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Be Here Now August 15, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching.
Tags: , , ,

Many moons ago, sometime in the 70’s there was a wildly popular book (at least with the hippie crowd I hung with in those days) called Be Here Now. It was written by Richard Alpert or, as he has been known for many years, Ram Dass. Read more about Ram Dass and the book at Ram Dass. My last post about my pilgrimage to my childhood home in Borger, Texas put me in mind of the concept of ‘be here now.’ You can read that post at Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This .

Be Here Now = Clearing Your Mind

So what does ‘be here now’ mean? What Ram Dass was referring to (as I recall) is a notion that comes from the practice of meditation. In order to meditate effectively it’s necessary to clear one’s mind—easier said than done, I might add. This is often done by ‘watching’ one’s breath or using a mantra to bring the focus back from the gazillion little traps your mind likes to take.  More broadly interpreted ‘be here now’ refers to the practice of staying in the present, not getting stuck in the past or spending most of your time daydreaming about the future.

Stuck in the past

So what’s the good of that you might ask. Shouldn’t one learn from the past and plan for the future? Well, sure. But there can be too much of a good thing in that. Let’s look at the implications of overdoing the past thing. Ever meet someone who was stuck in the past? All their stories are about the good old old days or perhaps how they were done wrong in the past and  how it has ruined their lives. Have you noticed how much fun it is to be around them or how much fun they are having?

Stuck in the future

Then there are the future thinkers. Those who say that they’ll be happy when ______happens or who live in a fantasy about what life will be like when the future finally arrives.

Balance is the thing

I’m not arguing that it’s a bad thing to learn from past mistakes or experiences or that there should be no plan or strategy for the future. Rather I’m pointing to the whole idea of balancing those views and living your life in the moment—which is really the only place you really can live it.

Worked for me

Let me give you a personal example. I was feeling a little blue a week or so ago. I was ‘awfulizing’ about the future and throwing in a sprinkling of regret about some things that happened in the past. I finally decided that enough was enough and, since I had been thinking a lot about the notion of living in the moment, I decided to do just that. I was in a hot tub at the time (honest) and I started to really pay attention to the details of being in the hot tub. I noticed the beautiful dark sky above me, the wonderful bubbling water around me, the warmth of the environment, the nice clear air I was breathing (I was in Santa Fe, after all). Then I checked in and found myself feeling much better. I felt joyful and pretty darn fine.

Fix your mood by staying in the present

What I’ve noticed is that when I’m stuck in a mood it’s usually about something that happened in the past which I can’t really change or something that I fear may happen in the future. It’s seldom that the present moment is all that depressing—and if it is then my rapt attention to what is really going on is bound to improve it.

Don’t take my word for it. Give it a try. The next time your mood needs a boost try staying completely in the moment for as long as you can or for several times throughout the day as you think about it. Dollars to donuts you’ll feel better…

You heard it here.



1. Yvette - August 15, 2010

Very nice!!

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