Welcome to my blog!

Hello! My name is Paula and I love to write. I have an affinity for words and I want to tell tales about life and share experiences. I now have my very own canvas. I’m so excited! I have wanted to be an author since I was a child. I graduated from the Morris Journalism Academy in 2007. It’s funny how sometimes your passions are put on the back burner, while life goes on. You have probably heard the line “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, (is it from a song? Not sure). I am blessed with the gifts of time and space now, and here I am doing what I love.Check out some of my articles.. Happy reading!


Your Precious "Now"

“Look at what happened in the Past. Learn something valuable from it. Do things differently in the present." Spencer Johnson (Author, The Present, The One Minute Manager, Who Moved My Cheese?)

You are the sum of all the choices and experiences of your past. This is a good thing; all the lessons you have learned and the people you have loved. The drawback is that in your past lie your demons, your fears, insecurities and hurts. You are who you are right now. Think about it; there is no other time except for this present moment, the past is over and cannot be relived or undone and the future cannot be experienced in the present and no amount of thought or worry can change that fact.

According to Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddha likens this sentiment to “living alone”. This is a short excerpt from the book “Our Appointment with Life: The Buddha's Teaching on Living in the moment. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
“To live alone does not mean to reject the world and society. The Buddha said that living alone means living in the present moment deeply observing what is happening. If we do that, we will not be dragged into the past or swept away into thoughts about the future. The Buddha said that if we cannot live in the present moment, even if we are alone in deepest forest, we are not really alone. He said that if we are fully alive in the present moment, even if we are in a crowded urban area, we can still be said to be living alone.”

Have you been in a conversation or watching TV only to realize that you have not heard anything that has been said? When this happens you are not present you are not here. You are temporarily residing elsewhere. It means you are missing out on the Precious Now. Seizing the present is a habit that can be learned over time; being totally aware of right now, your surroundings, your feelings. Good or bad now is all you’ve got. It is a choice to hold onto to every moment as it were your last. You don’t want to come to the end of your life with the knowledge that your life has not been all that it could be. If you don’t saviour now when we will you?

I have a habit of worrying about things and a lot of the time it is future events. I can sit and waste my Precious Now stressing about what may or may not happen. My lesson is: If I cannot do anything about it at this moment why worry? If something can be done the wisest way to spend my time right now is by taking positive action. It makes sense but it takes practice to implement in every day life. Whenever I become aware of my mind straying to a past or future event, my affirmation is “Confine yourself to the present”. After all, what we do in the present is the only thing that is going to affect the future so worry in this instant is useless.

One of the most significant things in life is the ability to forgive. Forgiveness does not entail condoning bad behaviour, it just conduces letting go of the resentment behind it. There is no better way to waste your Precious Now than focusing on something that happened in the past no matter how hurtful.

It’s ok to be sorry and to wish you hadn’t done something but guilt, just like worry is a complete waste one’s time. Learn from your mistakes, they are yours and you’re entitled to them; look at them as valuable lessons and move on. Let go of judgment. There is only now and there is no right or wrong. Mistakes are lessons and they are not wrong. People, animals and things just are, they are not good and they are not bad they just are.

Shakyamuni, the Buddha once said’ “ If one comes across a person who as shot an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about were the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.”

A work of genius, a book titled The Power Of Now was written by Eckhart Tolle. He says “Do you really know what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many people for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self- images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility and compassion. It made them more real. Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time.”

Tolle says that happiness depends on the perception of outer conditions being positive, but inner peace does not, and he goes as far to say that being free of psychological time is one of the tools to inner peace. He states that psychological time is a mental disease such as always wanting to be somewhere else other than in your life, viewing fulfillment by short term pleasures such as sex food alcohol drugs etc... and always trying to achieve and acquire “stuff”. All of this, he says, distorts the reality of the Now, which is all you are ever going to have. He advises using clock time for practical matters and in order to fit into society and returning to present moment awareness as soon as the practicalities have been dealt with so that we don’t build up psychological time “which is identification with the past and continuous compulsive projection into the future.”

Think about all the things you really want versus what you need which is always peace in the now. Have you ever coveted something material only to still feel unfulfilled when you finally got it?

One may be inclined to consider “What the heck if all I have is now; I’m going to live a hedonistic life and focus only on my pleasure.” The true Zen would not say “Enjoy yourself now for you are a long time dead”; because the moment you think about your death you have ceased living in the now. True peace is not what is happening on the outside, but what is occurring on in the inside. That is not to say that one should not make plans and set goals. It just means that remembering that the journey is all we have and without the goals we would not have the journey. Life does not always flow according to plan so it is also wise to accept that things may not always go they way we expect. Acceptance of the Now does not mean resigning to situations we find unpleasant. We can focus on the present moment without judgment, therefore clearing our mind for positive action.

I am of the opinion that, like time, age does not really exist. I’m not just stating this because I want to ignore my wrinkles and not face the fact that I am getting older, but if peace is inward the wrinkles do not exist. How many times have we heard elderly people say, "I don’t feel any different now than I did when I was 20”? It is because the mind and spirit cannot age and when your body dies my belief is that the essential YOU will not.

The key is to spend each and every moment being our best self, everything else doesn’t matter. With anything that relates to growth a shift has to occur in our hearts and mind in order to become aware of our now. Although balance is the key we can learn that the greatest power is now and if we are going to spend time worrying, let’s think instead about how we can make valuable changes in the world; to lend a hand and to take care of our earth. That is something we can do at this moment and the joy and peace that it will bring cannot be duplicated by all the riches in the world.

Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is
in the very here and now,
the practitioner dwells
in stability and freedom
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late,
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows
how to dwell in mindfulness night and day "one who knows the better way to live alone."
Thich Nhat Hanh, Our Appointment With Life: The Buddha's Teaching on Living in the Present.

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julia said...

found your blog thru link referral. You reviewed my blog. Thanks for the nice comments! I love your article on blog traffic. I am going to follow all of your recs because traffic is an issue...not much. Have been up and running for 5 months and have only about 30 a day on a good day. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated


Sindharta Tanuwijaya said...

"Have you been in a conversation or watching TV only to realize that you have not heard anything that has been said?"

How do you think about someone who is constantly thinking about ways of improving his business methods even while he/she is having dinner with his/her family ?

It's something that I think does not belong to a past event, nor a future one, because it is actually something that the person can do at the moment although maybe the time is not appropriate.

Still, I can't say the behavior is correct. What do you think ?

Paula said...

What you are saying is quite right but my point is that it is a shame that often present moments are wasted regretting a past event or worrying about a future one, therefore missing what is precious right now, which is all there is.

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