It turns out that the “helping verbs” our English teachers taught us are not so helpful after all. These helpers are forms of “be” that help us describe the time around what we are doing. You remember: would, should, could, etc. There are at least twenty of these “helpers.”

I will get pizza tomorrow.

I was dreaming about going to Hawaii someday.

Will I ever be thin?

Can I please get some ice cream?

Here’s the conundrum. If I am talking about doing something in the future or something  in the past, am I truly being fully present now? In other words, am I purely being now if I am speaking of the future or past? If my mind and language are focused on agendas of past and future what is the quality of my life now? Can I trust that the future is fine or that the past is over?

If you’re like me, the answer is no. Most of us are trapped in thoughts of past “should haves” or future “would maybes.” Perhaps these reflective states are helpful, but here’s what I know: they are not pure being.

And pure being now is where the good stuff is.

The mind-body state completely present is actually how we forgive the past and assure the future. It is paradoxical, indeed. To be fully present means we’ve forgiven, made amends and “let go of” the past. To be fully present means we have no thoughts of future because now determines the future.

Today meditate the way you use all the helping verbs in your world. Here are some reflections that may be helpful to you as well:

  • Am I using these verbs to direct what someone else is doing? “You should_______.” “You would be a great at_______.” If you use phrases like these often, meditate on these questions: Am I using these words to prop people up? Control uncertainty? Is it even my job to decide what they need to do? Did they ask me? If you’re a boss or a parent, you may feel like these are necessary words, but I’ve observed that people use them far too often.  Ask yourself: Am I alienating people about what they should, would and could do with their lives?
  • Am I beating myself up with these words? “I should have _______.” I could have________.” Meditate about these questions: Am I living with integrity in my life? If so, why do I use so many “would haves,” “could haves,” and “should haves”? Can I look closely at what I’m doing, change trajectories, and forgive myself if necessary? Can I make amends for the things I’ve done to cause pain? Can I be brave enough to really see what I want to do?

Our language is an important indicator of our state of being and the state of our relationships. Our egos dwell in thoughts of doing in the future and longing for the past.

Our egos also love to live totally unconscious all day where we take no responsibility for our lives, and then relish in hateful self-reflection all evening, followed by self-destructive behavior.

Rest assured, we all do this. The fact that the English language has over 20 words to describe “doing” in the past or future means many of us are not fully present. This is okay, too.

We can only change what we are aware of.

By witnessing our patterns, we can help ourselves evolve and heal our relationships by noticing where our minds go—future or past. Paradoxically, the thing we plan for in the future and long for in the past is a sense of pure bliss (the home feeling)which is found in a higher mind-body state right now.

We can learn to let go of these lesser states to achieve the effortless state of the found in the now. I call it zero state. We understand that all is perfect in this state. Check out my ZEROES ARE HEROES post from last year.

I hope you’re enjoying the last days of summer!