February 17, 2013

Living in the Past & Dreaming of the Future? ~ Kate Lomac-MacNair

Kilcher Homestead in Homer, Alaska. ~ Kate Lomac-MacNair

Be in that Which Is Actually Happening.

Learn to close your eyes when you feel the breeze caress your face.

I recently read that the mind spends 70 percent of the time replaying memories of the past or imagining the perfect scenario of the future. Wow! Seventy percent?

Does that only leave 30 percent for the present, the here, the now, this moment?

That percentage seemed a trifle askew. Intrigued, I began to play observer to my thoughts, and came to the conclusion that it is right on, if not a bit conservative. I live in the past and dream of the future.

How often does my mind drift to bygone moments, inviting nostalgia to commandeer my heart? How often do I dwell on previous choices and lost chances? Revisiting pain, frustration and self-pity? Recreating wrongs done to me by others, and worse, wrongs done to me by myself?

How frequently do my musings stray to a cherished moment, the touch of a past lover, laughter of a lost friend, or a carefree instant never to be had again? Had I less worry then? Was that real love? Was I truly living? It is said that past haunts us.

No, I welcome the ghosts, inviting their embraces to wrap me in a cloak of safety and solidarity. Why be here in the mysterious when I know fully how these have turned out?

Being here is frightening, I don’t even know where here is going!

I try though. Oh yeah, I can strategize the future down to the tiniest detail. I can decide how tomorrow should evolve, how the week must progress, how the month will pass, the year, the rest of my life. I have been planning and daydreaming since I can remember. I speculate, contemplate and mandate what I want to happen.

Believing that if I can just form it in my head, then the future will unfold exactly as I wish. I must know better than the universe what I need, right? Right?

Oddly, it never goes as planned, yet it always seems to work out beautifully.

One of my favorite yoga teachers used to say, “Be in that which is actually happening.” What a simple command.

Yet, the tenacity and perseverance it takes to harness the mind feels daunting. How exactly does one train the mind to live in the now, while drawing from the past and maintaining trust in the future? How do we tip the jar so we are more 50/50 or even 70/30 in the now?

See your whole tapestry of life.

Appreciate that the past is part of you, each moment like a silken thread in the tapestry of your life. When all seems to be unraveling, tuck stray threads back in their place, love the uniqueness of tattered edges and take a step back to see your life work as a whole.

Remember, you have to continue weaving until your tapestry is complete.

Be daring.

Although the future is mysterious and unknown, it is also out of your control.

Dare to trust, believe in the workings of the universe. If you have learned anything from your past, it is that it always works out. It is often better than we could ever have planned.

Be in that which is actually happening.

Be determined to alter your percentage. Be available to see the green flash at sunset, hear the delight of a child’s giggle, savor the first sip of your morning coffee and close your eyes when you feel the breeze caress your face. The past is part of you; it will always be there.

The future, regardless of how you wish it, will unfold ahead of you. But right now; this is the present.

This is life and it is actually happening.


Kate is a yogi, surfer, marine biologist, tree-hugger, whale-hugger, human-hugger, student and teacher alike. Cultivating balance in a life shared between Alaska and Costa Rica a piece of her heart remains in India but her true home is the ocean. An aficionada of all things green she swears she could subsist on kale and avocadoes and loves passing time in the garden. Kate adamantly adores alliterations and awkwardly attempts to add them in all applicable avenues. When not swimming with whales, hiking with her dog, or baking rosemary bread she is found exploring a new adventure, which at the present is discovering her voice through writing.


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