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  • Michaela Patel


Do you often think about what happened yesterday, or what someone said to you few days ago? Do you worry about what will be tomorrow?

What if I told you that whenever you THINK of something, you stop being?

Consider this: When we are thinking our minds focuses on its story. And if our lungs didn’t take automatic breaths for us we would have stopped receiving air and die as when we we are caught up in thinking we have little awareness of our body. When we think of something which happened yesterday, or might happen tomorrow, we focus our attention AWAY from US - away from where we are, away from what we are doing at that moment, away from who we are - from Life itself!

You may argue that what happened yesterday may be very important to you, or that you need to prepare yourself for tomorrow. Before you indulge in these thoughts please open your mind to a different view about our reality and the PERCEPTION OF TIME.

For the purpose of this EXERCISE please put aside what you 'know' about time. Perhaps forget that time exists for a moment. Yes, imagine that your whole life has condensed into THIS moment. This moment right now. That this is all you’ve got to feel alive. That if you loose it, you lost your chance to BE, to exist. So please give it your best shot - don’t cheat yourself!

Ready? Here we go....

Become actively present by OBSERVING and feeling your breathing at first....

Your chest moving up and down….as you focus on your breathing it becomes less shallow....take a deep breath...

Feel for any tension in your shoulders….and relax them....

Feel your lungs filling up with air…. how good it feels to breathe oxygen?

Is your stomach full or empty?

Feel your arms from your shoulders down to the tips of your fingers….can you feel any tingling?

Feel your legs down to your knees…. and to the tips of your toes….

Observe how it feels to be INSIDE your body... can you sense the energy of each of your body cells, their aliveness?

It is only NOW that you are present.

This is how it feels to BE IN your body, instead of wondering in your mind. You are now grounded (anchored) in your Being. You ARE in the NOW. Only now you can say "I am alive".

Tell me, whilst being in your body, did you have any awareness of time? Let me guess. You did not.

And you could not because...

...the time is a construct of our minds. Only when we are in our minds, thinking of yesterday or tomorrow, both of which don’t actually exist (!), we are perceiving the existence of time. We are haunted by it, being the slaves of ticking clocks and missing on truly living. The expression ‘DEAD-line’ really speaks for itself.

Don’t get me wrong, there is some planning which needs to go into our lives for them to run smoothly, to have certain structure. Also there needs to be some reflection onto the past for us to learn from it. Admittedly however, VAST majority of our thinking is unproductive. Running on an endless loop, not leading to ANY action there and then, to motion, contributing to our feeling of being stuck, haunted by depression and anxiety. We cannot do anything about yesterday or tomorrow. We can only make changes RIGHT NOW. Thinking about change won't actually change anything, only DOING will. And that can only happen in the present moment with ease when we fully focus on WHAT we are doing.

Remember the last time you have caught yourself thinking about stuff for… God knows how long? Do you remeber taking any action as a result of those thoughts? Or were you just rewinding, forwarding, pausing that which no longer exists? The key to a fullfilling life is to learn re-directing our focus on what we truly choose to. Surely we all want to focus on things which bring us happiness?

As soon as we catch ourselves thinking and recognise that what we are focusing on isn’t of any use to us RIGHT NOW, we must then re-focus onto our body - away from our head, being fully present to the people we are connecting with. By doing so we won’t miss on life because right now is ALL there IS! Yesterday was just a present moment which doesnt exist anymore. Tomorrow is a present moment which doesnt exist yet. We only live IN-THE-NOW. We can make decisions in the now, things only happen in the now, and any actions we take exist in the now, only our mind perceives a succession of present moment experiences as time.

Next time you catch yourself thinking, observe what you give your attention to. If it is productive, or destructive. If it is supporting your existence, contributing to making you feel alive, or if you are making yourself suffer by getting caught in the illusion of time.

It takes practice to RE-TRAIN your mind to focus on the Now simply because most of your life you were anchored in the 'time dimension'. So please be patient, be kind with yourself. With practice, with realising how GOOD being anchored in the present moment feels, you will naturally seek more of that in your daily experiences.

Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.

Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel

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