The Persistent Teacher: Ms. Present Moment

by Clinical Staff

Living Life in the Present Moment

We all have the same teacher, her name is Life, well… Ms. Life, although these days she prefers to go by “Ms. Present Moment”, she feels it represents her much more accurately. She can be both difficult and friendly, but either way, what she always is, is helpful. That’s the trick though, despite her challenging ways, we must see her as someone who’s there to help. And we must learn to know her by the name she prefers, Ms. Present Moment.


Finding “Lessons” in the Present Moment

If you reflect on any given day, I’m almost sure you could find many moments of the day in which you ran into feelings of resistance. It could have been as simple as waking up in the morning, looking forward to your favorite cereal (I’ll suggest Fruity Pebbles), to find the box empty and all you have available is Corn Flakes. Just this minor confrontation can feel like a giant inconsiderate gesture from Ms. Life herself, uh-hum, I mean, Ms. Present Moment. How dare she! We can let moments like this stir us up in ways that shake the rest of our day. After the cereal mishap, you may walk into work to find that you’re scheduled to share a shift with your least favorite co-worker, you know the bubbly one who’s always happy and sharing her life’s story in great detail while you’re just trying to do your job. Well, here comes the trick, the cereal, and your co-worker, are just two lessons handed to you by your favorite teacher, Ms. Present Moment. Maybe with the cereal mishap, she’s trying to teach you about your personal expectations, and how they can be dangerous.

Expectations (expecting Fruity Pebbles when all you have is Corn Flakes), can lead to impulsive reactions, anger, frustration, and irritability. It is this kind of impulsivity, even when it’s just getting angry that you didn’t have the right cereal,  that can color the morning with disdain. But we have a choice, we could see this frustration as a lesson, maybe we will be introduced to a cereal we’ve never tried before that could become our new favorite, or maybe we can learn about the strength of our impulsive nature and how easily it can attack us just by a mere cereal mix-up.  Maybe your co-worker is there to teach you patience or compassion, or how to listen with no judgment.

It’s important though that we see these disguisable lessons in the present moment. If not, we could lose our chance of digesting some great information. It takes practice like all new things learned. It takes practice to see our resistances as our greatest teachers. Ms. Present Moment does not only offer her teachings through pain and suffering, although it’s one of her most effective techniques, she does offer lessons that are coated in great joy. Those lessons usually help reinforce that we are approaching this life class with openness, that we are being kind to others and ourselves. It’s no mistake that you will likely become involved in a romantic relationship after you’ve done some reviewing of your own internal experience. Ms. Present Moment will give you the lesson of a relationship, to applaud this difficult internal work you have done. She will show you your efforts are seen and heard. Whether the lessons are painful or pleasurable, they are, something you can always count on.

Open Yourself to Life’s Teachable Moments

I ask you to open yourself to the Curriculum of Life, made up of all it’s wonderful teachable moments. Do not turn your back on Ms. Present Moment, if you do, it’s likely the lessons she’ll throw at you will be much harder and more time-consuming. Open yourself to what she has to offer. Much of it will be difficult, hard to accept, painful, but once you understand these lessons are moving you towards graduation, I promise, saying yes to each piece of homework will be with greater ease. You may even find yourself asking for extra credit assignments.  Experiencing life in the present moment is growth. Growth is meeting life in the present moment. She, Ms. Present Moment, may be the first teacher you’ve ever wanted to listen to. 

*Feel free to adjust the gender of “Ms. Present Moment” to your liking. Remember, this is your class, your curriculum.