Hey Listen, Live in the Here and Now!

by perpetualflaneur


How conscious are we truly of where we are, why we are here, and what we are doing? More often, I find myself thinking about the past and the future, forgetting how and where I am at that particular moment, in that lapse of my time. It is not my intention to become too philosophical or to be vague, but it cannot be denied that with all the noise and activities surrounding us, we just forget how to be in the moment, acknowledging why we are here and what we have now.

Thoughts about the here and now have always been brewing in the crevices of my mind. They get stuck and unstuck here and there, consistently making its presence known. Questions like how conscious I am about my surroundings and the way I feel specifically at this instant have become more pronounced since I started limiting my use of the Web and all its digital glory. Well, really, with all the information found on the Web in a hyperconnected world, sometimes we get so lost in those pages and pools of knowledge and streams of photos that we just forget how to reflect, how to step back to feel our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual pulse.

Before anything else, what does it mean to say here and now? Well, depending on who you ask, there are many variations in meaning and usage, but I think we can establish a sort of middle ground. For some, it is often used to convey how we must seize the moment or live for the moment (or carpe diem or strike while the iron is hot). That is true to an extent, but I also think it means a form of enriched experience through an in-depth consciousness of ourselves, our surroundings, and the current relationship between.

To be here is not only about knowing where we are or something as tangible as space. It is also about how conscious we are of our state of being, how and what we feel, how we are, and why we are here, tuning in on our overall well-being. It’s a reminder that we in fact, physically, emotionally, and intellectually exist. To be in the now, for me, is to recognize the present, not forgetting the past and ignoring the future, of course we have those in mind, but to understand we (you and I) are living, are sitting, standing, swimming, thinking, breathing, and reading at this moment. My now is on this table, inside this apartment, with a cup of coffee right next to my laptop and a crumpled paper that I just used while my laundry is buzzing in a room 20 feet away from me and I hear the sound of cars passing. Everything is happening as I sit on this not so comfortable chair and writing as is. Rightly, to say here and now is to recognize both and to be able to understand the relationship between the two, and in doing that, that is where we tap into this consciousness of being here right now.

Yes, we can tune in on important issues around the world, even the farthest of places we learn about. Yes, we can reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Yes, we can be entertained and informed with those videos. Yes, we can do almost anything online from sending money to starting a business. I am not denying the importance and benefits of the Internet and the magnificent Web, but I want to pose a small reminder: take a break from this digital world and let the wind play with your hair, let the sun fondle with your skin, let your feet feel the dampness of grass or the hot sand in the beach, let your hands get dirty and dig through the soil, grab a book that you’ve never read before, do some things you never thought you could do, sing at the top of your lungs, or dance to the beat of your life’s drums. Do anything that requires zero use or at least minimal use of the Internet and the Web. Just be where your here is and live in what your now is.

In doing this, we give ourselves a reprieve from all the noise around us, and in this hyperconnected world, I mean the digital noise that we encounter everyday as we browse the Web. As for me, I have found it to be most fruitful and peaceful since I have limited my use of the Web and social media. That is why I’ve decided to share my thoughts on this. In the end, we owe it to ourselves to have that emotional and mental space of momentary peace where we can reflect and rest.