Dancing in the Moment

New Orleans always slows down in August. The blend of heat and humidity naturally decreases one’s activity rate and all you have the energy to do is saunter and lounge about sipping mint juleps and other cold drinks. Temperatures easily hit over one hundred and the moist air becomes like honey, sticky and thick. I really like when the city winds down because it creates an atmospheric meditative state of being where your pulse slows and your cares melt away. One is enveloped by the laziness of summer and it becomes easy to bask in the stillness. I like to refer to such times as dancing in the moment because you just magically become present to all that is.

As a professional psychic I am what some might call a linear time jumper. I use my psychic abilities to hop from present – to past – to future. Most of my clients come to me to learn what time portends for them…what the future holds. In fact, most of us humans have questions about our futures and are feeling trapped in our nows. However, I really feel that before tomorrow can be revealed, a true understanding of the moment must be experienced and many of us have grown uncomfortable simply being where we are at this moment in time. It personally took me years of practicing meditation to be able to sit in my own skin for more than a few minutes without wanting my mind to escape to what had been or what will be, anywhere else but where I was. But, there does seem to be some drive within us to connect to being present or Buddhism, and Eckhardt Tolle wouldn’t be so popular.  There was a simpler time that we must be primally harkening back to before we became so uncomfortable with being blissfully aware, again, dancing in the moment.

Have you ever tried to simply sit still for five minutes and do nothing except pay attention to your own breathing? Any of you all who have, I’m sure, will confess that it’s difficult to make it through your first minute. There are other times though when you are with complete attention doing something that you truly love that you can so easily lose track of time because you are rapt in the now of what you’re doing. The latter instance of concentration is a perfect example of real now moments, when all of our being just is doing its thing right there and then. Putting all of one’s concentration into the present can bring much reward as it is where we are – period. Blink an eye and this moment is past. Many moments will pass in our lives that will go by us unnoticed because we were too busy lingering in the past or projecting into the future. All of these gurus: Ram Dass, Krishnamurti, Chodron, and other sages expound on the virtue of being currently aware. Even the Buddha tells us “Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”.

Sometimes no sooner do I settle into being present than a hundred little thoughts come marching through my brain trying to distract me…yesterdays, tomorrows, imaginary conversations – yikes. Being present isn’t easy in our franticly paced world. We are being asked to continually be a step ahead of the game which is the antithesis of being here now. I know that there are always calls that need to be made and lists that need to be followed. Plan for retirement, plan for the future are ideas that are continuously slammed on us. Focusing on the present is very difficult in modern times but if you can manage it a little you will find that the future begins taking care of itself. By being clearer about where you are at the moment, you can see the next right step appear because you see where your own feet are now. Being here now also gives us the opportunity to enjoy using one’s entire sensing skills. Take a moment to feel, smell, see and taste. Imagine taking a bite of something extra yummy when each taste is so delicious that you don’t want it to end. If you can transfer that same openness to experiencing ordinary moments you can get closer to what many consider the state of enlightenment, being at one with it all.

Another benefit of being present is that you are available to recognize and receive inspiration. Many a great inventor, artist, scientist, and philosopher credit their most brilliant discoveries, creations, and ideas as occurring while in meditative states. The term being “in the zone” is just another way of saying in the now. When we dance in the moment we open up to and allow ourselves to become vessels for the universal energy that fueled the big bang. Cool, huh?

Each day I devote time to various exercises in spiritual growth but, hands down, I have reaped most results from mindful meditation. In the past, I pushed myself to meditate for days and nights on end. I am not suggesting that you go that far, for me it is part of my job and I need to be in that state of consciousness more than most. I do advocate spending five minutes in silence paying attention to your breath, heart, and mind. You will be shocked at the magnification of keen thought and perception you will discover by doing this for only a few days in a row.  By welcoming and staying in the now you can make the most of each second and be clear about yourself and your way. Truly tune in to your world and you will receive the full benefit of this precious time on earth.