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Next of Now

“Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace.” – Author Unknown

Our propensity for the next of now can be seen right throughout our days. We’re great at pre judgement, assuming, predicting, worrying, anticipating and the like. As Dr. Dan Siegel spoke about the other week at his Optimal Leadership Masterclass, we can become imprisoned by our top down thinking (already internalised beliefs, thoughts, words and actions through a combination of our brain + culture). I loved the phrase ‘next of now’ he used during the day. It acted as a reminder for me on so many levels.

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” – James Thurber

Last weekend I found myself in one of my favourite locations. Whilst bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, surrounded by close friends and their small children, we stopped to take in the beauty and tranquility of a waterfall that snaked its way beside the trail. Time seemed to stand still in the moments we had there. The sights, the sounds, and the feelings filled us all with a deep sense of presence, wonder and joy.

“When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.” – Osho

That feeling is invigorating, and it is one of the reasons why I am so grateful for any opportunity to spend time in nature. But also thinking of the moments in life when the opposite occurs, when next of now runs roughshod, reminds me why awareness is so important as we explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically. Where in your journey of potential does next of now rear its head? Where are you, and what are you doing, when you experience deep senses of presence, wonder and joy? What daily practices open up pathways to awareness for you and/or those within your spheres of influence?

“The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

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