Did you know that 46.9% of your waking hours are spent thinking about something other than what you are currently doing, according to Harvard research. The findings also state that this mind-wandering typically makes you unhappy.
You spend your time thinking about what isn’t going on around you, either remembering events that have happened in the past or thinking about things that you imagine, may or may not happen in the future.
As we experience one of the most beautiful summers for some years in Ireland, in this moment, I invite you to look at what you can see in front of you. Be that an office wall, a window leading to the street or open space. Notice your feet firmly planted on the earth below, whether that is carpet, concrete, green grass, or the sand on the beach.
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
The capacity to practice a receptive presence stems from our willingness to welcome all our thoughts. Consider Rumi’s inspiring poem The Guest House where he compares the human condition to a guest-house.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi
Becoming attentive to the guests – whether invited or uninvited – that are knocking on your door bringing gifts that guide you. This is the challenge of living in the present moment. Welcome the likes, dislikes, hopes, joys, yearning or disappointments as guests bringing insights and wisdom to share with you. These guests are invitations that develop and nurture our capacity for growth, healing and transformation.
If we are not aware, in the present moment, of the all the guests that come offering their gifts, then our lives may not be as rich or as fulfilled, as when we inhabit our life fully and soulfully. Opening the door of the Guest House each morning awakens us to ourselves, to others and the world around us.
What guests are knocking on your door in this present moment?