Inviting ‘now’ over for lemonade

I recently stumbled upon a Ted Talk given by Robert Holden in 2018. Robert is a British psychologist who focuses his attention on “positive psychology and well-being.”
Anyone who calls himself an expert on happiness is a friend of mine.
I wasn’t familiar with Robert Holden or his psychology until I listened to his fifteen-minute talk.
Let me fill you in. He was his mother’s first-born child and she was able to boast on having had the shortest labour in history in that Nairobi hospital, up to 1965 that is and she may very well still hold the record.
She has thanked her son regularly for the past fifty-four years, sort of the way I thank my youngest child regularly for coming into this world breech and assuring me that there isn’t any level of pain I can’t survive.
Thea doesn’t find it as funny as I do, but I still share the gory details with her.
It’s the least I can do to show my appreciation for begging for death for thirteen straight hours, but I digress.
Robert claims this speedy delivery set him on a path of full speed ahead, racing all the time until he came to a realization when he was faced with an involuntary form of “stopping” due to a slipped disc in his back that left him immobile for three months and for some time after in recovery.
He learned to cultivate a lovely relationship with “now” and coined the disorder we all suffer from at some point called “destination addiction.”
Born with fast genes, Robert spent a large chunk of his life in maximum haste and a racing mind, fitting easily into this manic society that exists, where success is measured by getting ahead and what sort of “stuff” we can add to the stash.
We’re all a bit like the white rabbit, always in a hurry to get somewhere else, perpetually late.
The philosopher Rollo May said “it is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we are lost.”
My head nodded involuntarily while I read that statement. Holden went on to say, “We are so busy striving, we are never arriving.”
We all know the importance of living in the now, but it seems we are waiting for a better now, one that might just be around the next corner, over the next hill, in the next job, in the next home, in the next car.
Each of us will eventually come to a place of stopping, whether it happens voluntarily with our own choice, or involuntarily that usually involves a crisis of health or other intervention that halts us in our tracks.
I remember thinking if I had the right vacuum cleaner or the right refrigerator then life would make sense.
I can laugh about it, but there was a part of me that believed such nonsense. If I had the right storage bins I would be organized at last. I’ll stop eating poorly tomorrow; I’ll just get it out of my system today, one last hurrah sort of thing.
But maybe “now” and I will sit down for a chat today, introduce ourselves and enjoy the moment over a glass of lemonade.
wendistewart@live.ca

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