“The best preparation is the present well seen to, the last duty done. For this will keep the eye so clear and the body so full of light that the right action will be perceived at once, the right words will rush from the heart to the lips…” G. McDonald
Right action at the right moment: the present well seen to will ensure that the “right words will rush from the heart.” What a simple recipe for making our days full and productive!
And yet, and yet! How often we jump ahead of ourselves, rushing into the future and forgetting about the joys and fruits that the present well tended to can offer us.
Even in our writing, we often race ahead of ourselves, don’t we? We have plans we want to accomplish, goals we’ve set for ourselves—word counts and page counts, and deadlines for submissions. All of which are important, because as creatives, we motivate ourselves. There’s no one standing over our shoulder whispering, “Get it done. Get it done.”
Even so, let’s not let our goals and plans get in the way of our craft. Let’s not sacrifice the present moment’s fullness and creativity to the future. If we seek the right words in the moment—now, right now—then I believe the future will become clearer and more possible.
Consider the gifts that being in the moment gives us:
We come to the page primed for action, ready to write and create.
We leave behind any past mistakes or confusion we’ve experienced.
We’re alert to any whispy, wonderful ideas floating around us.
We are fully committed to what we’re writing and we reap the benefits.
On my desk, I have a small, pink index card that says, “Now I’m going to concentrate as hard as I can. I’m not going to think of anything else.” This reminds me to stay focused and in the present.
How about you? Do you have any special techniques for centering and grounding yourself in the moment, so you can mine it for gold? If so, I’d love to have you share them as we all write on!
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