Friday, July 22, 2011

No waiting, no regrets, no ordinary moments

During a particularly juicy time of my life a recent few years ago, I was influenced by the work of Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) and Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior). Today, a Facebook post by my friend Kath referencing this article by James Altucher made me think of an episode of Six Feet Under in which Claire is in an art class at college and gets a substitute teacher (Olivier Castro-Staal played by Peter Macdissi) who basically blows the students minds with his "take-no-prisoners" attitude toward art, which reminded me of the phrase which is the title of this post and which I pieced together from Tolle and Millman:

No waiting, no regrets, no ordinary moments.

That is, there is no gain living for the future, worrying about what might happen, hoping that some day you'll be happy, rich, thin, important, whatever. As Tolle reminds us, there is only NOW. No waiting!

Related to that, there is no point living in the past, feeling angst about what you did or didn't do, obsessing about the shoulds you didn't heed, etc. Again, as Tolle reminds us, there is only NOW. Indeed, the past and the future are fictions we create. They do not exist except in our minds. Even when we think about the past or the future, it is NOW. No regrets.

Finally, Millman emphasizes the importance of living fully in each moment. No moment is ordinary unless we allow it to be so. No ordinary moments.

Unfortunately, most of the time many of us forget that this moment is all we have and that it's our choice whether to be present and awake and appreciating it for what it is. We spend our "moments" anxious about the future and guilty about the past, when it's only in the present moment that we have any choice.

We too often forget what Chuck Palahniuk told us in Fight Club: "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."

All of this is the essence of what Jack Kerouac was trying to teach us, especially in his Buddhist-inspired writing, but in general he espoused (and lived) the value of extracting the full measure of life from each moment.

Jack's epitaph bears witness: He honored life.

No waiting, no regrets, no ordinary moments.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Great post. Reminds me of the song you wrote - probably about that same time - "I Had A Dream" (though I always think of the song title as "I'm Awake!") It's a great song - one I think you might find some takers for if you were to shop it around.