. I can worry about the things that are wrong in my life, like the fact that my car is making a horrid squealing noise and stalling all the time, or I can focus on the one problem I have that I can do something about now.
I can’t do anything about the car right now. Even if I had the money to do something there is no garage open to book it into so there is no point thinking about it right now. I got home. I will get to work tomorrow somehow and why ruin tonight worrying about a car failure that may not, probably will not in fact, happen? Why not focus, instead, on getting warm?
Right here, right now, I can experience something that will make me really happy.
I absolutely adore climbing into a hot bed when I am cold. The colder I am the more I love the experience. I am sitting at this computer to ensure that, when I get into bed, it will be as pleasurable an experience as I can possibly make it.
I am focusing on my body. I am making sure I really feel the cold. I’m noticing how cold my fingertips are getting as they bounce around the keyboard. I’m feeling the cold seep into my arms, legs, feet and back. I am savoring the discomfort in anticipation of how good it is going to feel when I get into that bed. By the time I get this entry online I am going to be frozen – I’m not far off it now!
When I get into the bed I will focus on my body again and notice how exquisite it feels to have my whole body surrounded by heat at the same time. I will snuggle up to the warmth and give thanks to God that I own an electric blanket and it is working so well tonight.
When I focus on the here and now, this moment, I often find there is a gift – a present in my present – something that can make me really happy if I take the time to notice and enjoy it. Tonight, in just a few short minutes, I’m going to make the most of my present and take real happiness from it now rather than wait for the future to be happy.