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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Immerse yourself in the moment to be free from worry, anxiety and insecurity!

The other day, I left my laptop bag behind at home while I reached the airport. I had brought along my carry-on but the laptop bag, which had all the important papers and even my wallet, was left behind. There was just about an hour left for my flight. It was still possible to salvage the situation and have the laptop brought from home, while I waited at the airport’s kerbside, but it was going to be a close call. Nevertheless, since we had no other choice, my wife decided to send over the laptop.

As each minute passed my thoughts raced in two, opposite directions:

  1.        What was with me? Was I getting old? And forgetful? How stupid of me! I felt the pangs of guilt gnaw at me. I was stuck in an already past, dead, moment and was wallowing in anger (at myself) and guilt over my carelessness, irresponsibility, whatever!
  2.        What if I missed my flight? What would happen to the client meetings planned for the day? How would I explain a no-show to my client? I had fast-forwarded to live in a future which had not arrived. This is where – and why – I was insecure and fearful of a consequence that was still not upon me!

As I stood at the kerbside, I was anxious. Yes. So I tried to calm down by telling myself to “Let Go!”. Just then a taxi pulled up in front of me. An old couple in their late 70s – they may well have been 80+ too – disembarked. They took several minutes to even walk up to the kerbside. The taxi driver helped set their bags down and waited patiently as the old man paid him his fare. Then the couple dragged a bag each, held each other’s hands, and slowly started to walk towards the terminal’s entry gate. The lady suddenly stopped and wanted to take the bag that the old man had slung over his shoulder. The old man gestured that he was fine carrying it. But the lady was insistent. She leaned forward, planted a kiss on the man’s check, rubbed his back (almost gesturing that carrying the bag was not a great idea for his back!) and took the bag away. Then, they inched forward, slowly, hand in hand, dragging their bags and disappeared into the terminal. I watched them for several minutes as they joined a queue of passengers checking-in. Then, even as I was lost in this beautiful display of togetherness, I felt someone tapping my shoulder. I turned to find my assistant, who had been dispatched by my wife with the laptop bag, standing there with my precious cargo.

Phew! My flight was due to leave in 25 minutes. I rushed in. I completed the check-in process and was the last passenger to board the aircraft! As I settled down in my seat, I thought to myself. What had happened of my worry and anxiety,  my anger and guilt, in the time that I watched the old couple. Those several minutes were completely different from what I was going through before they arrived. I was present in the NOW, in the moment, when I watched the couple. So, neither my immediate past – the guilt and anger over my folly – and nor my unborn future – the fearful ‘what-if’ scenario that my mind was painting – were of any relevance in my present! What mattered to me in the now was that I was witnessing a beautiful display of care, compassion and companionship! Not that I don’t experience living in the moment opportunities otherwise. But this one was special. Because it happened through a cosmic simulation, if we can call the ‘forgotten laptop bag episode’ one!

Life will test each of us in big and small ways. And it will test us all the time! The human mind needs no excuse or opportunity to cling on to a dead past or race ahead into an unborn future. When it dwells in the past or in the future then you are not present! Your mind then is controlling you. When you are present in the now, the mind is powerless. When the mind is powerless only you, the real you, remain. When you are, worry, anxiety, anger, guilt, grief – nothing can touch you! Then you simply are bliss!

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