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The Gift of Presence

Are you living your life as history, mystery or now?

History: “I know this won’t work; I’ve tried it.” “I’ll never forgive her.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m still scared.” Resentments, anger and fears rooted in the past keep us stuck, unable to enjoy the present.

Mystery: “I can’t make time for you/the kids/making love/me today if I’m going to be ready for next week/year/when I retire.” Blaming the unknown, imagined future, we take actions (or not) based on fear, and give ourselves excuses for not being here, now, to fully enjoy this moment and be all that we can today.

Now: Fewer of us live with hearts and minds fully present in this moment. My husband, Glenn, is one of these people. For him, it comes naturally; for me it is a practice. And it is well worth it: only when I am present am I able to live my mission to enjoy my life and experience love in every moment.

When I am present, I feel a special peacefulness. When I am present, I delight in the connection between you and me, and all of life. When I am present, I see you in your full radiance and hear you to the depth of your being. I feel our common bond, our union through the Divine, and my heart fills with the joy of being alive, together, at this very moment.

African cultural diplomat and musician, Babatunde Olatunji, said it beautifully:

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”

To practice the final Revolutionary Agreement, “I Agree to Lighten Up,” does not require becoming a stand-up comic, but one who comes hither, delights in smelling the roses, alights at the foot of the speaker, and gives the greatest gift of all: presence. Try it today! (How about now?)

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