Today I wanted to share a short passage from the book, “Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm” by Thich Hnat Hanh.
The Present Moment is Free from Fear
“When we are not fully present, we are not really living. We’re not really there, either for our loved ones or for ourselves. If we’re not there, then where are we? We are running, running, running, even during our sleep. We run because we’re trying to escape from our fear.
We cannot enjoy life if we spend our time and energy worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow. If we’re afraid all the time, we miss out on the wonderful fact that we’re alive and can be happy right now.
In everyday life, we tend to believe that happiness is only possible in the future. We’re always looking for the “right” conditions that we don’t yet have to make us happy. We ignore what is happening right in front of us. We look for something that will make us feel more solid, more safe, more secure.
But we’re afraid all the time of what the future will bring- afraid we’ll lose our jobs, our possessions, the people around us with whom we love. So we wait and hope for that magical moment — always sometime in the future — when everything will be as we want it to be.
We forget that life is available only in the present moment. We forget to live happily in the present moment. We forget that the present moment is all we have.”
In 2014, Zen teacher Thich Hnat Hanh suffered a stroke in San Francisco while giving a lecture. He survived the stroke but has been unable to speak or walk since. He lost what was precious to him but continued to enjoy everyday life. In January 2019, he stopped taking his medications as he decided it was time to die mindfully but he is still alive at 93.
Make a decision today to enjoy each moment regardless of your circumstances.
Contact me: If you would like coaching on how to manage worry or to practice being fully present in the moment, please contact me through my website to schedule an appointment.