How to really be in the present moment? Get radically self-honest and end the self-deception.
Let’s clarify, simplify and end the absurdity of complicating that which is profoundly simple; how to really be in the present moment.
- What is it, to be in the present moment, the way you really want to be in the present moment?
- What is it, to be authentically connected to right now?
- What is it, to be, without the anxious need to be what is not?
Sit with that for a second. Digest the simplicity of the three questions I just asked you. Don’t rush through this with the hopes of getting to a better moment to rest in. Rest. Here. Now. Receive the gift of what I’m sharing with you.
To be present, is to be here; fully. Yes? To be Authentically Connected to right now, is to be authentically connected to what is real and happening, right now. Yes? To really BE, is to REALLY BE what you are; right now. Yes?
Again, simply and directly. Any difficulty with being in the present moment, with being fully alive in the Life that’s actually happening, is because we are avoiding in some ways what these questions are pointing to.
If you CANNOT really be in the present moment, then you’re avoiding what you think is in the present moment. Which, and I say compassionately, is to not really see what is in the present moment.
If you are unable to be authentically connected to life, self and others, then you’re avoiding what life, self and others are showing you right now. They are showing you that what you think you want from the present moment isn’t in the present moment. This means you must rush away through an expression of fear (anxiety, stress, frustration, anger) and go find a different moment where you can grasp what it is you ‘think‘ you want.
If you really can’t BE what you are (what is), then you are avoiding your own confusion about what you are (what is), and frantically grasping for something more solid about yourself in the future.
For example, 45 minutes ago, I walked through an airport security check in Amsterdam and had my carry-on bag extensively checked and scanned three times. It was the most extensive bag check I’ve ever experienced at an airport.
In addition to this, I was relatively behind schedule and didn’t show up to the long line at the security check until 20 minutes before my flight started boarding. The line itself looked like it would take an hour to get through. However, I found a shortcut which positioned me closer to the front of the line.
Already exhausted, and sincerely just ready to go home, I find myself with a present moment that ‘looks like’ it jeopardizes what I want. Traditionally, this is where people start to have their fearful response, which might look like getting angry with the security screening process, or blaming someone else for delaying their arrival time to the airport, or hating themselves for creating such a ‘stressful’ situation.
See how fear arises, because we think that what’s happening in the present moment is threatening what we want? We begin to reject the moment, we begin to perceive blame so that it justifies the sadness and anger we feel within.
Proclaiming…”I can’t be in the present moment and rest right here because the present moment isn’t how it’s supposed to be. If the security check was different, then I could relax. If my past was different, then I could relax. If I didn’t feel what I was feeling, then I could relax.”
Yet, the common theme is…”relax.” In my experience, why was I so incredibly relaxed? Why was the moment absolutely perfect, regardless of the appearance of inconvenience, delay and potential loss of comfort? I’ll tell you why:
Nothing real was threatened. Can you see how the inability to rest with the present moment is because the mind feels so many things were being threatened? The larger the list, the more pronounced the unrest. See this.
Without getting into a ridiculously long list of imagined bullsh&t, can you see that it pretty much boils down to self-importance and judgment toward others? The idea that something or someone is in the way of what you think you need in order to have what you want.
In this example however, what was wanted, was to relax. Permission to relax was already there, however I couldn’t have both. I couldn’t have self-important judgments and be relaxed. I chose to relax, because it’s what I wanted more than to be seen as more important than someone else.
As it relates to choosing an imagined self-importance over the reality of the present moment, let me ask you sincerely… How’s that going? (with a compassionate and an oh-so-tiny dash of sarcasm).
You’re right; it’s not going. It’s stale, it’s lifeless, and it leads to a genuine desire to violently put an end to a sufferable and inauthentic non-present-moment life experience. You can’t rest, can’t relax, and can’t enjoy the obvious miracle that allows you to be here in this moment.
With a mind so full of arguments, judgments, future thoughts about past thoughts, thinking about thinking, wondering, hoping, doubting, etc, how the hell are you actually going to be here, in this moment, and Chill the F Out!?
How to really be in the Present Moment? See the Moment!
This all becomes so much more simple, when you begin to see that whatever it is you think is happening in the present moment, isn’t really happening in the present moment. This takes a depth of sincerity to acknowledge, however it’s also the most obvious of things.
You think the moment is happening to you, it’s not. This is the self-importance that ruins the fun and game of life’s playful nature. You think the problem is that something in the present moment is in the way and stops you from getting what you want. It’s not. This, again, is a delusional self-importance that shows up to a party and throws a tantrum because the party isn’t about them. It says: “Yay a party, oh wait… this isn’t about me, what can I do about that? Oh yeah, devalue others and put the focus on myself through complaining; then I’ll be important here!”
To really see the present moment, you’ll have to see beyond your imagined deficiency which tries to prove its worth and importance, and see that the present moment is actually working out quite well. In fact, so well, that you have full permission to relax – or authentically connect with yourself, others and all of life.
To be even more direct, if you suffer in any way, you are not seeing the truth and reality of the present moment. You are focused on something that only further separates you from what you want most. In this, the pain increases and we continue to be violently torn apart within what we are, from what we really are.
Let’s go even deeper than that and say that if you can’t rest in the truth of the present moment, it’s because you know there’s nothing in the present moment to support your imagined self-importance,. So rather than letting that nonsense go, you follow the mind’s insane (and I mean; INSANE) quest to find that self-importance in another moment. How’s that going?
It hurts, doesn’t it? GOOD! It’s supposed to. The more you move away from the truth of what you are, or the truth of the present moment, the more you’ll feel agitated, stressed, anxious, depressed, etc; all expressions of fear.
What is REALLY in the present moment?
Well, how bad do you want to find out? In order to find out, you’ll have to be still and know, even if the mind unapologetically shows you all the crap you run away from.
AND NO, I’m not talking about sitting with some spiritualized intention where you attempt to convince yourself all is well, with covertly self-righteous affirmations that are simply more thoughts for you to hide behind. This isn’t a story telling session where you comfort your self-image with more images of rainbows and pixie dust.
It’s to see what’s there, or here, in this moment beyond all the stories that are only projections from a mentally created version of yourself that clearly thinks it’s wellness is not in the present moment.
You’re only afraid of the mind’s content, because you think it’s about you. Like everything else that creates dis-ease, you take it personally and then reject it if it doesn’t match your conditions, or facilitates your hiding from what you really think about yourself.
I’m sorry, but not sorry. There’s no way around this. If you’d like, you can continue to pretend your way around this; you can keep playing a game of self-deception and lie to yourself about all the reasons you can’t fully enjoy your life. You’ll find little pockets of happiness here and there, however they will continue to show themselves as fleeting, as you constantly find yourself bumping into the reality of now which will keep stripping away the ways you hide from the present moment.
If you can see what is really in the present moment, beyond the mental commentary about what you only think is in the present moment, you will see that it has everything you could possibly desire. In this, you’ll never have to run away from the present moment ever again. However, again, you have to be the one willing to walk through the fire, in order to see that the fire can’t burn you.
It’s not really a choice
Well, you’ve got some options; two in fact. Yes, we can continue to keep this simple. We will even simplify it further, by telling you right now that the second option is a bullsh*t option, and if you choose it, you’re doomed to continue the experience of constantly hiding from the first option.
Why would you consciously choose a lie? Why would you trust in something you know isn’t really true? This is the monumental opportunity to align yourself with what is actually real, true and worthwhile. It doesn’t matter if you like it and it doesn’t matter if you want it, because the truth will always be the truth.
You MUST clarify within yourself the obvious yet challenging difference between what is real, and what is only imagined because we fear seeing ourselves. If you can do this, if you can open within yourself a real willingness to allow the truth to show itself, it will. Notice the ways you avoid this, avoiding the real only to deceive yourself. Do you really want to keep playing that game?
If you truly desire to be able to rest in the moment, the reality of now, this is the only way. The good news is, the truth in now will always be the truth in now. Once you see it clearly in this moment, you will see that forever it will be true in all other moments. THIS, you can trust in. This is eternal. Here, there’s nothing to anxiously think about, because that movement is only trying to balance self-deception.
Option 1: Radical Self-Honesty
There’s a great emptying out, waiting to emerge. Where you see that you have no other option, because the only thing that’s real is the truth; your deepest sincerity. This requires a willingness to see and playfully acknowledge your own insanity. No judgment required because we are all playing the same game. We are learning how to integrate what we want most.
Surrender to your own seeing of reality. Simply say thank you. Appreciate what you are, in such a way that you allow yourself to acknowledge this, if it resonates. My goodness, why, again, would we consciously run from this. You wouldn’t, that would only be more unconscious activity.
Option 2: Self-Deception (this is the bullsh#t option, in case there was confusion about which one leads to continued suffering).
Birthed through a believe in self-rejection, we hide from our own darkness, which is JUST space within what we are that wants to be seen. When you look, you shine light. In this light, the darkness becomes the most beautiful opportunity to extend love, compassion and a great honoring of our human experience.
We only fear rejection, because we reject ourselves. If you didn’t reject what you are in any way, then the play of rejection that might be pointed in your direction from another, simply wouldn’t bother you. It would be impossible. You would see them with love, you would see them as simply being what they are so they can see what they are. You would say, ”You are free to love me or hate me, and I love you regardless.”
Why? Because you don’t deceive yourself into believe that you need something from another person. You don’t need approval in order for you to relax and be with joy in the present moment. You don’t need anyone to have ‘certain’ thoughts about you. What you need is to see the present moment clearly. In the present moment there is only freedom. Freedom for everyone to see what moves them so they can clarify their own self-deception, and return to the present moment.
Present Moment Conclusion
In this present moment, the one you’re in right now, can you see that regardless of the thoughts you’re having, regardless of what you think is or is not happening, there is a profound space of rest? Can you see this?
It exists before the insanity of the mental commentary that attempts to define the indefinable. Every movement to grasp this moment with ideas, thoughts, beliefs and judgments, fails miserably. Can you see, the only difficulty is wanting a thought to be true, when in fact it is not? This is Radical Self Honesty, to admit you only have this moment; you only have the present moment. You are invited to surrender to this, and give yourself over to it; completely.
The Self-Deception is to believe there is something other than this, other than the absolute simplicity of the present moment. What makes being in the present moment difficult, is trying to think your way out of the present moment, as if you could find anything real other than the present moment.
You will be honest about this to whatever degree you can, and that, my friend, is the whole point. If the veil was lifted completely, and you saw totally and finally behind and beyond all your self-deception, it would probably freak you out. Well, you already might be freaked out a little, and that’s okay. Trust what resonates for you, trust the sincerity of what you’re seeing here today. Appreciate the profound nature of life, and recognize that life is always trying to lead you home, even though sometimes it looks like life is trying to piss you off.