Posted by: Edward | September 17, 2015

The Challenge and Opportunity of Now

Do not ask of this moment, whatever you are experiencing, whether this is good or bad. Accept and affirm that this IS, and ask, how can I respond to this? What can I make of this moment? That is the root of our freedom and power.

What is, is. Judging it as bad does nothing to change it, it only makes us feel bad. What the moment provides, whether we find it pleasant or unpleasant, is a challenge and an opportunity.

The challenge is to not let that moment overwhelm us, to not get bogged down in whether it is good, bad, or ugly. Our challenge is to accept it as it is. If we can do this then the moment becomes an opportunity.

It provides an opening for us to fill with an expression of who we are, who we choose to be. In that opening we can choose how we respond, we can choose to express our values in action. In that way any moment, no matter how unpleasant, can be a triumph. We can use that challenge and its opportunity to bring out the best in us.

This being present in the moment and accepting it without judgement has a name. It’s called mindfulness and it is a skill you can develop. One method is the kind of meditation which shares its name.

A simple version of this is to sit in an upright but otherwise relaxed posture and pay attention to the sensations of your breathing. Whenever you notice that your attention has wandered, gently point it back at the physical sensations of breathing.

It is important to note that when your attention wanders you have not failed at meditation. No, instead, noticing that your attention has wandered and gently focusing it back on your breath is succeeding at meditation. That is how you build the skill of mindfulness. As little as ten minutes a day can noticeably change many things in your life.

The next thing to do is let this growing skill of mindfulness start to invade the rest of your life. You could pick a simple task and bring to it the quality of mind you’ve been training with meditation. Try setting random alarms with your watch or phone and just take a few breaths to feel what you are feeling when they go off.  Take an activity that you find boring and try to make it new in a subtle way only you would notice.

Finally, bring the accepting non-judgemental awareness to a moment you normally find difficult and see if it opens up an opportunity to behave differently than you might normally in that situation. If you find that you do, if you get that cubic centimeter of chance, make the best of it.



  1. I always find that the real challenge is to be found in “the moments that make up a dull day”.
    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the here and now.

  2. Excellent post. Thanks for the reminder about the importance of mindfulness . I have tried to do meditation and it is not always easy to do but essential …

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