She has light brown hair, a seductive smile, and the most engaging set of hazel-green eyes I’ve ever seen. It’s the kind of engaging I can’t ignore—the kind that makes me want to engage too. Because she’s mysterious. And I’m curious. And I need to know more.
Yet, I do my best to avoid making eye contact. So I stare down at the pool table and pretend to study my opponent’s next move. But only long enough for her to look the other way, so I can once again catch a glimpse of magnificence.
I do this, not because she intimidates me, but because I think she may be the girl Chad met last night. A wild night that, he said, “involved two bottles of port wine, chocolate cake, and sweaty bed sheets.”
Then, just as her eyes unexpectedly meet mine, my opponent groans, “It’s been your turn for like five minutes. Ya planning on going sometime tonight?” And the girl walks gracefully away.
So I continue to wonder… “Is she the port wine and chocolate cake girl? Gosh, she doesn’t look like that kind of girl.” But I don’t wonder too long because Chad enters the room and says, “Marc, there’s someone I want you to meet.” So I follow him into the kitchen and we bump right into her. “Oh, Angel,” Chad says. “This is my buddy, Marc.”
And I smile from ear to ear, and give off a little chuckle…
Because she’s not the port wine and chocolate cake girl. But also because I spent the past twenty minutes thinking about the port wine, and the chocolate cake, and the sweaty bed sheets.
Hours later, the party begins winding down. But the band is still playing, the two painters who have been painting a wall mural all evening are still painting, and Angel and I are still dancing.
“Are you tired?” I ask.
“No,” Angel says. “Dancing is my outlet. When I dance, I transcend myself and the doubts that sometimes prevent me from being me. This evening has been enchanting, just dancing with you and being me.”
So I twirl her around. And the drummer keeps drumming. The guitarist keeps strumming. The singer keeps singing. The painters keep painting. And now we’re the only ones dancing.
As we continue to dance, she says, “I feel as if we’re naked. And not just you and me, but the drummer, the guitarist, the singer, and the painters too. Everyone left in this room is naked… naked and free.”
I smile and tell her that I agree. “We are naked. We are free.”
As I know we don’t have to take our clothes off to be naked. Because moments of passionate presence flow into each other like port wine flows into chocolate cake. And if we let them, these moments can expose us completely, and continuously. And create climaxes that don’t even require sex.
Because a true climax has little to do with orgasm, and everything to do with the passion, love, and devotion we choose to invest in someone or something. In the same way, nakedness has little to do with how much clothing we wear, and everything to do with our awareness in a given moment of time—an unfettered, present awareness that frees the mind and allows us to truly live the moment for all it’s worth.
After a few more songs, Angel asks if I’d like to join her out on the front porch where it’s quieter. “Just so we can talk about life,” she says.
I give her a little wink. “I love life in this crazy world! It is crazy, isn’t it?”
She smiles. “Yeah, a world in which we can be naked with our clothes on and experience continuous climax without intercourse.”
“Because instead we can achieve both with music, or paint, or dance, or any form of avid self-expression,” I add.
“You got it. Even the sincerity in this conversation is beginning to work for me,” she says as we step out the front door and into the moonlight.
The Presence it Takes to Change Your Life
Why did I just tell you that story?
Because I need the reminder today.
I need to be reminded of the beauty and sweetness of passionately absorbing oneself into the present moment—into the people, the dialogs, and the priceless little events that exist there.
I need to be reminded of what it’s like to be “naked” and “free.”
Because too often, amidst the hustle, I forget.
I forget to pay attention.
I forget to be grateful for the opportunity directly in front of me.
So I wrote a story about a night from my distant past that I can remember and recite in vivid detail simply because I was completely present at the time.
I wasn’t distracted. I wasn’t in a rush to get somewhere better. I wasn’t resisting things, or trying to change them in any way.
I was 100% there.
And, as a result, I allowed that night to change my life.
Now, think about how this relates to your life…
Admitting the Hard Truth, and Embracing It
Where you are and what you’re doing at any given moment is absolutely essential.
Because it is the only moment guaranteed to you.
You are not on your way somewhere else.
You are not progressing to a more important time or place.
The present is not just a stepping-stone—it is the ultimate destination, and you have already arrived.
This moment is where your greatest power lies.
This moment is your life!
It might seem obvious, but, again, I forget. And I know you do too.
All day, every day, many of us feel like the present isn’t enough—like our life isn’t worthy of our full presence. It’s a hard truth, but we have to admit…
- We are continuously thinking about what’s to come, as if it’s not enough to appreciate what we have in front of us right now.
- We sit down to relax for a moment and then immediately feel the urge to read something on our phones, check social media, or text someone, as if relaxing for a moment isn’t enough.
- We procrastinate when it’s time to work, choosing more distractions, as if the process of doing good work isn’t enough for us.
- We get annoyed with people when they fail to live up to our expectations, as if the reality of who they are isn’t enough for us.
- We reject situations, people, and even ourselves, because we feel like we need more, more, more…
But what if we did the opposite?
What if we accepted this moment, and everything and everyone in it (including ourselves), as exactly enough?
What if we admitted that life is slipping away right now, and saw the fleeting time we have as enough, without needing to share it on social media or capture it or alter it in any way?
What if we accepted the “bad” with the good, the letdowns with the lessons, the annoying with the beautiful, the anxiety with the opportunity, as part of a package deal that this moment alone is offering us?
What if we paused right now, and saw everything with perfect clarity and no distractions?
Keep thinking about it…
Would we live more meaningful and memorable lives?
Would we have more beautiful stories to cherish and share?
I think we would.
And thus, I think now is the best time to pay attention.
Now is the best time to look around and be grateful—for our health, our homes, our families, our friends, and our momentary opportunities.
Everything is happening, and changing, before our eyes.
Let’s do our best to be naked and free and aware of every little climactic moment, together.
Before you go, let’s revisit a question I asked above:
- What if you accepted this moment, and everything and everyone in it, as exactly enough?
How might doing so change your life?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Also, our next annual Think Better, Live Better conference is taking place February 10-11, 2018 in San Diego. Sign-up here to be notified the moment tickets go on sale, and you will also be automatically qualified for a discounted early bird ticket (while they last).