Wish you were somewhere else?
I’ve been in Bournemouth for a few days and it’s been pretty grey and rainy here. It’s on days like this that it’s easy to dream about other places, warmer climates, tropical seas, a hammock swimming on a sandy Caribbean beach. After all there it’s a rich and beautiful world out there.
The interesting thing is that in following these thoughts, however tantalising, I am ignoring the inherent problem at their core. Essentially in dreaming of being somewhere different I am connecting with a dissatisfaction with ‘what is’. I am essentially saying that this moment, today isn’t good enough for me. I am seeking, through daydreams, to somehow improve this moment. Perhaps our hope and aspiration for something ‘better’ is a pursuit that will rarely give what we seek. So much of time is spent pursuing those perfect moments that we don’t see the ones that are here right now.
The funny thing is that as I took a moment to wake up to this fact it occurred to me that there were some beautiful moments right in the here now that I was completely missing. I caught the eye of a little girl with pigtails who immediately gave me the most gorgeous goofy grin. Raindrops splashed into puddles and I watched the ripples catch the light as they became a kaleidoscope of patterns and colours. The tea I was drinking actually tasted really good. I just hadn’t noticed! These small moments were perfect enough in themselves; perfectly imperfect.
Hope and aspiration are feelings that evoke strong emotions. They can give us focus and purpose. I guess the challenge is that the goal sometimes detracts from the reality of life, which is always in the here and now. In my coaching work it is all about goals and the direction of travel towards the dream. However, I wonder what the potential is for us if we can discover that the dream may already be here, today in this very moment. In this way we are not seeking for a future moment to rescue us from our feelings today. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have dreams and goals, but I guess we just need to remember that old cliche of enjoying the journey whilst heading towards the destination.
I’m wondering what would happen if next time I felt discontented, bored or whistful I just brought myself back to the moment. Perhaps there is more in the here and now than the mind can imagine elsewhere. The Buddha summed this up eloquently in a single sentence: