Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hanging by a Moment

I am rereading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for book club this month, which I LOVE. This is one of the parts I underlined last night:

"The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in the moment...If you are looking for union with the divine, this kind of forward/backward whirling is a problem. There's a reason they call God a presence-because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only play to find Him, and now the only time."

Which is a great quote. I am constantly out of the moment-imagining interactions with people, thinking about what I will say to someone or what I should have said, or how they will react to what I am going to say. So, last night while I was getting ready for bed I tried to be completely in the moment. My internal dialogue was as follows:

"I am taking off my eye makeup. I am taking off my eye makeup. I am putting on moisturizer. I am putting on moisturizer. I am putting on moisturizer. I am putting on eye cream. I am putting on eye..."

I stopped when I was so focused on my narration I put eye cream on my lips like it was lip balm.

Sigh. Being in the moment is hard.


  1. OHmigosh!!! That's hilarious! Its funny you had that experience last night, cause I did too, for the 1st in a long time. I went to church (which isn't as often as I'd like it to be) and the band was playing and i had to stop for a second and realize. This music is playing right now and I am right here and I don't want to be anywhere else (including in my head). I just want to take it in and experience it and be present. It is crazy hard! But it was a good change of pace for a moment.

    P.S. This week's challenge is JOY. Last week was a bye. (Spelling?) "Ive got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart! Where!?"

  2. Hmm... I have been thinking about this quote for the last couple of days and I am not so sure I agree with Ms. Gilbert. Granted, I haven't read the book, so I am judging the quote totally out of context, but it did make me realize that I think there is infinite value in reflection on the past and planning for the future- AND being in the moment.

    It's not a good idea to linger too long in any of those states of conciousness, but you should definitely visit all three regularly.

    And I definitely don't agree that God can only be found in the present (at least based on my interpretation of this quote). I think there is special value in looking at the past. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. I know that I have grown leaps and bounds in my love and knowledge of God through seeing how He worked in my life when I didn't know He was even there. I could only see His master plan after I lived through the situation and if I never took the time to look back at my life I would have missed that insight.

    Thanks for the thought provoking blog, Jess. I might just do my own little blog on this quote too! See you at our Christmas Extravaganza 2009 ;)!

  3. Nicole-I look forward to reading your blog!

    Your comment was well-stated. I definitely agree that there is a time for planning the future and a time for reflecting on the past...but I think i don't do enough thoughtful planning and reflection and tend to do more shallow imaginations and dwelling on things I don't need to. I have some other thoughts on this, but there a little personal for the world wide web-remind me to tell you at our holiday extravaganza! Thanks for your thoughtful reply!

  4. Why wait for the holidays? Call me, I'd love to chat! Actually a deep and thoughtful conversation might be more suited to a cliche coffee house with a flask to "Irish" things up a bit and berets on both our heads. So continental!