It’s raining right now. Hard and furious. I’m sitting at my yellow desk listening to it fall, bundled up in a warm sweater and my favorite leggings which are almost threadbare from use. I like this moment, this now. I feel warm. And cozy.

I wrote a piece the other night about nows. Seizing our moments and living in the now. Asking the question, If not now, when? In part I was challenging myself to get going on this whole writing process and start actively seeking out creative opportunities that might be a good fit for me, AND (here’s the big part) actually DO something about them.

I am. I sent something off for the first time this morning. It was a good feeling. Accomplishment. Momentum. Moving in the right direction.

I’ve been reflecting lately on what it means to embrace the now. Reflecting on what motivates and inspires us towards movement. Reflecting on what keeps us from change and greater presence in our lives.

Reflecting on the idea that what really allows us to live in the now, is, living in the now.

Stay with me here, I’m going somewhere outside the ridiculous obviousness of the statement above.

I believe that what really allows us to be present in each and every day is being fully present in the days that came before. In dealing with whatever life brings our way with as much honesty, compassion, and integrity as we can. Being mindful of our moments. This applies to the good stuff, but it also applies to the hard stuff.

We live in a culture that struggles to deal with the hard stuff. We lack the vocabulary to speak of our experiences in a holistic way. We often don’t know how to talk about our sorrows, our fears, our insecurities- our hard stuff, in a way that acknowledges those experiences as natural guests we will meet time and time again throughout our lifespan.

We lack patience, impatiently tapping our foot because the microwave isn’t churning through that minute as fast as we would like. Sighing in frustration that the internet is taking awhile to load. Drumming our fingers on our own desk of self that we are not snapping out of our bad mood as fast as we think we should.

We feel bad and immediately seek to feel good. While I am all for positive living and embracing wellness, I am also for pausing to consider our moments and what information our moods might have for us.

We often skip the part that maybe there is a reason we feel the rain pour down inside.

We are not a society oriented to process.

We are a society oriented to convenience, to fix, to easy.

When we choose an easy fix over a true mindful moment, what we end up with is an accumulation of emotional clutter. Our emotions were never sorted in the first place, because they were never attended to. Over time, this clutter starts to become uncomfortable, crowding. We seek a way to remedy that discomfort by doing more stuff, buying more things, making life about obtaining goals without equal respect for the goal of the moment.

This creates a kind of false seize the day mentality I like to think of as Faux Carpe Diem.

People are running around frantically seizing, trying to swallow large moments in life, but it doesn’t really stick. They can’t absorb the moments. They have no room inside.

The most grandiose vacation throughout Europe for one who has no inner peace, no ability to be present in a moment, will never compare to someone who sits in the sunshine smiling at a blade of grass while feeling a sense of wholeness in their being, a sense of connection to life.

We are better equipped to embrace our moments if we equip ourselves with ways to handle life’s moments as they come at us.

Sometimes this means carving out quiet time, meditation, prayer, journaling, a walk in the rain, anything that creates space for reflection.

Sometimes this means talking it out and garnering support, sharing our moments with another.

Sometimes this means finding ways to think about what we experience in a more adaptive, life producing way. Instead of judging our emotional process, what would happen if we would embrace and nurture those processes? Radical acceptance, radical self love.

Tending to the moments of our days allows us to stay present. Living in the now allows us to better embrace future nows, and truly sit in a moment.

Sometimes that means one spends a summer grieving and cleaning out their internal closets, instead of just adding more stuff to disguise the mess that’s there, so they can truly enter fall in a space that houses a free and clear heart.

Sometimes that means slowing down and making time to think about you, then responding to yourself with exquisite kindness.

And sometimes that means you just have to pause for a bit, check in with yourself, and take the time to pay attention to the hundred tiny moments of the day waiting to bring joy.

The sound of the rain. The feel of your favorite leggings. The anticipation of the spaghetti you will be eating later tonight.