There can be no starting place in our lives any truer than what our own awareness of the present moment permits. This friendly fact tells us that our life direction, our actual destiny, is determined by the level of our awareness that attends the full range of each step we take. The next two examples prove this insight beyond the calling of any logic.
No one consciously takes a step in haste -- knowing it will lead to waste. Neither would any man or woman consciously take a step in anger -- if he or she knew the route just chosen would only lead to regrets.
These truths being self-evident, we have to ask ourselves, "What's the force at the source of these false starting places? How is it our consciousness can be so compromised we're unable to see that a step taken in worry leads us not to the worry-free life, but only to the base of an active volcano called Mount Anxiety?"
It's crucial for us to understand that our present mind -- and the thrust of its habitual thinking -- lives with its attention fixed, not on beginnings, but on the end of things. Don't we always wonder what our lives will be like tomorrow? Aren't we forever dreaming about how different things will be once we win this or achieve that? Don't we, in our mind's eye, perpetually walk towards a brighter moment to come, thinking about how good we'll feel once we're able to resolve some nagging situation?
We are betrayed every time we set out on any journey -- mentally, emotionally, or bodily -- with our eyes fixed on where we think we're going, rather than in the profitable awareness of where we are. It's within this full awareness of where we are -- which includes the alert observation of all our attending mental and emotional states -- that is the true beginning we've been searching for all of our lives. Do you see why?
We don't ever have to worry about happy endings to any of our life stories if we're awake enough to refuse all unhappy beginnings. If we attend to the true beginning of whatever tasks or life travels lie ahead of us, their endings have to take care of themselves. Thinking, or hoping, that any destination we have in mind is going to be superior to where we're presently standing, is exactly why we're still standing in that same place where we have to hope that some tomorrow will be better.
Before we can change our destination and arrive in that higher world we want, before we can ever start out in that new direction that leads to liberation, we must wake up to the steps we're being given to take by a nature whose favorite direction is down. Victory over our lower nature is now or never.
The perfectly present moment is both the seed of who you are and of your experience of now. And just as you can't separate who you are from your experience of now, neither can you separate now from the real moment of change. They are the same. You can't end conflict later. You can't stop being sad, or cruel, or angry, or scared, or anxious later. Later does not exist in reality. This self-created, false concept of time allows it to create yet another you in another time when, according to its prophecy, you'll be a wiser, stronger, and generally superior individual. But for you to experience the miracle of real inner transformation, to step up to a superior life level, you must no longer think in terms of how you'll be next time.
And so it's imperative to meet each moment of your life with this realization: it's only what you do right now that is the seed of change. And in the endless beauty and mystery of what is the now, this same seed of change is also the seed of a New Self. Here's why this is true. If you choose to change right now, then you won't have to worry about how to be different next time!
In fact, choose to change now, and that moment will never come for you to worry about how to be better next time. Again, here's why. Your conscious choice for real change in the present moment automatically cancels the need for a better you in a better future. All will be better for you now, which is the only time it really matters!