Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where are you LIVING? In yesterday, tomorrow, or NOW?

a rather simple concept 
but near IMPOSSIBLE to do - for many!

In light of tomorrow I thought I'd share this today…

If you are DEPRESSED you are probably living in YESTERDAY.

If you are ANXIOUS you are probably living in TOMORROW.

If you are AT PEACE you are probably living in the PRESENT. 

Where are you LIVING?

That's it in a nutshell - but, if you've got a moment, NOW, let's go a little deeper, shall we.

Okay, here goes…

Often when we think about the past we conjure up sadness, regret, should-haves, and sorrow. 

We struggle with what we should have, or could have, done in a situation that is now long gone.  

Yet, we rehash, revisit, and often replay a scene with no hope of changing a thing… if only.

Then, we fast forward and head into the future where we further analyze and wonder about the what ifs - if I do it this way what will happen? If only… and so it continues.

In the meantime, here we are nicely planted in the PRESENT, well, at least our body is, while our mind is busy touring the past and lining up to get into the future. 

We fail to enjoy the ride we are on right NOW.


I'm going to play out a little scenario…

Two woman head out to a Garden Show. It's a last minute invite for one of them - the younger. She's happy to be invited and really wants to go… but, she's anxious, doesn't do so well in crowds, or in new situations - so she thinks. 

The young woman is busy thinking about all that will happen at the Garden Show. She’s conjuring up all sorts of stuff that hasn't even happened, that might never happen, but there it is, all running through her head like wild horses not willing to be wrangled; her anxiety mounts.

The older woman listens, while en route to the show, and wonders what would happen if her friend stopped thinking about the future and enjoyed the NOW: the view out the window, the music in the car, starting up a chat that would keep their collective thoughts in the PRESENT.

Once inside the Garden Show what is noticeable, to the older woman, is that the younger is now animated and happy. What she further notices is how the younger gal is busy enjoying all that is going on around her because she is PRESENT and engaged in the NOW. All anxiousness is gone as it does not exist when living in the NOW.

LIVING NOW takes practice.

Given the complexity of our brain we often think by revisiting the past or jumping ahead to the future we will somehow impact the PRESENT. Sadly, this is true - the impact is profound and when the day is over the regret begins, again.

The way to impact the PRESENT is by LIVING NOW. 


As you reach for that coffee, stop and savour it, smell the full body - have you let it go cold because of distractions. Are they present distractions? Or have you drifted to another time - one gone; one yet to come.

My coffee is cold, but that’s because writing this post was occupying my NOW… and NOW, I’ll pour a fresh one. I’ll savour it.

And then, I’ll head out the door and get organized for tomorrow!
(Tomorrow’s a special day… SIWC starts, and I’m going)

Yes - we can get excited about tomorrow, so long as we don’t live there before it arrives! 

Do you LIVE NOW, or are you stuck in another time?

Cheers, Jenny


  1. Divided between all three, to be honest.

    1. I think we all are - it's hard not to be.

      I do try (and it's hard work I'll add) to stay in the NOW, it really does keep stress and worry at arms length; if only my arms were longer. :) :)

  2. Living in tomorrow doesn't always lead to anxiety - tomorrow could be something eagerly awaited. That's not such a bad thing in itself, but I learned long ago that you risk missing out on all the "nows" in between in your eagerness. That's not so good.

    I love the quote from Kung Fu Panda: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That's why they call it the present.

    1. That is a great quote - my daughter shared it with me a while ago (she loves all things animated).

      For me, those three sentences, at the start of my post, are from my Buddhist readings - often I hear it said that when one lives truly in the present, right now, living each minute as it comes, there is no room for anxiety, stress, or worry.

      I would say, for me, thinking about tomorrow, or planning for it, as in the SIWC, is not anxiety producing. But, if I then go further and try to anticipate what will (or won't) happen, then the stress and anxiousness creep in.

      My motto (a work in progress) is plan for tomorrow - but live for today.

      Great comment - thanks for stopping by! I hope life is good in your neck of the woods!

  3. I love how you wrote this! It's funny because I have read about the 3 times and I would agree but it seemed to just click with what you wrote-You did well:) I don't really live in the past all too much. I am human and have thought about it but not dwelled and regretted. I actually don't feel I have regrets even with the things I did that was stupid, silly or plain wrong because it is a learning experience and I savour it. I don't moan about the past because it is what it is and it can't be changed. The future, on the other hand, I over analyze. As my mom said and others, I worry about things 5 years in the future and it usually never happens. It is a part of me and I am aware of it but I can't change it...but I can smooth out the wrinkles a bit. We need to learn from our animal friends. They forget the past (mostly) and never think of the future and are happy in the present.

    1. Thank you, Birgit, for your lovely and insightful comment.

      Over analyzing the future is something many of us do - I still get trapped into that mindset. It is hard to shake. I am trying to differentiate when I'm "planning" my tomorrow and when I'm "living" in my tomorrow - big difference, but hard to do.

      I smiled about the "5 years in the future" bit - I remember my mom saying something to that effect to me long ago. Change is slow, if one is willing it can at least be steady.

  4. Hi Jenny - such an interesting post that rang completely true ... and the "now" I am sure I don't do often enough ... I'm always thinking forward, but caught up in the backwash. I am now going to spend today ... enjoy today for what it is ..

    Enjoy SIWC ... cheers Hilary

    1. I love that word "backwash" - that really conjures up an image. Funny thing about living in the now is how easy it is in concept, but much harder in practice. I'm getting really good at catching myself when I'm well entrenched in tomorrow to pull myself back into today.

      Ah, the desire to dream about the future, maybe that's the problem - I'm a bit of a dreamer…

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts - Jenny xo

  5. Have to admit I struggle with this, but I'm working on it!

    1. That's all we can do, Karen, is just keep working on it. :)

      Imagine what it would all be like if we just stopped "working at it" - I shudder at the thought. Baby steps, that's all I'm doing and little by little old habits are changing.

      Great to see you here - Jenny xo

  6. I live in the present since I have to deal with it, and hope for the future. I look forward to tomorrow, as hubs always says Don't Dwell on Things you cannot change. . .and I am trying to remember that and patience. If we don't live in the present most of the time we will eventually have more regrets. Thoughtful post, Jenny.

    1. PS - hope the SIWC conference is fun for you! Remember to let us know.

    2. Hubs is right. We can do nothing but stress and worry about tomorrow. Of course we can hope and that's different than worry. Hope is good, it's what drives us forward into the morrow with excitement and anticipation - sort of what I'm doing with the SIWC.

      I'm heading out to the SIWC today - should be fun, I'll keep my post up-to-date (well, I'll try anyway).

      Thanks for stopping by, you've been in my thoughts - I hope all is well.
      Take care, Jenny (maybe a coffee visit after the SIWC??)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.