During one of my last projects I led a group of twenty artists at a meditation artistic retreat in Thailand, and for the artists to benefit the most from the experience I tried from the very beginning to make them understand that it is not the same ‘to be here’ and ‘to be present'. The Sun, a plant or even the couch at your home 'are there', but they do not have the ability to use their consciousness to appreciate that precise instant; however we do. We can either keep walking along life without life surpassing us, or we can start to squeeze every second in order to appreciate the genuine value of time.
If at a particular situation we are connected to technology or even to other thoughts, we are not completely enjoying that moment but only a part of it (perhaps 30-40%?). It may seem exaggerated, yet not being a single situation but a behavior that has become a way of life, that is the actual percentage of the time we are taking advantage of.
The longing of youth, nostalgia for a place or desire for the company of a person who is not there are feelings that keep us living in the past, reliving situations that have already occurred. It may sound cold, but from a practical point of view to spend time missing situations, places or people, it is not a constructive behavior at all, making our time less valuable. Instead of living fully this particular moment learning the circumstances around us and working to build up unique and stunning situations or beautiful friendships, we are stuck in a past time that we already had the opportunity to learn from and, undoubtedly, we will not manage now to change anything from it.
If we spend days dreaming about something which actually is unreachable, everything we do carry out automatically will seem to have less value. This situation leaves us facing just two options: to seize our dreams and aspirations according to our ability in order to collect results that will satisfy and enrich us, or simply to follow blindly and unconditionally our dreams, whatever they are, but always being fully aware that not only they may not ever be fulfilled, but that possibility is very probable. Therefore, we must be open to observe and learn along the way so that not only we evolve but so our dreams do. The difference between goals and dreams is that the first ones are enjoyed only when we achieve them, however dreams are something to be enjoyed as they are happening, they are inspiring and motivating by themselves making time more valuable during the process of living.
\nIf we live in fear or shyness that prevents us from performing certain actions or saying certain things, again we are not fully living as we should but we are letting situations pass on only and exclusively by our choice. Feelings like jealousy or resentment push us to develop emotions linked with hate, thus it adds burdens that impede our progress naturally. All these factors act as strings that, despite having elasticity, they keep us always anchored to points in the past.
I often rethink my life, sometimes I fail and sometimes I shed a tear, but I never looked back and regretted something I did not try, did not do, did not say. Maybe if in the future my life will eventually halt, but by then it will be already too late for having wasted it, because I have learned the genuine value of time and I enjoy with all my passion and energy every second from every day as if it was the last one and at the same time with the illusion as if it was the first.
There is a saying "Life is not measured by how many times you breathe, but by the moments that take your breath away" words of such poetic beauty that is difficult to refute. However, I completely disagree; I think life is measured by the moments when we learn, times when we get to draw a smile at a person’s face and, above all, by the days when we manage to be happy enjoying every second and managing to be fully ourselves.