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Be there then, then here now.

The admonition to be here now was made famous in the West by Ram Dass with the release of his seminal book of the same name in 1971. The practice is a key to mindfulness. Being here now means, in part, recognizing what you are feeling in a given moment, understanding what is going on inside and detaching from it. Mindfulness helps you to moderate your responses. Another way to think of it is opening up the space between stimulus and response. 

This week, in our country, there's going to be a lot of stimulus and response. Opening up the space in between would probably do us all some good. 

Wherever our "here" is now, we all have a "there" then. It's what got us here and it's worthy of reflection. So go ahead. Look back at your journey. Look at the choices you were able to make. Look at the choices others made that affected your life, like your parents, or current or former partners and friends. Think of forces that nudged you in one direction or another while you weren't paying attention and may even have hardened into who you are now, especially the parts of yourself you don't like best or still don't understand well. These can certainly include things that evoke a strong response. Examine how you formed your values along the way, how you cared for your mental and physical health, how you served your well-being and how you have loved. Think about the compromises, the sacrifices and the changes you decided to make; or didn't make. What feels like a win? A loss? 

All along the way, every moment was a now whether you took it to be or not. It still is. So, go back over that list of questions and frame them all in the present. Because you are not just the result of what has been; you are always able to choose now. You aren't the accumulation of the past. You are making all your choices every moment. That is the mystery of now. It's always been now. 

This week -- now -- may you open the space between stimulus and response, and simply be. 


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