How often are we using now as a currency for later? In other words, how often are we hoarding our present experiences into some sort of life bank account that we believe we can cash in on for that later moment? I regularly see this in our need to capture each moment, make sure we write it down, remember it, or most commonly these days, take a picture – or 20 – of it. What would happen if we put down the need to capture our inspiration and instead let it be the moment we’re cashing in on?
It reminds me of a topic I frequently visit with my own coach: releasing the attachment to outcome. We may hear “practice non-attachment” but it can be challenging to really understand what that’s all about in a lived experience. In this case I liken it to the practice of releasing the need to contain a present moment for the sake of a future one.
When we can release the need to write the thought down, we can experience what it’s like to embody that very thought. When we release the need to take a video of the concert, we can experience the aliveness that comes from being immersed in live art. When we release the need to remember an interesting fact we’re learning, we can tap into that elusive sense of wonder that seems less and less available in a world of constant fact checking. And with the practice of these releases, I’ve found I feel less pressure to prove something, less pressure to earn something and less pressure to derive fulfillment from an external source as a condition for enjoyment. The joy of the experience happens regardless of outcome.
This isn’t to say that outcomes aren’t important. In fact, an outcome can certainly contribute positively to the situation. If an outcome can only enhance or keep the current moment neutral then I know what I’m choosing to engage with now is worth my energy.
Releasing the condition for something in return is the very choice that allows me to be in the experience to its fullest. It’s not easy and it’s not everyday, but by having an awareness of this as my personal way of checking, I can more easily gauge how things are going. Try it, don’t try it, but perhaps consider how you check in with the way you spend your energy and ask yourself if it’s conditioned upon some outcome down the line.