"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Be Here, Now

Some time back, I found the clock that is at the very bottom of the page here. It tickled my fancy and I put it there to see if anyone might comment. A question from an online friend has prompted me to think about how important being in the moment has become for me. 

It seems to me that modern life actually conspires against living in the moment. We are dragged into the past by ever-present music. We are pushed into considering a foggy future by commercialism that wants us to be dissatisfied by what we "have" and purchase some product that promises to make that future oh-so-much-better. News programming sends us all over the world, vicariously living the tragedies of others. As if our own lives didn't have enough drama, television brings us more along with all sorts of fantasy, and worst of all for me, violence. 

Against all of these and other ever-present distractions, I struggle to bring myself back into the moment. The catch phrase these days is mindfulness. I went looking on the 'net and found a site that has some very gentle ideas to help one stay in the moment: 

1 Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement. Easier said than done, we know.

2 Let your judgments roll by. When we notice judgements arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.

3 Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.

4 Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back

That friendly question I mentioned was something like "Now that you are no longer concerned with your gender, what is it that is motivating you?" I had to admit, with no shame at all, that I have no over-riding motivation behind anything I'm doing these days. 

Time to think about what we are going to have for lunch now. 

4 comments:

  1. Good question. Transition, before and during is overwhelming like working double shifts seven days a week. Little wonder it takes time to settle into some new obsession, mine is being calm...

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    1. A pleasant obsession to be sure!

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  2. Hi Halle
    Agreed, focusing on the present is usually the best place to be. In fact one might argue it is the only place to be, albeit future aims and objectives have their place. But don’t you think there seems only to be a casual freedom confined to the present to make important choices, whilst the future can never really be assured. A lot effort quite naturally goes into securing our future and the path to take but I suspect it’s the other way round e.g. we make our decisions and them the future shapes us into realisations to take for instance another tact.
    Like me, I presume there were times you very reluctantly decided to air a matter or confront a particular problem or concern but dreaded the discomfort. Later on one realizes it was not only the best option but along the way it's likly our understanding is expanded to be possibly say more tolerant. As Socrates wisely said – The unexamined life is not worth living"
    Best wishes

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    1. Well Lindsay, I can think of several matters that had to be aired or confronted in the past two years, and yes I dreaded the discomfort they would unavoidably bring. I suppose that is as good an illustration of "doing one's homework" in order to be prepared to make a decision in the moment that will give as good a result in the future as we can expect.

      Yes, I have always loved that particular quote from Socrates.

      All the Best to you too.

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