There is only now…

Recently I saw the movie called Peaceful Warrior. This is no Academy Award winner, but the message in it is quite clear – “There is only now.”

Every day we spend our moments planning, worrying, thinking about the past, the future, how to pay the bills, when to pick up the kids from soccer practice, whether we’ll get that contract with a new client, how we can be better than we are. Our minds are filled with “trash” as the old man called Socrates put it in the movie. When our minds are filled with all these thoughts and plans and images of things past and future, we miss out on the most important thing – the present moment.

This has huge implications for learning. While we need to be able to connect new learning with old experiences, if our minds are full of “trash” all the time, how can we expect to take in what’s happening around us at any given moment? We can get so much more out of a classroom lesson or a professional training session if we have a clear mind, willing to be open to new ideas, new ways of knowing and seeing and interacting with the world.Our students can, too, if we teach them how to be in the present moment, in the here and now.

On my morning walks lately, I’ve made “there is only now” my mantra. When I start to plan or think or worry, I come back to that phrase and it brings me back to the moment. Suddenly I notice the mockingbirds singing and the frogs calling, and I notice the neighbors flowers blooming. I realize I’m not missing anything around me that’s happening at that moment. I’m ready to learn from the world around me.

Today as you pass through time and space, remember, there is only now. How will you spend yours?

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