The Art of Living in the Present Moment: Loss, Our Greatest Teacher

Attachment. The human condition of not wanting nor knowing how to let go. Everyday things change; we lose something-gain something. In our quest for success, be it material or legacy and in our relationships with colleagues, friends and life partners, as we master loss, we master life. Loss is the great wake up call to teaching us to be present.

Loss, while painful and often difficult, is one of our greatest teachers. Our minds are naturally wired to seek out certainty; to find solid ground but the truth is there is no solid ground. Life can change so quickly- one phone call, one diagnosis, one moment of true realization of the fragility and transient nature of life itself and we find ourselves in that groundless, pure state of possibility.

When we truly do let go into the “groundless nature of life”, our boundless potential is available to us. It’s ironic! As we struggle to hold on the sand slips through our fingers. When we let go,everything and anything is possible.

For me, a consummate worrier, this was the beginning of freedom and my first taste of what it means to live and work in the present moment. The more I let go, the more possibilities became available to me. Letting go and being present opened the doors to creativity and problem solving in a way I had never expected. It also opened my heart to those around me. All of us swimming in the same soup of attachment.

While you work this week and next, (and perhaps as a practice for the rest of your life) notice how you try to grasp and hold on to moments, projects, your point of view, being right, and remember how fleeting these things are. This awakening to the delicate nature of life will give you great perspective and hopefully allow you to be fully present in the moment you have right now as you are reading this post— and then, as in all writing, it will end. In life there is always an end but the beauty is in what  will the next, magnificent moment bring you?

Be Present, Be Grateful, Be Generous, Be Kind, Be FREE!

One Art By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

 Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

 Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

 I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

 I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

 —Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

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