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The Present For You 

 July 2, 2021

By  Jonathan Nhan

We are steadily moving towards a resolution or end point for this pandemic, and it is probably true that this has gone on for longer than many of us ever could have imagined. With all the changes in the world, this shared experience has been a catalyst for self reflection for many people. It may have also brought to the surface many past hurts or future worries. I’d like to share one thing that has helped me put some perspective on this present experience, and that is the idea of being present. 

What does it mean to be present? Let us start with the idea of the present moment in time, as a reference point. The present moment is “now” and that now is always changing. A constant movement of one moment to the next. Being present is the awareness and reception of the full experience of the present moment. Processing the now as it is happening. If you’re not in the present, then where can you be? The other options you have are the past and the future. 

Have you ever had a conversation where the person you were speaking to seemed like they were somewhere else? Maybe lost in a daydream? Or reliving a past hurt? Ask yourself, how often are you experiencing your experience in this present moment? Are you here now? Or are you physically in the present, but mentally thinking (or worrying!) about something else? 

The only “real” experience that you can have is in the present. What you feel about a past or future thought are real experiences too, but these experiences are purely generated from within. We can’t revisit the past, or travel to the future, but can often find ourselves off in a distant time while life passes us by now. Realizing that these past and future experiences are generated might seem disorienting at first, but it may give you comfort upon further reflection, as this means that you are the one in control. 

Our biology acts in funny ways sometimes – in ways that seem counterintuitive or not useful on the whole. We learn from our experiences to help guide us forward, but sometimes we might miss the lesson and install a habit that is not useful. One of the biggest things that leads to holding onto disempowering beliefs, is one of the most limiting belief you can hold, which is “this is just the way that I am”. If that belief resonates with you, examine it and ask yourself if it is really set in stone. What if you said “this is the way I am right now, but I am open to growth, expansion, and change”. 

It’s funny how much our thoughts guide our experience. Some of these thoughts and experiences that come from the past or future pull us out of the present. We are wired to put more emphasis on things that might cause us harm and often neglect to show appreciation or gratitude. The great thing is that we can learn to do this just simply through practice. Take a moment and notice the present moment. You might even choose to appreciate that you’ve noticed this moment. The more you practice, the easier you’ll find it. Take control!

Jonathan Nhan


Jon is passionate about making positive, long lasting changes and opening minds.

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