Memories and staying in the present moment. Where are you in the parade?
We all have them, memories. They store in our beautiful hippocampus, thalamus and cerebral cortex of our brains.
These memories have often Created programs, patterns and beliefs continuously throughout our life- each memory building on the beliefs and patterns created by the ones before. Memories of Holidays growing up, our first kiss, that amazing trip, the losses, the “mistakes”, running through the wildflower fields, watching sunsets, family, etc…
So picture this, every memory you have, has its own parade. Sometimes when we are reminiscing we watch the parade, other times we jump in place with the band line joining in and other times we are on top of the float fully engaged in that parade, dancing – reliving- fully engaged atop the float. When you jump into the parade (memory) you jump out of the present moment. You are literally hanging on or leaping into the past. Whether it be a beautiful memory or wonderful learning memory, jumping into the parade pulls you out of the present moment.
Maintaining our existence in the present moment is essential when memories arise. Mindfulness (being fully present) allows us to view the parade from the audience, seeing the entire parade from the best view- to see all the beautiful colors, the flow, the people. The audience view allows us to maintain our present frequency while also allowing clearing and releasing of a lesson memory and refueling with a beautiful memory.
In the Miracle of Mindfulness Thich Nat Hanh says, “If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either…”
Why would we give a present, new, fresh, and limitless moment away to the past that has already happened? Is your present moment not pleasing? What needs to change to make you honor this present moment right now? Was this parade moment more pleasing than your present? Is your present moment triggering patterns and beliefs of past memories? Are you trying to gain a new perspective of the past?
The only way to truly honor the present moment while delving into a memory is to stay in the audience view of the parade, aka the memory. Without judgement, notice if you hear the loud tubas behind you in the parade or if costume glitter is flying all around you because you are on top of the parade float. In that moment pause and see, why are you in the parade of the past. Ask. What is more important in this parade than in the limitless present moment that I am forfeiting. Be honest with yourself. Get the perspective you need and hop off that float to your beautiful present moment.
You’ll notice the more present you allow yourself to be the less you will need to visit the parades of the past.
Presence can heal and clear our memories, presence in our present moment gives us a better, bigger, more wisdom filled perspective. Presence can illuminate the joyful memories, providing blessings and allow them to charge us, like parade participants throwing toys into the audience. You can only receive those blessings while watching the memory from the sidelines.
What parades are you still marching in and why are they more important than your limitless present moment?