Now. Small word with big meaning.  This word has tremendous meaning to me. So much so that we have an art quilt with this word on it, created by the amazing artist Therese May and gifted to us by my MIL.

I have been thinking about this word a lot lately. For me, two different ideas come to mind.

One one hand I think about living in the now, relinquishing my attachment to the past and my anxiety or anticipation about the future. Ha! Who am I kidding, it’s darn near impossible for me to do both, but boy do I  try.  My son definitely helps me with this. Toddlers have nothing but the now and I loves seeing the ease of which he moves through life, not worrying about anything and therefore fully enjoying whatever creative opportunity the moment brings.  He is free, and when I enter his world with him, I can be free too.  That freedom makes my body feel light, my cravings feel smaller, my fears disappear, and my joy feel bigger.

Then there is the other association I have with the word “Now”. I think about action. Doing. Moving. Engaging.  NOT procrastinating. NOT being stuck in fear. NOT making excuses.  But there is a catch – I think to really harness the power of “NOW”, so to speak, there must be consciousness and intention, else you run the risk of living in the tyranny of the moment.

I learned about tyranny of the moment at a training aimed at discussing ways to help communities get out of poverty. I work in public health, and my work surrounds helping communities find strategies to obesity prevention. When you are caught up in the tyranny of the moment, the actions you take tend to just lead you down the same familiar (and unhealthy) path that you’ve been on. You are being reactive.  You are not in a state of future planning or thinking about the impact of “now”. You are just acting.

In reality, I believe we all have to come to terms with that tyranny of the moment if we want to make change in our life.  At some point, after you have invested some time in deciding what you want, you have to decide that NOW is the time to act on those intentions. You have to say NOW is the time to stop watching this TV show and go to bed, or NOW is the time that I put the bag of chips back in the cupboard, or NOW is the time I put on my shoes and go for a walk….or in my case, NOW is the time I start firing up my blog again.

So the question I pose to all of us tonight, is what is your NOW calling for? For me, it’s a 9:30pm bedtime so I can get up early and fulfill my goal of exercise before a long day of sitting at meetings. Which means, of course, time to sign off. Goodnight friends.