Spiritual wisdom emphasizes “now” as being the only time we really have. Plagued by memories of the past, or haunted by worries of the future, I have let now slip by unlived.
What ‘s supported me living in the now? Taking an unflinching look at how I’ve shown up in the past – often in reaction to people, places and things – fueled by fear, pride and resentment. Owning my past mistakes and then making active amends. Cleaning it up – and being wiling to let go of the behavior, and the thoughts fueling it, that got me into the messes in the first place.
The spiritual process is one of humility, recognizing I’m not the center of the universe, as my ego believes (and yet I am the center of the universe, as I am responsible for all I see) – a paradox I’m only now beginning to hold. Meditation, prayer, daily attention to where my ego crops up, sharing it with another, if needed, and shifting my intention to service for others allows me to stay free of the bondage of the ego that wants it all now, on my terms, no matter what.
I am creating my future by how I’m living my “now”.
Where does organization come in to this discussion? “Time management” is often identified as an issue of disorganization. And yes, there are multiple factors that contribute to an experience of difficulty around managing time. ADD and other brain-based conditions affecting the executive functioning of the brain are real challenges that need their own attention and strategies for success. There are skills involved in tracking and juggling one’s multiple commitments. But I would dare to say, there might be another place to start, when looking at “unmanageability” of time.
Recognizing unmanagability is the first step in a spiritual program of recovery from an addiction. What gets looked at is the unmanagability of what lies in the space from ear to ear. I had a teacher tell me I’d never get to where I want to go on my life’s journey if I don’t learn to meditate. She said, “the mind is a pig”, meaning it consumes; it never ceases its endless reactions, comments, good ideas, complaints, desires, distractions. Living out of integrity, as addiction will have us do, fuels the minds barrage – often competing instincts for survival and destruction create heavy storms in the head – a cacophony of fighting impulses and confusion.
Unchecked, my mind took me to some scary detours and lousy ruts in the road. The more I’ve “cleaned up” my past, the more free space has opened up in my mind, the easier it’s been to hear what I really want, the more able I’ve been able to live from intention, with integrity, able to honor my word and keep my commitments…which allows me to sleep at night, and keeps my “now” feeling peaceful, right-sized and “uncluttered”. Meditation allows me to dip into the reality of timelessness underneath all. There is a deep well of unalterable peace I can draw from in all my moments. Rooted in that awareness, I detatch from my minds demands and am free to simply experience my experience, choose my intention and course of action, trusting all is well.
Today does not feel so frantic, becuase I’m not battling the demons of the past or the imagined catastrophes of the future. I’m just doing what I’m doing “now.” And with that freedom, “now” contains all that is, and is all the time I could ever want.