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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#23: The Only Moment that Matters

This morning, during my meditation practice (I find it hilarious that every time I try to type "meditation," my fingers automatically type medication. Freud would have a field day with that.) the teacher said something that resonated with me. I'm a beginner at meditation, so a lot of the guided meditations I listen to are just about the practice of it—how to get better, how to begin a practice, etc.—and today was no different. My mind was drifting around, thinking about my sore hip, wondering why it sounded like my dog has emphysema (I'm guessing he has kennel cough), etc. Then, like all good (virtual) meditation teachers, the woman guiding my practice today caught me, and called me out.

"If you find your mind drifting, or if you wander off into a fantasy, recognize what is happening and just come back. Remember that the only moment that matters is the next moment. The moment when you decide to return to focus and begin again."

Mind. Blown.

Yes, that's a great lesson for meditation, but what a freaking great reminder for the rest of your life, too. Fall off the wagon on a habit? Stop yourself, decide to return to focus and begin again. Behave less-than-kindly with your kid or spouse? Apologize, decide to return to kindness and begin again. Blow through a self-imposed deadline or fail to meet a goal? Re-assess the goal, decide to reset and begin again.

What happens next is what matters.

As I remind myself all the time, we can't change the past. All we can do is decide how we want to move forward, and do that. In meditation, we return to the breath and begin again. In life, we recognize where we've gone off track and get back on. It happens to everyone, but not everyone chooses to return to focus and begin again. And that's the difference.


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