“Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour.” –Walt Whitman
So many wait to begin at the beginning; of the New Year, of the week, of the next perceived starting point. Yet what are we doing while waiting for that perfect moment? In some cases one actually undermines the future opportunity that lies ahead. How many times is a diet or exercise program preceded by splurging on rich food and indulging in couch time?
We put off, we set aside, we make poor choices with the promise of doing better; all common behaviors. Waiting for that perfect time to begin, so many hours and days are left languishing, sliding away, unused, unrecoverable. Many long for more time to follow pursuits that seem distant, yet killing time is a common device. More than any other benefit, mindfulness offers us more time. Each moment that we can maintain our mindful presence is one well used adding to the storehouse of experience, knowledge and memory. Arriving at one’s destination having seen each sight, breathed the scents of the place, with the feel of the swirling air of the present on one’s skin, the journey becomes a piece of us.
There are dozens of lists detailing how to make the most of one’s down time; waiting being so much a part of the many errands we run. Bring a book, write a list, call a friend; each useful and certainly productive. But could we not also add breathe, listen, look about, dip you hand in the fountain?
As this day of fresh starts becomes the next and the next, let us remember that we can wait until the next day or hour to become present in this moment. We are here, we are now, and the storehouses of our lives are filled to the brim with all there is when we give over each instant to mindfulness and intent.