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Mind Stress-Management & Balance

The Time Is NOW

18/07/2017
The Time Is Now

Something I love about children is their unrivalled ability to live totally in the present. Their past is so fresh it’s something barely worth thinking about, and their future so vast they haven’t had time to tap the surface. Other than counting down the days to an imminently approaching birthday, children seem to exist in each moment with nothing on their mind except the immediate pocket of time right in front of them. I do envy them for that.

I’ve tried all sorts in attempt to get my mind to stay within the moment – practiced mindfulness techniques; readΒ The Power Of NowΒ by Eckhart Tolle. I couldn’t get into it. I am frustratingly, chronically, seemingly incurably addicted to living in the future. I plan; I predict; I project. And whilst I’m sure that having dreams and striving towards a better future can of course be a positive thing, sometimes I feel that I can be so fixated on where I want to be next, I become totally absent from my current self. I struggle to connect, I can’t plug in, because I’m trying to plug in to the wrong socket. I’m trying to connect with a moment that isn’t even here yet.

This habit of mine is definitely worse during times when I am unhappy. I think mentally projecting myself to imaginary better days and then withdrawing into that bubble is my default coping mechanism. And sometimes, when you’re in this state, the illusion of a brighter future can make that difference that enables you to get out of bed in the morning. But it can also be the thief that steals your ability to remember all of the good things you already have now. After all, living mindfully of the present is essentially just simple gratitude.

Osho quote, now is the only reality

We hear these words so often, they have almost lost their value, but time really is a gift. Every brand new day, every breath we take, every beat of our heart is a gift, designed and delivered by Allah. To live so fixated upon your future is like eating breakfast in such a way that you don’t even have time to taste it, while already telling the cook what you’d like to have for dinner. There is an arrogance in the expectation of time, and we are only robbing ourselves.

“No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from it you cannot flee.” – Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA)

I have realised that when I project to my future and imagine myself with the better job, better home, better lifestyle, it’s not necessarily the environment or situation that I am yearning for, but actually the happiness and expected contentment. But as I am so fixated on looking ahead instead of just around me, who’s to say I will know when I’ve arrived at the place of contentment I’ve been looking for? Who’s to say I won’t miss it completely, because I’ll still be distracted, still looking ahead, still dreaming of what’s yet to come?

Contentment will never be achieved if you’re always yearning for more, and contentment, therefore, can only be achieved with a grateful, present mind.

Nobody knows when our cut-off point will be. Nobody knows when our present will come to its full stop. In the Qur’an, Allah tells us that on the Day of Judgement, when our worldly lives will dwindle into such minute insignificance, He will say,Β “‘How many years were you on earth?’ and they will reply, ‘We stayed a day or part of a day, but ask those who keep count.’ He will say, ‘You stayed but a little, if you had only known.'”Β (Qur’an 23: 112-114).

A day or part of a day.Β Life is truly short. What are our problems if they make up just a fraction of this ‘day’? How significant is the future we obsess over if it’s all still part of the same ‘day’? It’s such a brief and fleeting moment, and such an easy moment to waste.

By living consciously in the present, we are able to take ownership of our existence. We are fully aware, and even during times of sadness or hardship, our presence and attentiveness enables us to grow through our trials with focus and intention, rather than simply drifting through just waiting for days to pass, yearning for the tomorrows that never come. Still think about tomorrow, still plan for tomorrow, but actively figure out what is best for you to do today, right now. Because this, right now, is where you exist. This is where you are breathing, this is where your heart is beating. This is your gift; the only moment you own, so take full ownership of it and greet it with your whole, present, grateful self.

  • Reply
    rushtosuccess
    24/07/2017 at 20:03

    Jazak I Allah Khairan Katheeran for this beneficial post.

  • Reply
    Marriam(@foodeva_marsay)
    26/07/2017 at 08:44

    Beautifully penned. Many of the points you mention are So very true. And that quote by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA)’ … is so on pointπŸ‘Œ. Shukran for sharing this.

  • Reply
    Muslim Mummy
    26/07/2017 at 10:56

    It can be hard to live in the present…you do often end up dreaming about the future….. but I have seem people with better jobs and homes than me be totally unhappy. Contentment and happiness is what you make it. We need to be grateful for what we have and often than not we aren’t and just keep wanting more.

  • Reply
    Christal Joan
    26/07/2017 at 13:27

    I loved reading this article sis masha Allah, it’s almost like you read my mind in writing it. It’s true, contentment cannot come from always yearning for more because essentially that’s like saying you’re not grateful for what you have now. Beautifully written and a beautiful message!

  • Reply
    The Time Is NOW – Tayyib Wellbeing – "Mommy, Who Is Allah?"
    26/07/2017 at 18:53

    […] Something I love about children is their unrivalled ability to live totally in the present. Their past is so fresh it’s something barely worth thinking about, and their future so vast they haven’t had time to tap the surface. Other than counting down the days to an imminently approaching birthday, children seem to exist in each moment with nothing on their mind except the immediate pocket of time right in front of them. I do envy them for that. http://www.tayyibwellbeing.com/the-time-is-now/ […]

  • Reply
    Multicultural Motherhood
    27/07/2017 at 10:50

    Such a great reminder to live in the present moment. Something which social media can make difficult! Thank you for sharing. #MuslimahBloggers

  • Reply
    fabulouslyliberated
    28/07/2017 at 10:02

    Our generation is not wired to live in the now. We are advised to save and study and plan for the future. It is sad that we do not live in the present. And social media makes it a little difficult.

  • Reply
    Chelsea WellnessMuslimah
    29/07/2017 at 17:00

    Subhan’Allah Carla I sooo needed this. This is my biggest struggle right now and I’m really working hard and practicing mindfulness and living in the present. Even once we do reach that future that we dream of (in shaa Allah), whose to say there won’t still be struggle? Life is one big test and while there are certainly happy and peaceful times, it’s always mixed with that test. Only when we achieve Jannah, in shaa Allah, will we have that perfect life. So we need to learn how to be happy, content and grateful in the NOW while working for the future. LOVE LOVE LOVE and I’m so happy your back to blogging. You’re words truly always touch my heart.

    • Reply
      Carla
      13/09/2017 at 12:46

      Aww your comment is so kind 😊 Jazak Allah khair! Alhamdulillah I’m glad to be back to blogging too ☺️ And alhamdulillah for anything positive that comes from it 🌷 🌷

  • Reply
    Iman
    29/07/2017 at 23:04

    I can relate so much to this – I feel like I’m carrying on, waiting for ‘better’ and I’ve really begun to change that mindset to be grateful for now and happy now, whatever comes later inshaAllah is a bonus πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Umme Hafsa
    30/07/2017 at 15:21

    Such a great reminder πŸ’— I completely relate – it’s like this longing to be somewhere else/ do this/ have that… but it’s so true how kids are the most present/ living in the moment and the only way to really ever live this life.

  • Reply
    Zainab Dokrat
    31/07/2017 at 16:27

    Lovely post with a beautiful reminder mashallah πŸ™‚ (www.spicyfusionkitchen.com)

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