As a yoga teacher and mindfulness coach, my whole career is based on teaching people to be in the Now, that magical sweet spot where the past can’t hurt us and the future can’t worry us. We know intuitively that this is really the “right” way to live, and a huge number of self help books, courses and workshops are devoted to trying to get people to live in this sweet spot more often. However, the fast pace of modern living, social media overload and increasingly busy work schedules means that it’s sometimes super hard to appreciate this notion, and before we know it we’re back to being consumed by future anxieties or past regrets.
So, what if there was an easier way to appreciate this concept?
Well as it is, there is an easier way. And it all started with a duck.
The animal kingdom is an often overlooked source of divine inspiration I find, and a recent walk in my local country park confirmed this to me yet again. Let me set the scene for you;
It’s a beautiful sunny day. The ducks are frankly loving it, because everyone is outside, feeling good and they’re scattering bird seed like it’s confetti at their best friends wedding. Mothers are smiling as their children squeal with delight at the mass of birds congregating on the path, couples beam at the idyllic countryside scene before them, and even the seagulls are digging it because they’re getting some attention too. It’s beyond lovely.
Until a super excitable dog decides to get involved. (Probably a labrador.)
Now it’s chaos. The birds are literally running for their lives, diving in the pond to escape the threat, and there’s noise, and feathers and splashing and shouting and all the drama.
Now here’s the interesting part
The dog was eventually lured back by it’s owner with something presumably more appealing than fresh duck, and the panic was over. Fast forward less than sixty seconds… the ducks were back out of the pond and eating their birdseed as if nothing untoward had happened at all.
Mrs Duck didn’t start wringing her wings and critisising Mr Duck for not doing more to prevent the attack. Mr Duck didn’t start thinking about moving the family to another pond where this kind of flagrant attack was less likely to happen. And Grandmother duck certainly didn’t start puffing up her chest and complaining how this kind of thing didn’t happen when she was a duckling.
They just moved on with their day.
And if that isn’t a beautiful representation of living in the Now, I don’t know what is.
Be more duck.