In 2013 I was having a spiritual awakening. After rebounding from a heartbreak, I found myself letting go and embracing the present moment—the Here and Now. I had never been happier. I was loving the joy of each moment, swimming through the infinite colors and shades of light in nature and life, as I walked to work, as I worked, as I talked to people, as I walked back home. In 2015 I moved to the spiritual community of Ananda Village. My happiness and presence persisted, shifted, and deepened spiritually, as my sadhana and connection with my guru deepened. For about six months that is.
Soon after I started taking on a software development role for Ananda, I found myself back on my technical background, and gradually losing my connection to the present moment, and naturally, to my inert happiness. I had a feeling of what was happening, but I don’t think I quite realized the extent of it.
Recently, I noticed the extent of my loss of connection with the here and now. I noticed I was, once again, fully back on “project” mode. Always projecting. Always looking forward to something, when that accomplishment comes, when this event happens, when I receive this, when I become that, when humanity evolves and peace comes, and so on… When the heart takes the backseat, while the mind drives around a hopeless circle.
So last week, I had a breakthrough day. It was the middle of the week, and I hadn’t anything on my schedule. At once I remembered that I want to be happy now, not later! I felt the blessings of being so free, inwardly and outwardly. I made a vow to myself to feel free and happy everyday. No more am I going to condition my feeling free or happy on what’s to come.
I took a joy ride to town. Not because I needed anything, simply because I love driving on the wavy and scenic CA highway 49. It was especially lovely driving through the spring-time weather. I came to a Starbucks cafe, ordered my favorite chai and worked a little on my personal projects, and then drove back. In the car I listened to an oldies mix tape I used to love in my teens.
It’s been a week now, and I notice something important. I need to remind myself of my decision to BE HAPPY NOW, everyday. It’s work. But it works! If you’ve really convinced yourself that you can be happy now, and allow yourself, that is. If deep down we’re still convinced we need this or that to be happy, then no amount of vows and reminders can really work!
So I ask you to join me to take the “Be Happy Now” vow. Remind yourself each day, and then feel it. Live it. Take joy in what’s in front of your face, not something in the future. Stop looking forward, and worst worry forward, into the future! If you absolutely have to look forward, as I tend to, like your life depends on it, then look forward to short-term things. Look forward to small things you’ll be enjoying today, like a chai drink you’ll be having in half an hour during your break, or listening to your favorite song which has been making you want to dance recently, rather than the long-term, distant things, like when you graduate, or meet the love of your life, or become famous, or whatever.
Speaking of Be Here Now. I had never read Ram Dass’s book. It’s quite fun reading his diary, and apparently there’s a Netflix documentary on his life: Dying to Know.