In 2007 I began to train for the London Marathon. I am not a natural athlete so the training was hard. As I started to run longer and longer distances I found myself breaking them up into manageable chunks in my mind, and I focussed on NOW. All I allowed myself to think about was the NOW – if I am feeling okay, right NOW then I am doing alright.
If only I had read Richard A. Singer’s little book at that time it would have confirmed in my mind that this was not only a way of training well for a marathon, it was a way in which to live my whole life well.
The book is split into two sections. The first is a group of 99 quotations from various writers and philosophers, intended to be dipped into daily. Singer adds a post script to each quote to explain how to adapt its message to your life. The second section is a collection of essays, each focussed, again, on how to live one’s life in the moment.
As Paul Coelho is quoted as saying, “No matter how long you wait, it will never be tomorrow. The only time to be happy, peaceful or joyous is Now; this present moment is all that will ever be.”
The philosophy of the book is so simple and yet stunningly meaningful. The only thing we really have control over in life is ourselves. If we live every moment as if it were our last, give our full attention to the people and things around us then will we be truly happy.
Thinking, living in the moment seems to slow everything down. I have been trying to live my life this way since Singer’s book arrived on my doormat, and I have to say that I have experienced some beautiful moments. Stopping in the hubbub of the day to sit in the sunshine and listen to a little girl read, really listening to my son as he talks about his worries, breathing in the fragrance of the buddleia tree in my garden …
Richard A Singer’s NOW: Embracing the Present Moment is a book of simple thoughts that touch deeply. It is easy to read, enjoyable to read and it is a precious addition to my library.