I learned earlier this week that my car needs a new engine. And, I learned this the way I learn many things – experientially.
Sitting on the side of the road waiting for AAA, I realized that, as we always do, I had a choice. I didn’t have the choice I wished I had – choosing my car to get back on the road, drive to Whole Foods and then drive home.
I did have the choice of where to focus my thoughts and attention. My human inclination was to think of all of the things I should have done differently in the past to have created a different future.
And then I heard, clear as could be, “we spend our lives trying to manipulate the future to correct the past.” In that moment, as I felt the cool evening breeze coming in the car window, I realized the insanity of that.
We have the opportunity in any moment, no matter how much we assess the situation as “bad,” to receive the gifts of the present.
When we are willing to let go of our thoughts about the past or the future, we create a stress-free zone in the present. When we are willing to focus on what is right in front of us, we don’t need to manipulate or change anything. How freeing is that?
(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)