I’ve discovered that I have greater success with living life in the present moment when I remove judgment from what I’m experiencing. Rather than making an event a bad or a good experience, I find myself being in the “isness” of the moment; that is, what I’m feeling is much more helpful than why it isn’t what I think it should be. This is called allowing rather than resisting what is. Even if I wish to change the moment, it’s far more useful to allow it without any judgment and then notice everything I can about it.
The more I stay out of my good-thought/bad-thought routine, the more I’m able to just be with it. I love to observe the instant without any judgment. Birds simply allow whatever comes their way, no matter if the wind picks up or the rain comes, and I work at being like one of those fabulous creatures. The way I do so is to ask myself this question: “What’s happening right here and right now, independent of my opinion about it?” Then I notice all that I can take in—the sky, the wind, the sounds, the light, the insects, the temperature, the people, the judgments…everything. I stay free of opinions and just let myself be. In these moments, I don’t need an excuse or an explanation for anything.
Even while I sit here and write, I’m practicing being present and simply allowing the words to flow though my heart to my hand and onto the page with a total absence of judgment. And when I eat my lunch, I work at just being present in a state of gratitude for my food and the experience of eating, rather than using those moments to think about all that I have to do in the evening or passing judgment on the taste, color, or smell of my lunch experience. I try to keep in mind that whenever I react against any form that life takes in the present moment, I’m treating the now as some kind of impediment or even as my enemy.
As a child you knew how to be totally present. I encourage you to become an observer of little unspoiled children. Notice how they don’t react to every little disturbance in their world and how they’re in the moment, and then in the next moment, and so on. You can use this kind of non-judgment to practice your new explanation-free identity. Total immersion in the present, without judging—that is, simply allowing yourself to be—is a great way to rid yourself of these long-held thinking habits that I’m calling “excuses.”
Be without judgment and you’ll never feel the need for some tiresome excuse to use up your precious seconds, such as “I’m too old” or “It will take a long time” or “It will be too difficult.” Instead, you’ll be in the now, welcoming your constant present-moment companion, your Source of being, which knows nothing of excuses and doesn’t know how to be anyplace but here, now. As one of my spiritual predecessors, Dale Carnegie, once wrote: “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon—instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
Become one in the present moment with all of the roses that show up in your life. Stay present: every second, every minute, and every hour. Every day of your life is full of present moments of infinite value. You won’t find God yesterday or tomorrow—your Source is always only here, now.