The Dynamic Tension of Reflection, Renewal, and Now

“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.

 ~ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself


To know wild curiosity, amazement and wonder is to know incredible nature of now. Simply being in the moment holds a freedom and a joy that cannot be described with language. Balancing the freedom of the moment with the natural opportunity and the necessity of reflection and renewal brought on by the turning over of the year can be a challenge for many of us.

We look back over the joy and the bliss, the mistakes and the sorrow, the friends and the family, and the ordinary and mundane, we see how far we’ve come, and then, we start to plan for the future.

Seeking growth can bring up that little voice that says, “I’m not enough” which then diligently repeats itself in our sub-and not so sub-conscious like a scratched record. Looking backward and forward can take us out of the moment. We lose track of the now and begin to feel discontent. So what do we do?

In meditation practice, they say the mind ruminates on one of three things: the past, the future, and a filtered running narrative of your current experience. None of these things are inherently bad; however, when they are unattended the habitual patterns of our own minds are in control of us rather that the other way around.  Meditation is the practice taking control of the mind returning over and over again our chosen object of attention, the tactile sensations of breathe, or mantra, or whatever, so that we have more control over our lives.

Reflection, being content in the present, and making plans for the future do not have to be mutually exclusive. It is a delicate practice to maintain that balance, and I invite you to feel into these concepts as we walk into the New Year.

Honor the things that got you where you are (the shadow and the light), find the wonder and amazement of the moment (there is always wonder-even when things suck), and dream and dream and dream and build a deliberate path through the now and walk to the future of your wildest wonderment.