I think living in the moment requires a little reflecting on but not dwelling in the past and feel this lovely poem by Nadine Stair (age 85) from Condensed Chicken Soup For The Soul captures the wisdom of that: learning from where we have been in order to better be where we are, to cherish, relish and appreciate the moment, every moment. Take the time to walk barefoot and really feel the ground beneath you.
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would take more trips.I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.
You see,I’m one of those people who live sensibly
and sanely hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments and if I had to do it over again;
I’d have more of them. In fact
I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments.
One after another, instead of living so many
years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
and a parachute.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the Spring and stay that way until the Fall.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter next time.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.
This also reminds me of one of my favourite quotations:
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me. When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.”
— Aldous Huxley, Island