There is a lot of talk about wonder, joy, beauty, and magic. These words, and more importantly their experience, are connected and intersect one another. The one thing they all have in common is that they can only be experienced when we are in the moment. Which any of us rarely are. Being present to the moment is, in fact, one of the most difficult things we can do. 

It takes tremendous discipline and practice to be fully here - here and now. We live in a culture that promotes all manners of activity to keep us distracted. Incessant thinking and worry, checking our phone every other minute, constant listening to music or news, spending hours at a time on the Internet, etc., are all ways we keep our inner life at a distance. We are utter and total strangers to ourselves. What gives?

Culture is a reflection of us and, as such, mirrors back our immense anxiety. In order to be in the moment, we need to learn to tolerate our anxiety. It is a muscle that needs to be developed by actually practicing being present with and befriending ourselves. That, in turn, can only be done by learning to have an honest relationship with our self and tolerating our anxiety. 

No need for exotic practices to practice being present. It is amazing how we can do all kinds of body/mind practices, and do them while not being in our bodies. Place the name of your favorite practice here. Just like exercising while listening to music, we can go through the motion while being totally checked out. 

Here is a practice for you: look at/sit in front of or with/hold something you love. It can be a picture, an object, a pet. Feel the ground beneath your feet, drop your breathing, and really be absorbed by what you truly love. Do that a couple of minutes every day, and feel what happens. Don’t think about it, just do it. 

The wonder, joy, beauty, and magic that we are seeking has always been, is, and will continue to be in the moment. We look everywhere but the here and now. We are either lost in the past, or musing about the future, while missing the present. Instead of being addicted to pursuing things, why not be bathed in their presence? Instead of reading menus, why not grab a seat and eat a full meal?