Updated: Jun 7, 2020
"The art of living... is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive."
– Alan Watts.
When was the last time you lived fully the present moment? The last time you truly enjoyed the taste of your coffee, the wind caressing your skin, and the singing of the birds outside your window? The last time you stopped the thoughts of your mind, left your concerns behind, and were not in a hurry to get somewhere else? That moment in which you were fully present, engaged in what was happening in the here and now. We could probably recall many of those moments from our childhood, when we lived in wonder and awe for the magnificence of life. We would lose ourselves in the movement of the clouds, the flow of a river, and the collective effort of ants building a new colony. By beholding those moments with our full attention, we were capable to perceive their beauty. Every interaction with the world had the potential to teach us something new because we were present to bear witness of the miracles of existence.
Unfortunately, as we grew up, we were taught to strive for something in the future. We were taught that the present moment was just ordinary and not enough, which made us cling to the hope that there would be something better for us somewhere else. And we started to think "when I graduate, buy a new car, get married, have a child, earn a lot of money, etc... I will be happy." Then we started to collect goals that couldn't fulfill our souls, and no matter how hard we strove, happiness never came. That happiness we experienced as children was lost with the passing of time. Then we realized that those conditioned dreams were an illusion all along, because even the people who achieved fame and fortune, couldn't find happiness either. If happiness was not in those illusions, then where could it be? Striving for something in the future goes against the nature of this universe, because the only reality that exists is the present reality. So even if we achieved all our goals, we wouldn't be capable of enjoying them because our minds would continue to strive for something else that hasn't arrived to our lives. Just as Alan Watts told us, "no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now." How can we plan for something that is yet to come if we can't be grateful for this moment?
When we are present we get increased awareness of the situations that are not good for us. We get to see beyond the veil of illusion, and falsities dissolve right in front of our eyes. We can perceive other people's intentions, and if those intentions are not in alignment with our highest truth, we can choose to experience a reality of a higher vibration. In the long run, this ability can save us from experiencing tremendous amounts of pain, suffering, and deception. The more peace, love, and equanimity a person feels, the more he or she is in tune with the present moment. That person has mastered the ability to not worry about the future or regret the past in any way. In the present moment there is no distress or anxiety, because here and now everything is perfect through the eyes of the Creator. Everything serves a purpose of love and compassion.
But how can we get to enjoy the present moment again after so many years of conditioned programming? Well, the first step is to realize that you have arrived to your destination. You are now where you are meant to be, and you don't have to try hard to get somewhere else or become better than you are. This moment and this place have something sacred to offer you. You are an expression of the whole universe and you are perfect and divine right now. Life flows through you in every breath you take. There is no point in resisting this present moment, because that would be resisting life itself, and life is meant to flow. However, stopping our search for happiness doesn't mean that we have to stop moving. It means that we can be present, enjoying life, and allowing life to move us. Allowing the universe to take us where we are meant to be each moment, without resisting the natural order of things. This means to be open to the lessons and growth every moment brings us, and honoring every instant of our lives. Otherwise, when we create resistance to the path our soul has created for our expansion, we only align with obstacles that will have the objective to get us back on track. The universe already knows what is best for you, so listen and pay attention to the signs it gives you.
The reason we have to stop searching for happiness, is because the only way to find it is within ourselves. It won't come from external things or situations. Happiness is a state of being which comes as a result of appreciating the present moment fully. This moment is the only thing we really have to make the most of our lives. It is the moment in which a choice can change our destiny. It is the moment that can connect us with our dreams, fulfillment, and joy. This is your life, and you are meant to enjoy and live it fully. Don't let anything or anyone erase the smile from your face and contribute to the happiness of others. In this moment you have always an opportunity to honor the gift of life, and to let the Divine live through your existenc