"Be Here Now" - Why being in the moment is emotional freedom
I remember a friend on Ibiza showing me a book with a crazy purple cover sometime in my early twenties. Although the book had many interesting philosophical ideas, it was enough to to just read the title and let that sink in:
"Be Here Now."
I realized, being in the moment is something we so rarely manage to do in western life... To be present and simply experience this moment fully.
Thinking about the future makes us feel safe
It is human nature to project into the future... I recently read this makes us feel safe. Apparently, the reason we originally adopted this behavior, was to increase our chances of survival while exposed to wild animals, the elements and so forth. In western society, this ancient survival mechanism seems to have gone off balance and many people seem permanently stuck in 'survival mode'.
Keeping in mind that projecting into the future is driven by a prehistoric fear, it is important to realize that more and more research points to fear having a strong negative impact on our health. Living in this state results in chemical and hormonal imbalances in our body and brain. To top it off, it also means we miss the beauty and possibilities hidden in this furtive space we call 'the moment'.
Getting back to the moment
Facing the pressures of multi facetted responsibilities and managing a daily flood of (digital) stimulus are both not the most helpful circumstances to get us back to the moment. So how do we do it? How can we move away from the future and back to the here now?
Of course, one proven technique is meditation. I have written a post on meditation, as I consider it an essential skill for being a happy human. It also has many benefits for being an effective executive. If you don't have any experience with meditation, I wholeheartedly recommend attending a weekend seminar or listening to some guided meditations. I have added one such guided meditation to the post linked below.
The benefits of meditation
What meditation enables you to do, is to recognize the space between your awareness and the thoughts and emotions we identify with since childhood. Once you experience that you are not your mind or your feelings, you have the possibility to live more centered and move towards the 'here & now' moment.
Of course this doesn't mean that you can't have (business) goals and targets that lie in the future. It just means you learn to recognize the freedom to detach your consciousness from the future (or the past), so you can "Be here now". Having a choice, is what makes all the difference and strongly influences how one tends to feel in daily life.
"Meditation is not a withdrawal from life. Meditation is a process of understanding oneself." - Jiddu Krishnamurti
It means (negative) emotions and situations don't feel so overwhelming or intense anymore and you have a choice for how deeply you choose to perceive them. An important freedom worth investing a few minutes a day in.
"Be here Now" is on Steve Jobs' list of "Books everyone should read."
"Be here now." by Ram Dass
Ram Dass, left his body on the 22nd of December 2019.