A Year Of Living Intentionally Day 8: The Power of the Now

Erin Roberts
June 26, 2024
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“The only way to survive eternity is to be able to appreciate each moment.”

— Lauren Kate —

Today I learned that when I cultivate mindfulness and live in the now, the whole day feels like one long meditation on the beauty of life.

This morning I woke up again not so long before my first call. I did a little bit of breath work as I contemplated starting my day but by the time I actually got out of bed it was 13 minutes before my first call.

But I didn’t panic and start running around like maniac as I often do. I knew I didn’t have time for my usual 30 minute meditation nor really five minutes if I wanted to be prepared for the call and not scare my colleagues with my morning hair (mission not accomplished by the way). So I just decided to go slow as I got ready. To be present.

I focused on being present. I was right there, in the now. Sinking into it. Feeling the clothes on my skin. Hearing the trickle of running water and feeling its coolness as I washed my face. Smelling the faint smell of coffee and then moments, later, the gurgle of the moka pot as it filled with the elixir I needed to start my day.

By the time my coffee was ready it was two minutes before my call.

And I felt ready, present and also alive.

The whole day went kind of like that. I had another few calls. Each one felt like a beautiful opportunity to connect with other humans. I wasn’t anywhere else but right there. Revelling in the fact that this is what I get to do each day. At the end of our call discussing our research one of my colleagues and I went down a rabbit hole looking for affordable accommodation (a bit of a scavenger hunt sometimes) at one of the cities we’re going to be going to for the climate negotiations later this year. It felt sneaky and fun.

Throughout the day I had many moments when I wanted to send one more email. Just one more. And then I’ll feel better — I told myself. But I know that’s a lie. There’s always one more email. One more document. One more call. One more everything. They all add up to a thousand tiny things that can fill a day, overwhelm a life.

But here’s the thing: I only have one body. And it needs nurturing. So I listened to it. When it tensed up I listened to it. I disciplined myself to shut down my laptop and do something else, even if just for a minute or two. To stretch. Shake. Dance. It was raining so I didn’t get down to the beach today. But I did go for a bike ride in the early afternoon. And as I was riding I was nowhere else but there. Feeling the cool breeze on my face. Not thinking a million thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow, the last moment or the next one. But living in this moment. This one right here. Right now.

Tomorrow I don’t have a morning call. It’s very likely that I’ll do a longer meditation. I generally do make time for an hour of breathwork and meditation each morning. I find it definitely makes a difference. But now I know that when I don’t have time for a dedicated meditation in the morning I can make each day a meditation simply by being present. Tapping into the deep well of the power of now.

Erin Roberts is a climate policy researcher and a curious human whose life is dedicated to making the world a little better every day. She is the founder and global lead of the Loss and Damage Collaboration and the founder and convener of the Climate Leadership Initiative.

Originally published on Medium here: