I am seeing now that there are many aspects to this skill. One is seeing the world as it is now...acting on what is, not what was when considering times, places, and things.
Another is responding to others based on what is happening between you right now, with no baggage from the past or hopes for the future. When you untie these binds of past and future, the present can brighten and show you more of the person than you saw when you let these things cloud your vision.
Yet another aspect, and the one I am contemplating this morning, is seeing yourself in the here and now. Accepting your current self fully. I think there is wisdom in spending some time reflecting on the past so as to spur growth...and there are great benefits to planning for our future selves...paths of learning and accomplishments we aspire to.
But, we cannot live there...in the past and future. If I act according to my wants, desires, skills, interests of the past, I am blocking knowing myself in the present! (Wow, I am just figuring this out while writing it...or relearning what I already knew?). Who am I now? What are my interests right now? I need to allow myself to grow, change, evolve...to turn and turn till I come round right.
I have attached one of my favorite songs ever: Simple Gifts. It is an old Shaker hymn that packs power to quiet my soul and open me.
'Tis the gift to be simple
'Tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place just right
It will be in the valley of love and delight
When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend we will not be ashamed
To turn to turn it will be our delight
'Til by turning and turning we come round right.
No lyrics could be truer. I often sing them over and over in the car as a kind of mantra. I think singing is powerful and causes our selves to internalize words and ideas in a much deeper way than just listening. Here is Judy Collins' version.