Here and Now

Here and Now is the ultimate in accepting my past and recognizing my future has not arrived.

11. Being in the present here and now.

Judy writes her perspective here:

Another interesting thing about Here and Now is how often I dreamed of being anywhere but where I was.  My counseling sessions opened up the gaping hole I called my past.  I had no idea what was there.  I certainly didn’t want to go there.  Nope, nope, nope.  I didn’t know my past.  I forgotten well before high school.  What little I did know, wasn’t pleasant so I had no desire or ability to go there.  I was present, sort of.  Without knowing where I had been, I wasn’t sure where I was and no clue as to where I was going.  Time/space continuum was broken into fragments.  I knew I felt unsettled and out of sync with the present but I didn’t know what troubled me or why.  Counseling turned my world upside down and inside out.  Interesting thing about Here and Now being present means you are not trying to be somewhere else or something else.  Embrace who I am right now…yea right.

I discovered Here and Now when I was doing photography.  In the darkroom, 100% of my focus was in that room.  Each part was meticulously counted.  Minutes sometimes seconds, separated a beautiful print and trash.  The negative I developed the day before became my total focus in that moment.  No past intruded.  No future existed in that darkroom.  I loved it. Drawing also had the capacity to obliterate past, present and pain.  How do I know this?  I had cancer surgery the same semester that I took my first drawing class.  I discovered that I took less pain medication because I was focused on what I was drawing at that moment, no room in my mind for anything else.  An artist might refer to being Here and Now as being in “The Zone.”  A place where all creativity, emotion, and experience concentrate and distill into the very moment in time.  It is awesome.

Staying present is difficult when PTSD kicks in with hyper-vigilance, constant fear, and other symptoms that pull me back into some dark time or hurdles me forward into some terrifying possible future.  Here and Now I can evaluate risk, be aware of my surroundings and take baby steps of just this moment.  I can do anything for 5 minutes.  I believe the purpose of Grounding exercises and Mindfulness is to practice being Here and Now so that when a vortex to my past opens up I can ground myself to the present and not be sucked down the hell hole.  Grounding techniques vary, one that I practice is name 5 things I can see, 4 things I can touch, 3 things that I hear, 2 things that I smell and one thing I can taste.  It involves all of the senses in feeling and being present in this moment in time.  Mindfulness also teaches the mind to be aware of the present to not be distracted by past or future but mindful of my present situation and savoring this moment.  In modern society, we spend a lot of our time distracted by electronics, rushing ahead, or bemoaning the past.  Sitting and savoring each moment takes effort.  It helps if I am sitting savoring a single small piece of chocolate to see how long I can keep it in my mouth.  Here and Now is a beautiful Present….it is a Gift.

Moments in time


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