When is “now”?

We have many expressions to describe  time, but in truth, there is only one actual experience of time: Now. This moment.

Then, the past, is a memory, which only can enter now as a thought carried forward by our minds. Later, the future, is imagination, which can only enter now as a thought projected by our minds.
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Now is life as we live it, moment-to-moment. Now is the moment entering our experience via thought, illuminated by the senses as our reality.


When then and later push their way into now, they dilute, diminish or extinguish the experience of now. We can live in the past or live in the future in our own minds, missing the moment entirely. Our thinking is entirely our own creation, entirely within our purview. When we are doing that, though, giving away the freshness of now to our thinking about the past or the future, we feel it. We feel it as distraction, or dissociation, or dispiritedness, or disconnection. Dis-ease of some sort. Whatever it is, we feel, and therefore we know, that we’re not present, that we’re missing the moment, now. That feeling is helpful, a signal that we’re using our thinking against ourselves. It’s the signal to come back to the present, to turn our backs on then and later and get a fresh start.
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You might stop here and say, “Ah, but memories represent our whole knowledge base, and imagination represents our finest goals and dreams. They need to be brought into the moment.” And I would say, of course, that’s true. We have to use our memories and engage our imagination, but the difference is whether memory and imagination are in service to the moment, like a drumbeat behind a developing jazz melody, or in conflict with the moment, like a heckler shouting down a speaker. They are in service when we are present, and call upon them as it makes sense. They are in conflict when they flood our thinking, leaving no room for the present, or for original, creative ideas.
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Here is an example. I was speaking with a client recently who was offered a thrilling new opportunity. It was something he had never considered before, but when it was presented to him, his heart rose and he felt inspired. But before he even had a chance to enjoy that feeling of inspiration, his mind filled with a pro and con list, pulling positives and negatives from his and others’ past experience, and then he started thinking about all the things that could go wrong. Within a short time, he found himself confused and upset. The moment of exhilaration and enthusiasm was gone.  “In my heart of hearts,” he said to me, “I know this opportunity is once-in-a-lifetime and I shouldn’t turn my back on it. But now I can’t stop worrying long enough to work it out. Every time I bring it to mind, I’m lost in a thicket of terrible what-ifs.”
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I asked, “Ok, what if you discarded the pro and con list and just came back to the moment? What if you cleared your head and allowed some room for wisdom, instead of cluttering it with familiar old thoughts?”
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How does that happen? It happens when we truly see that now is the only time we have. When is  now? Always, to infinity, moment to moment. To live without being at the mercy of the past or in fear of the future is to truly be alive in the now.

About Judy Sedgeman

For more than 20 years, I have dedicated my work to sharing the Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, which describe the psychological expression of the innate spiritual strength and resiliency natural to all people. We call that strength and peace of mind manifested through understanding the logic of the Principles Innate Health.
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One Response to When is “now”?

  1. Gilly Chater says:

    Judy. This describes more than living in the moment of now. The powerful message about not living in the past of regrets or the fear of the future is so important, not only for our well-being but to enjoy and experience every moment.

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