Thursday, September 12, 2019


To celebrate Mindfulness Day, here is the first half of a children's book (for everyone) I penned on what it means to live in the moment, and how to keep the elusive moment present.

Right now.

Has anyone ever told you that?

Like, your mom or dad saying, “I want you to brush your teeth… right now!”

Have you ever thought about what right now means?

Right now, means a lot.  Much more than just brushing your teeth.

Especially to you, child, because you haven’t been in this world very long, and everything you experience is new and fresh.

But the adults around you—like your mom and dad—they often forget what right now means and feels like.

And if you don’t pay attention, you may forget what right now means, too, when you grow up.

That would be a shame.  

Because knowing what right now means—and living right now—will ensure you are happy, always.

So… what… is… right now?

Right now, is… the present moment. 

Meaning, everything around you, right now. 

It sounds so simple.

If only.

Right now—the present moment—keeps disappearing as we live it.

So, we should try to understand what right now truly means.

So, let’s say this:  right now means from this moment until bedtime. 

Which means, right now is… today. 

Now that you know right now is today, let’s talk about what right now is not. 

Right now, is not thinking about anything bad that happened to you before this moment, before today. This can make you sad.

Right now, is not thinking about what will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow or the day after that.  This can make you worry.

Do you want to spend your time being sad?

I don’t think so.

Do you want to worry a lot?

I don’t think so. 

It makes no sense to worry.  

Because what good can worry do?

As you grow older, go about your life with the wonder you enjoy right now, as a child. 

As people grow older, they believe they are the story their minds have made up about themselves.   

And they want other people to believe their made-up story, too.

But everyone believes what they choose to believe.  

And you would be surprised how much different people see you from how you see yourself, from how you see your own story about yourself.

Having your own story about yourself is called ego.

Ego is your brain getting in the way of enjoying right now.  

It does this by thinking too much about your story. 

And about your past. 

And about your future. 
Thinking, always thinking, about your story, your past and your future.  

Instead of just being.

Thinking and over-thinking cause sadness and worry.  

And it leaves you forever having to defend the story you believe about yourself.

If you are able to be instead of think, you are awakened to the magic that is going on all around you, all the time.

You have a brain.  

But you also have a soul.  

Your brain is not your soul, and your soul is not your brain.

Your brain perceives the world around you with five senses:  sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

Your brain, which is your ego, is a tool for thinking, just as your heart is a tool for pumping blood and your stomach a tool for digesting food, inside the vessel we call our body.

Your soul knows there is more going on around you than what your body’s tools can perceive. 

Your soul, if you free it from your brain, opens itself to instinct, intuition, and perception of the reality that exists in the world around you beyond your body’s five senses.

Your ego tries to control your thinking and fills your brain with clutter. 

Your brain distracts you from your soul because it wants all of your attention for your story—and to distract the higher consciousness of your soul.

Higher consciousness comes when your soul rises above your ego, and your mental energy is focused on living your life right now, just being, without feeling bad about anything that happened in your past or worrying about your future.

So how can your soul take control of your mind?

Start by allowing your soul to observe what your brain is thinking.

That’s right.  

It is truly that simple.

Allow your soul to get to know how your brain thinks and what it is thinking about right now.  

Take a step outside yourself and observe your brain think.  

Once you do this, you will immediately know the difference between your soul and your brain.

Next:  when the thoughts of your brain drift to the past or the future… Stop!   

Switch gears.  

Take control of your brain and bring it back to right now.

Or, when your brain tries to think about how someone made you feel bad yesterday… Stop!  

Switch gears.  

Take control of your brain and bring it back to right now.

Or, when you’re worried about a homework assignment that is due in school tomorrow…Stop!  

Switch gears.  

Take control of your brain and bring it back to right now.  (And maybe just get moving on that homework assignment.)

A wise philosopher from long ago once said:  As you think, so shall you be.

This means you are your thoughts.  

So, allow your soul to choose what you want to think about and who you truly desire to be.

Your soul can think whatever it chooses to think.  It does not have to think what your brain wants it to think.

Put another way, invest your thoughts as wisely as you would invest your money.

One of the tenets of a long-established religion states:  Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

This means, once your soul is in charge of your brain, you are transformed, from sadness and worry to happy and relaxed.

There is a word for allowing your soul to take control of your mind, for making it pay attention to right now.

That word is mindfulness.

Your soul uses mindfulness to pay attention to right now instead of allowing your brain to clutter your thoughts or to think thoughts about the past or future that make you sad or anxious or angry.

Mindfulness is when you pay attention to everything around you, right now, with one or more of your senses.

Mindfulness works best when you focus your brain on one thing at a time and give that one thing your complete attention.

Once you are able to focus your brain, you become aware of what is around you as never before.  

You awaken to the meaning and magic that exists in everything, everywhere.  

You have actualized your soul separate from your brain.

When you are actualized, you never wait for anything anymore.

For example, whether you are at a red light or in a doctor’s office expecting to be seen, you are not waiting.  

Instead, you are enjoying a quiet moment, savoring your surroundings, and clearing your mind from clutter.

When you are actualized, you are more aware, and your soul is awakened.

Actualization, awareness and awakening lead to moments of illumination.

Illumination is when you are suddenly happy for no reason.

Moments of illumination can lead to enlightenment.

Enlightenment comes when you have accepted that life is what it is and whatever happens cannot be otherwise.

Enlightenment is when you are always living right now.

Enlightenment is when you are happy for no reason all the time.

Enlightenment is when your mind opens to an understanding that everything in nature, and the cosmos, is connected. 

There is not a you plus everything else.  

There is everything, including you.

Once you understand oneness; once you understand that you are not divided from everything but part of a whole, and that everything is connected, you realize that what matters most is a loving heart.

What matters most is to be kind.

What matters most is to be compassionate and, whenever you are able, help ease the suffering of others.