There is an extraordinary amount of advice and guidance circulating about not thinking or worrying about what is in the past or what might be in the future. The argument is that you can do nothing to change either of them. You should focus on what you can do something about—that ‘controllable time’ is the present.
If you have one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow, you're going to be cockeyed today. - Anonymous
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. - Buddha
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. - Abraham Maslow
In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.
- Leo Tolstoy
Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. - The Bible
I’ve considered them all, read the help guides, and tried to practice the methods. There has been some success, but when my body functions awaken me at 4:30 am, I still often return to bed to struggle with a mind that remembers the ‘what-ifs’ of the past and tries to figure out how to save myself and others from ‘bad things’ in the future. My logical mind confirms this is a waste of sleep and energy, yet the churn often continues.
These days there is a time when my mind is clear and focused on the now. That moment is accompanied by a click-click sound as I expose my next photograph. When experiencing that moment of creation which speaks to emotion, nothing else is going on in my mind. No wonder I return from a photo-shoot relaxed and thinking that I’ve spent my time in a worthwhile way. The focus continues when I process the image. It used to be in the darkroom, locked away in self-created isolation, but now it is in front of a computer screen. What does remain is the need to be isolated from the 'noise' of the day.
I suppose what I’m really talking about is the act of creation and not just the singular work of photography. When, in the past, I was in moments of creation within my management consulting practice, the result was the same. As they say, I felt ‘in the flow’ and time seemed to fly by, unnoticed.
I’m sure the answer is to continue to be creative, wherever and whenever I can. Now, if I can just stop worrying about how to find the time to allow creativity to flow. Maybe I can figure that out at 4 am tomorrow.