By Dean Whittaker

Have you ever wondered what time travel would be like? Well, maybe you already know. According to Eckart Tolle, in his book, The Power of Now, we all experience time travel on a regular basis. Most of us spend much of our life worrying about the future (especially those in economic development) or lamenting the past (baby-boomers who didn’t save enough for retirement), when, in fact, the only place we can have an impact is in this very moment. The future is not yet here, and the past is, well, the past.  We can only impact the future by the choices we make in the moment.

The present moment sometimes becomes the most elusive of places.  We can so easily drift off into our dreams of the future, often feeling the concern about where we may be headed.  Not that we shouldn’t make provision for what is to come, but we should do so with present-moment awareness.  The Presence Process by Michael Brown describes a process for which to live in the present moment, fully conscious of our connectedness to nature and to those around us. We are all connected – even without our social networking software.

The other day, I watched a young family arrive for breakfast at a local restaurant.  I was struck by how “not in the moment” they all were. While they waited for their food, the two middle school-age kids played with their game boy and iPod while the father read his sports magazine in-between calls on his iPhone. This scene made me wonder, where are we? What are we doing?

The primary message from both Tolle and Brown is to live our lives consciously and fully in the moment because the moment is the only place in which we can have an impact.  The moment often gets covered up by the shadow of the past or the veil of the future, and we lose the opportunity to be where we are.  Try leaving your cell phone home and your computer turned off for a day and see what happens.