As I have said before, I think that the human body is an absolutely brilliant mixture of art and science. Your mind may live in the past, present or future, but your body lives only in the present moment. It is constantly shedding its previous form without you even being aware of it. When it has finished with whatever it may have needed at a point in time, it gets rid of it immediately so that it can continue to grow and flourish and do its main job which is to get you through another day in your life. For instance, when you eat or drink anything, your body has a multitude of specialized systems to process what it needs and then rids itself of the unneeded waste. It literally gets rid of shit.
Your mind could definitely learn something from the body. Sometimes it likes to hold onto things for days, months, years or an entire lifetime. If your body behaved that way, you would see the illnesses and diseases appear in a very short amount of time. Your mind is at its best when it is in the present moment. It is clear, focused and doing what it does best which is dealing with what is in front of you at this very moment. Unfortunately too many people prefer to live either in the future or in the past which are the worst places to be since both are really only in your imagination. Think about it, you really can only imagine the future. It hasn’t happened so all the dreams, plans, wishes, expectations or fantasies do not currently exist and may or may not ever come into existence. The same goes for worries. Worrying is just an imaginary thought process that you are spinning into things that will probably never come to fruition. Again, your imagination is at work and your imagination can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Don’t let tomorrow’s worries take away today’s peace.
The past on the other hand can keep you imprisoned in doubts, regrets, positive or negative memories that are no longer relevant or useful. All of which are again in the imagination. We have to use our imagination to bring back those memories because the events are no longer with us except through our minds. When we look back at something we usually remember it as something different; much better or worse than it actually was. Just ask 2 people who experienced the same event to tell you the story. You will get 2 different scenarios and memories. Could haves, would haves, wish I hadn’ts, why did I do that’s, and remember whens. That is not you NOW and there is nothing you can do to change or re-live what has already happened. It will never be the exact same time. Your mind can keep you there in a make believe game of different endings but the show has already finished and everyone has gone home. All you can do from the past is remember through your imagination or hopefully bring any lessons into the present and pull them out in the future if need be.
Both are tricks of the mind. The body would never hold on to anything it can’t use now nor would it anticipate things that will probably never happen. Could you imagine if it did? You would be in a constant place of stress; racing heart, constant dilated pupils and quick and shallow breaths. You would not be able to function if the body behaved as stupidly as the mind’s ability. The trick is to try to get the mind and body on the same level or in balance. There are a few ways to do that with the most important being meditation. When you meditate the intention is for your mind to calm down. It doesn’t always work that way but it is the intention. Another way that you can do that is by consciously making the intention to let the past go and stop thinking about the possibilities of the future. Live in the moment. That is your mind working for you a positive way like the body would.
I took this advice months ago when I made a bunch of drastically needed changes. It started with a big time haircut. For years, I had long hair which people used to love. It was nice, thick and strong and most importantly for me, easy to care for. People always identified me by my golden mane. I no longer wanted to be identified by any one part of my body so I chopped it off and you know what? People seem to love it even more. Funny, isn’t it? For me it was letting go of a part of me that was rooted in the past. I also made other big changes as well including shredding all of my diaries that I had kept from the age of 16. I am no longer that person. I had a lot of fun in the past but I don’t carry around the same body, thoughts or ideas so off to the recycling world they go along with other reminders of the past including letters from past loves who are no longer relevant in my life, cards from friends and others from a long time ago and hundreds of photos. After much thought and a bit of hesitation( as I am a sentimental ,romantic type)I decided that if I was going to live in the moment then I should practice what I preach as it were so I let them all go and you know what? It feels great . Everything that surrounds me now is being used and has a purpose in this present moment. Like the body, my mind was ready to get rid of the waste.
We’ve all heard “The past is gone, the future hasn’t happened and the present is your gift.” Well treat it like that. Don’t miss the moment of now, good or bad. Be grateful for what is right now. It is here to teach you something if you let it.
Which of the three do you spend most of your time and thoughts in?