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How to Be Happy Now

Nov 13, 2007
The Now is this moment and only this moment. Because Now it's this one. And Now this one. That first 'Now' at the beginning of this paragraph and all subsequent ones since have already become the past. And the next time the big 3-letter 'N'-word is mentioned here (you know the one we mean), it will be a future Now - there it is. Until Now.

Why all this silliness focused on the present moment? Because in truth, Now, or the present moment, is the only moment there ever really is. Why is understanding that so important to our happiness? Because all of our unhappiness, and every other negative thought and emotion associated with it, exists in the nonexistent past or future.

The present moment is timeless, eternal. And in it, if you are really in it, to be unhappy is impossible. Unfortunately, most of the time we think we're in the present moment, we're really in our heads, thinking about it, judging it, fretting about the past or worrying about the future. But in this inexorable moment Now, where the past is behind us and the future has yet to be, there is none of that (or at least there need not be).

There's just the breeze, or lack thereof. The sun, or clouds. People and animals scurrying about, or lying still. Our thoughts and feelings on those circumstances are judgments, but happiness is not a judgment. It is an inward state of being, independent of circumstances, thoughts, feelings, and judgments.

Try for a moment, just being in the Now. It's not so esoteric as it may seem. All it means is to still your constantly jabbering mind for a moment to let the still and silent observer deep inside you observe this moment.

Observe the breeze, or lack thereof. Observe the sun, or clouds. Observe the people and animals scurrying about or lying still. And especially observe those thoughts, feelings, and judgments about those things: about this exercise, even. And recognize that none of those thoughts and feelings and judgments are YOU. You are the still and silent observer watching and listening to it all. Try as hard as you can to experience that state for just a moment and then ask yourself if it was even possible for unhappiness to wheedle its way in there somehow.

The still and silent observer that is the real You is at peace, untroubled by errors of the past and hopes for the future. Circumstances don't make us happy or unhappy. That's why whenever we do manage to get what we thought we needed to be happy, we suddenly find something else to fix on, to hinge our continued happiness or unhappiness upon, something else that we must have or change in order to maintain this happiness and stave off future unhappiness.

Resistance to being fully present to the experience of this moment as it is and nothing but is what fosters unhappiness. Acceptance of this moment, embracing Now as it is, free of and untrammeled by the past and future, is where true and unshatterable happiness lies.
About the Author
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