There is a great Chinese proverb that I strive regularly to take to heart.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
I had many different choices for my life to be made 20 years ago. I was not so long out of college and was fresh from my studies of theatre, radio/audio production, and art history. Arguably, that was the time to pursue careers in those fields (and maybe make use of my college degree).
I didn’t. For lots of reasons I didn’t dive into professional theatre, nor travel anywhere I could to get into radio, nor use my minor in art history to work at a museum or go back to school for an education degree of some sort.
I say reasons, but the truth is they were excuses. I had a comfort zone that on the one hand I really wanted out of — on the other hand, I was too comfortable to leave.
For years I bounced job to job, doing things that I was generally good at by not thrilled by. Much boredom, and over the years a degree of regret.
Now, 20 years later, I am working on being who I desire most to be and doing what I believe to be the things I am supposed to do in this world. Maybe I got to it late — but there is no such thing as too late.
Now is the time
The great Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant minds to ever live, is attributed with saying,
“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
This is relevant when you look at life and start to think you waited too long to do something, or it is too late to make a change, and so on and so forth. Time and our perception of it — like our perception of reality — is illusionary.
There is nobody in your head but you. Since nobody else is in there thinking, feeling, and acting as you do, all of how you perceive the world is unique to you. Your reality may have numerous resemblances to mine — but they are still unique to each of us and not the same.
How do we all share cultures, societies, and so on if we all have different realities? That’s a matter of attunement. Everything is energy and energy vibrates at a frequency. Like attracts like. So you vibrate at like frequencies, come together, and form a collective consciousness.
This causes all of us to share aspects of reality. With nearly 8 billion people on the planet, as much as we are all unique individuals our collective vibrational frequencies will sync-up to a degree.
This is relevant to recognize because you have the power to change yourself. You could have spent all of your life up to this moment just going with the flow and letting it happen as it happened. But that doesn’t mean it will always be like that. You have the power to change it.
Keep in mind that now is the only time that is truly real.
Past, future, and now
There is an excellent quote attributed to Lao Tzu that covers this topic.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
The past has passed and is done. You can (and should) learn from it but can’t undo, redo, or change it. Plain and simple it has passed. On the other hand, the future is unknown and what you do in the now will help bring you to it. But worry about this, that, or the other thing will only get in your way along any given path to the future.
Most of us have never experienced a time of uncertainty such as we are right now. How long will we need to maintain social distancing and potentially more drastic measures to keep Covid-19 from overwhelming our society? What will it all look like on the other side of this situation? These are questions fraught with uncertainty and they are causing a lot of distress.
The collective consciousness is nervous and fearful overall. The anxiety about the future is dominating on too many levels and causing a lot of problems for people.
But, on the other hand, many people are really living in the now. No trip to the office, or school, and large swaths of time either to yourself or among an isolated, few close (hopefully) people.
If your life before this time of deep uncertainty wasn’t what you desired for it to be, isn’t now the time to change it? Why not now? What are you waiting for?
Never a good time
I know you have bills to pay, responsibilities to work, family, friends, and various other matters you need to take care of. “Reality” dictates that you participate in the routine and do what you have to — even if it isn’t your passion — because that’s what you do.
Why do we accept that our jobs — where we tend to spend the majority of our waking hours — cannot be fun? Or stimulating? Does NOBODY like what they do to earn money?
Of course not. Plenty of people are pursuing their passions and getting paid to do it.
Those “in power” love for you to believe that you have no choice but to work for them.
Let’s be honest — the billionaire business owners are losing money because they have had to shut down to practice social distancing. The US government is giving almost everyone $1200 to cover lost wages — but you know as well as I do that, truly, that covers very little in most parts of the country.
Yet somehow these businesses are getting tens of thousands of dollars. So they are losing money because they don’t have you and you are losing money because you don’t have them. Yet are they hurting (they being the so-called leaders and billionaires who OWN those businesses)? Of course not.
One thing that this situation could teach us — if we are paying attention and open to the lesson — is that the current structure is a great big lie. Like the notion of trickle-down economics — the top doesn’t spread what they have to the bottom. They hoard it.
Most of the billionaire business owners could still pay you and not suffer. And there are examples of those doing just that.
I suspect they like what they do to earn money. Why can’t you?
Can you see why now is as good a time as any to choose a path for your life?
There is no time like the present to be yourself. You are worthy and deserving of living well, being happy, and doing, having, and being all that you can be. If life up to now has been ho-hum, dull, and uninteresting, why not make changes now?
You have more control than you realize. When you practicing being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, you become aware of where you are on every level. That means that now you can choose new paths for your life and go where you desire to go.
No, this isn’t easy. It is going to take time and patience — you can’t undo in a day the prior years (maybe decades) of thoughts, feelings, actions, and beliefs. But now, at this moment, you can make a new choice.
This uncertain time will pass. Where do you want to be on the other side of it?
If you desire something different for your life, when will you choose that? Why not now?
You are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter — so why not be all that we can be now?
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on April 1, 2020.