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June 29, 2009

Susane Colasanti on Living in the Now

Posted by webmaster
Sometimes, it's so easy to get distracted by the little things that we forget to "live in the Now", and live it to the fullest --- an idea captured perfectly in Susane Colasanti's latest novel, WAITING FOR YOU. Below, she reminds us how important it is to not only be fully present in each moment, but also to take the good with the bad and make the best of both. If you'd like to read a sampler of all of Susane's works, click here.


There’s this Zen concept that says in order to achieve the highest state of being, you must be fully present in every moment of your life. If you can attain this state of self-actualization, you will know what pure happiness is. For me, pure happiness usually involves several eps of "The Office", a John Mayer CD, and some kind of cupcake-type situation. Of course, I can improve. I’m always trying to be a better person so I can contribute to society in a more meaningful way. And that’s why living in the Now is so important.

If you’re anything like me, being entirely present in any given moment is a challenge. I’m sending angry vibes to my neighbor who insists on running the air conditioner when it’s not even hot out. Or I haven’t wished my happy birthdays on Facebook yet today. Or a good segment might be starting on NPR. Or I’m trying to remember the lyrics to that song. There are always seventy-three reasons to not be concentrating on what you’re doing. But the only way to live in the Now is to fully experience the moment you’re in with no distractions.

In my latest book, WAITING FOR YOU, Marisa struggles with living in the Now. She loves photography because her photos can preserve a moment forever. But that moment never looks exactly the same in a photo as it did when she first experienced it. A lot is taken away from an experience when it’s captured on film. People can get so distracted by taking pictures that they never really stop to just be one with the world, to absorb everything without looking at it through a lens. Being more present in the moment allows you to involve yourself in a more meaningful way. Living in the Now allows you to be quiet with yourself. When you are at peace, only then can you hear your deepest heart’s desires. It’s only when you know yourself that you can most effectively help others to improve their own lives.

This is your life, right now, whether you feel like being a part of it or not. You don’t get a do-over. So respect what you have. Even if it sucks, even if you’re depressed and hate everything and can’t imagine surviving another day, respect it anyway. It gets better. And when it does, time will slip away from you more quickly and the Now will be harder to grasp. I wish someone would have told me this when I was a teen, which is why I’m telling you. Do the best you can with what you have. The bad parts make you stronger, while the good parts are times you’ll never want to forget. When you get to the good parts, savor them for as long as you possibly can. Take everything in, right then, the way it never will be again. The Now is the everything.

-- Susane Colasanti