“Wherever you go, there you are.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn
We’re all searching for meaning, all searching for answers, all searching for ways to make sense of the paths we’re walking, the bodies we’re inhabiting, the lips we’re kissing. We’re all longing to understand, to know, to feel, to find who we are and the direction we’re headed. We’re all trying to look both back and forward, while still focusing on the ground we’re standing on.
But what if life is really about nothing other than the present moment? The minutes, seconds, milliseconds of which you have control? The decisions, the choices, the ability to breathe and sing and laugh and focus on where you are right now?
I stumbled upon this quote a few weeks ago: Wherever you go, there you are. So simple. So profound. It means that no matter where you wander, no matter what’s on your mind, no matter the place or time or circumstance—you are in the present moment. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yes, you can look back to what happened. Yes, you can reach ahead and dream for the future. But where you are is here. Right now.
And what if you celebrated that?
What if you stopped looking back to where you’ve failed or at what you lost, and instead danced with excitement about where your feet are planted? What if you quit worrying over what hasn’t happened yet, trying to make sense of where your relationships are headed or what’s to come next, and instead just kissed? Instead, just smiled? Instead, just focused on what you can control—the joy, the hope, the emotion, the release of what you cannot change.
What if instead of always looking at what you’re doing next, busying your mind with activity after activity, goal after goal, you took a minute to feel proud about the ground you’re standing on? What if instead of wishing for more, you were simply thankful for what you have?
What if instead of moving on autopilot, squinting at the road ahead, you lived in the present moment? Seeing the road, the signs, the curves as they came, without worrying if you were ready for them?
What if instead of living to change yesterday, or living for tomorrow, you lived for today?
Life is about being present. It’s about relishing in where you are and what you have, and taking note of what’s around you. It’s about celebrating, breathing, being, rather than always searching for the next thing, the next item or person to fill your emptiness.
Life is about absorbing. About feeling. About existing. About finding where you fit and appreciating the way your life unfolds, on both good and bad days.
Life is about slowing down. Being still. Finding your place in the universe and being okay with that place, even when it’s frustrating or exhausting or beautiful or confusing or somewhere in-between.
Life is about being present. About being right here.
So quit looking back, looking up, looking ahead. And celebrate now.