While sitting cross-legged at the beginning of yoga class the other day, the instructor cued us to find our center, a perfectly neutral position of the spine without leaning forward or back. He added that in our culture we tend to lean forward because we live just slightly in the future at all times. I recalled a yoga session I attended about 8 years ago in which my instructor adjusted my posture because, unbeknownst to me, I was leaning forward in this seated position. I generally have very good body awareness, and I remember the bewilderment I felt to be lacking awareness of my posture; but I would have to agree with Josh: in our culture we are constantly living forward into the future. I am especially guilt of this.
I make an effort to recall the moments recently when I truly felt present. Maybe while spending time with friends, or singing along to a song on the radio, or when I got a really spectacular 60 minute facial last week. But the fact is, most of the time I am thinking about the future -- my never-ending to-do list, my schedule for the next few weeks, or what I'm going to make for dinner next Sunday. Just this week I made a packing list for a trip I'm going on in 5 weeks, and I already have a to-do list for the week after my wedding (100 days from now).
What is our obsession with always planning ahead? And are we missing out on the present by always living in the future?
I had a few instances at work recently that really forced me to appreciate the present and the precious, limited time that we have in our lives. We have so little control over the length of our lives and we must focus on maximizing our quality of life and appreciate our time together.
Living in the present is much easier said than done, but I strive to make an effort to BE present and APPRECIATE the experiences life hands us.