As individuals, organizations and communities we are often focused on future planning. It makes sense to plan for the future. Yet, if we lean too heavily on the future planning we might miss the opportunities of the here and now. Ekhart Tolle has a large following of readers from his books on living in the moment. His book Power of Now has been a guide for many people to rebalance the focus between future planning and living in the “now”. What strategies do you have for balancing future building with the power of now?
As someone new to sand art, I’ve been seeking beaches and low tides as a place to be in the power of now. The tide has to be just right for the sand to have the right moisture content. As I pick up my rake and assess the beach, I look for a place to begin creating. While some people might be more planful, I tend to just start and see where the design takes me amidst the rocks and waves. I am so in the moment that I often don’t even notice how fast the tide is coming in. It’s a refreshing practice. I’ve come to realize that when I take this time to be in the moment, that I am restored to go back to work, build my business, and think about the future with fresh eyes.
Recently, a young woman joined me in creating sand art. She was particularly concerned about her future: go to school, which school, get a job, which job. As we began creating together, she settled into the moment: sand, rake, water, sunset.
We eventually created a design together with spirals. Together we made over 30 spirals of different sizes down the beach in a huge creation. As we looked back we saw the tide was washing away some of our spirals. We began to talk about where she was with her future planning after creating sand art. She had tremendous new insights as it related to her design.
She commented…“I realize that each new spiral we made was similar to me trying something new; it did not have to be perfect, I just tried to connect to the whole design and keep moving down the beach” and “the impermanence of creating as the tide came in reminded me that no matter what I decide, I can change my mind and try something new.” In just 2 hours she had a new awakening to her future. She had paused to be just in the moment and it unleashed new strategies for future building.