< Chapter 3 Chapter 5 >
Another thing about being in the present moment is the way it allows us to truly experience joy. When I look at the happiest times in my life, they were times when I was completely in the moment. Like the time when I was lying in the yard at my mother’s house with my daughter as we watched insects making their way across a blade of grass. Performing onstage, caught in the music and the interaction that was happening between myself and the other musicians, or myself and the crowd. Or those moments in the studio, when I was all alone, and listening to the tape playing back. And inside, deep inside at that place of purest truth, I could honestly say to myself, “This was the sound I heard, this is IT”. Or when I was riding a motorcycle on a lonesome highway. It was just me the road and the autumn leaves. Present to enjoy the sights, the sounds, and the sensations.
It wasn’t the moments of great recognition. It wasn’t achieving some goal that I set. Yes those times had an emotional charge. I can’t deny that there was excitement the first time I was performing with Les Paul, or meeting Tony Robbins, or any of those other “celebrities”.
But I have reached even greater levels of excitement in “everyday” occurrences. Like that special moment, when my daughter breathed into my face for the first time, and at that same moment, I was inhaling and took her breath into my lungs. God, what an amazing feeling that was. Or those times, when out of nowhere, she comes to me, gives me the most loving hug and tells me that she loves me. A love that is so pure. Or when I deeply connect with another person, totally allowing myself to be present in that moment with them; whether it is intimately with a lover, or just being there as a friend. Or that moment when you are captured by the most magnificent sunset you have ever seen, or the majesty of a mountain stream, or even the moment of smelling your favorite flower and capturing the moment for eternity. These are moments of truth for me, being present to enjoy them, not reliving a past defeat or victory, or planning some great marketing approach. Again, I enjoy doing these things also, but we are talking about peace, and finding your center. Bliss as it were. If we always look to the past, or always look to the future, we can never see what is around us today.
I believe that all of us, whether we choose to or not, will leave a lasting impression on this earth. The impression we leave will largely be determined by how we spend each moment as it unfolds. We can stay locked in the past, reliving our defeats and victories. We can live in a fantasy world, a dream world of “If only things were different.” Or we can make a conscious choice to create a legacy of hope. We can live in the present, embracing each moment as a new opportunity to see what we can contribute to it. We can constantly ask ourselves, “How can I best act in this situation that will bring peace to myself or others involved?”
In my youth, I figured my legacy would be that I would live fast, and die an early death. I had no concern for what kind of shape I would leave the world in when I was gone. I actually used to joke that I would be dead by the time I was 21. When I made it to 21 I extended bets until I was 25, and in a way, I was right. A part of me died when I was 24. The child, who hurt for so long, was finally laid to rest. The one who hated everyone and everything; that piece of me died and a new child was born. A child who became full of wonder and who was willing to have hope. And as that willingness grew, so did new dreams and possibilities. And ultimately a desire to leave this world a little better than I found it began to grow also.
I have met so many people who are living in that sea of hopelessness, and who still think that there is no way out. I was there; I remember it clearly. I can remember going to bed, with no idea of what the next day would bring, not even knowing or caring if I would make it through to the next day, and when I did wake up, just existing for the time I was awake. At that point in my life I was not living, but simply existing. Yet with the seed of willingness, even just being willing to be willing, something grew. Sometimes it was slow, and sometimes I fell. But I could see that there was a possibility for something better, a chance that life could be different.
And now, I stand here, a new being. Not yet complete in my journey, I am continuing to grow, and still sometimes falling. I am not perfection, and will not claim to be, but I am perfect for where I am, and who I am supposed to be right now. Again, it is about the only thing we have which is this moment in time. I can remember about several years ago, getting absolutely furious with a friend who was “mentoring” me at the time. Every time I went to him with a problem, he would repeat, “You’re right were you need to be”. God, I hated that answer, and I told him, if he answered me with those words again, I was going to literally hit him. And in all of his gentle wisdom, he smiled and said, you guessed it, “You’re right where you need to be”. Later, as we spoke of that afternoon, we both laughed, because deep inside, my inner truth knew even at the moment he said it, that he was right.
No matter where you are in your journey, accept it as a single moment; nothing more, nothing less. When you stay in the present moment and look at the experience, see what you can take from it. Or even more, ask yourself what can you add to it? What can you learn? What can you do with it to help you become who you truly desire to be? Life is just an ongoing series of moments, capture them, savor them, and enjoy the experience, for it is neither good nor bad, right or wrong, it is just a moment; and you have the choice of where to direct the next one. Shall it be an out lash of anger and hate, or a choice to move in a new direction? You control your destiny by these choices, every day, every moment.
< Chapter 3 Chapter 5 >
The Warrior Sage Part 2: Lessons Learned Chapter/Section
Lessons Learned Through Sacred Scars
Chapter 1: Understanding The Power Of The Sub-Conscious Mind
Chapter 2: Discovering Peace
Chapter 3: Living In The Now
Chapter 4: The Gift Is In The Present Moment
Chapter 5: It's About Choices
Chapter 6: Understanding Change
Chapter 7: The Power Of Modeling
Chapter 8: Being Human - What Does It Mean?
Chapter 9: The Cost Of Living A Dual Life
The Warrior Sage: Sacred Scars Chapter/Section
Who Is Willard Barth?
Preface - Exploring Strength And Weakness
Chapter 1:1 - The Process Of Self-Awareness
Chapter 1:2 The Stages Of Child Development
Chapter 2:1 The World Changed Forever
Chapter 2:2 The Vicious Cycle Begins
Chapter 2:3 Losing Faith
Chapter 2:4 My Dark Secret
Chapter 2:5 Where Is The Love I Was Promised?
Chapter 3:2 The Road To Alcohol Dependence
Chapter 3:3 Leaving My Childhood Behind
Chapter 3:4 Escaping Responsibility; The Joy Ride Ends
Chapter 3:5 Living A Duality Begins
Chapter 3:6 Out Of Control
Chapter 3:7 Crossing The Line To Insanity
Chapter 3:8 The Black-out Drinking Begins
Chapter 3:9 Facing The Music
Chapter 3:10 A New Beginning
Chapter 3:11 More Lessons To Learn
Chapter 4:1 The Final Party
Chapter 4:2 A Moment Of Clarity
Chapter 4:3 My New Life Begins
Chapter 4:4 Sober, Time To Face The World
Chapter 4:5 The First Year Of Sobriety
Chapter 4:6 Major Change Comes In Year Two
Chapter 4:7 My Daughter Is Born April 20, 1992
Chapter 5:1 Life Changing Decisions Follow My Daughter's Birth
Chapter 5:2 Recognizing The Voice Inside
Chapter 5:3 The Empress Hotel
Chapter 5:4 A New Chapter In My Life Begins
Chapter 6:1 Finding My Way Home
Chapter 6:2 Falling Into Place
Chapter 6:3 A New Awareness
Chapter 6:4 Personal Finances and Personal Development
Chapter 6:5 The George Washington Story
Chapter 6:6 Letting Go So Others Can Grow
Chapter 6:7 The Wrap Up
Jump HOME from The Gift Is In The Present Moment