Scott Mills: Living in the Now

Scott Mills

I’ve been exploring how to live personally in the constant now, while also asking the question, ‘Who are we now as human beings?’ and ‘Who can we become?’

There’s a difference between being in a Now based on anxiety, and being in the Now with a sense of vision. Now is the entry point to past and future. It’s also the entry point to all the possibilities of who we can be. It’s not an abstract point in time where the reality of the world, past and future, is suspended.

It’s so easy to get lost in hopelessness and frustration, in constant survival-mode; but what I’ve been more and more aware of is the amazing human spirit. I was at the march for gun control and it so filled me with such hope. There are so many people who are so endlessly resourceful. It’s fascinating to be in the middle of these two polarities, between resourcefulness and hopelessness.

Singing in the choir for the Oregon Symphony performance of Beethoven’s Ninth I used a tool that helps me expand my sense of the Now, connecting the three times:

  • remembering all the people who have supported me, and this performance of Beethoven
  • remembering everyone who has sung or been moved by Schiller’s Song of Joy before,
  • and reflecting on everyone who will discover, and hear, or perform this song in the future.

The story of ‘everything is getting worse’ make it’s hard to feel any hope. But when we stand in our creativity and resourcefulness, we can start to imagine real change. It’s as simple as that! We have to be honest about what’s going on, and look at where are resources are. We have to get beyond the feeling that things are getting worse, that there’s no hope, because feelings are often misleading. Our brains can take us into hopelessness or resourcefulness. And the choice is ours.

When we lean into the suffering in the world we make it okay for us to open to our own suffering. We stop protecting ourselves, or hiding parts of ourselves from the world.

This choice to be fully present and available to life is a difficult choice to make. That’s what spiritual practice is, to constantly come back to the fullness of ourselves.

The choice we must make is to not put off living until tomorrow. At any moment we can stand in the place of joy and breathe and ask, “What is in this world around me?”

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