Living in the Present

Where are you living: In the past, present or future?

Comments (32)

(32) Eric, January 18, 2009 2:57 PM

What wisdom!

I've kept living in the past. I'm still guilty of this to this day in fact. The past is full of regrets - would of, could of, should of, oy vey! This isn't healthy as being hard on oneself isn't a good way to move forward. Living in the present, or the now by some philosophers, is good if one stays there. I sometimes live in the moment if it's a fun moment. Living in the future while in the present is what I do a lot of. I think of future successes such as finding a stable job and my soulmate (bashert). Thinking of the future would mean having children, raising a family, living in a nice home with a garden that I would take care of, seeing the world with a loved one, making a time capsule of memories for future generations, leaving a legacy, a mark on the Earth in many ways (such as leaving a permanent personal website), and wondering about the afterlife. I'd say that we live simultaneously in the past, present, and future.

(31) Devora, February 13, 2008 10:15 PM

I love Lori almost Live- just one correction to make

I enjoy Lori's perspective and insights so much. Just want to clarify that G-d resides in the past, present and future, but we reside in the here and now, and that is where G-d wants us to focus, while we are cognizant of what effect our present actions will have on the future. Thank you

(30) Anonymous, February 12, 2008 4:14 PM

I always come away with a new perspective

I enjoy Lori's blog very much. I have found it to be very thought provoking and I come away with a new perspective on things in each article. I am not Jewish, but I do find that fact doesn't seem to matter much to G_d, he sees us all as the same children. I look forward to the next topic she discusses.

(29) miriam, February 9, 2008 8:45 PM

helps me refocus & stay connected. Kudos to you

Thank you so much for saying what I needed to hear. Finding G-d is what I want. I can't find Him in the past, through guilt, nor can I fing Him in the future, through worry. We only have now, it is a real present. I feel happier, and much more hopeful. Thanks

(28) raye, February 8, 2008 1:35 AM

"How Important Is It " From 1-10

Lori Palatnik has a very satisfying unique way of presenting simple truths. Yes, Guilt plays a large part in dragging us back to the Past. And Worry keeps glued to the unknown Future. Do these two negative emotions influence an empty Present. If one uses a scale from 1 to 10 to evaluate "how important are the Guilt and the Worry, in the Now," they can discard them or use them for more constructive purposes.

(27) Belarmino, February 7, 2008 11:05 PM can i thank you!

Tonight, today...i was in deep need of your blessed words of wisdom.
I just realize that "now" is where my mind have to be, to live in peace and with joy, with a big smile and full of energy to keep transforming my dreams and ideas into a solid and a tangible reality.

Thank you !

(26) David, February 7, 2008 9:58 PM

Information needed

Where can we find more information on yshuvah da'at? Are there any great rabbi's that are known for this topic. Thank you.

(25) Gitta, February 7, 2008 9:44 PM

Beautiful thoughts

This week your words were very inspiring and when asked to speak to a group of seniors, at the last minute this little video came to mind so I repeated these words and added some of my own and it made for a beautiful speech.
what Hashgacha!
thank you! keep up your good work.

(24) Gilly, February 7, 2008 7:32 PM

Thanks Lori, G_d speaks to me always through what you say, yet this week really touched my heart and I propose to try stay in the present for this whole week!!! Todah Rabah gilly

(23) Anonymous, February 7, 2008 5:18 PM

I have some sweet memories of the past people and friends

My past centers on WWII although I was to young to be
a part of it, but the men and women hold a special place in my heart and I love their music Big Bands ..I don;t live there but like to visit .

(22) Dr. Yossi Templeman, February 7, 2008 2:20 PM

This time you got it wrong...

Dear Lori,
Up to now you've been 100% on the mark in your previous discussions. But in this discussion you made a fundamental error both in terms of physics and in terms of theology. If you look at some of the top physics journals you can see from a mathematical and theoretical point of view under what conditions time travel could take place. Quite simply that means that from an "outside the universe" point of view all times--past, present, and future coexist. Thus it is incorrect to say that "the past doesn't exist" or "the future hasen't happened yet".
And from a theological point of view I can show you our own sources based on clear Torah psukim that show that just like Hashem is in all places He is also in all times. Hashem created time and certainly is not bound by time. From Hashem's point of view He is talking to Moshe while listening to you and to conversations taking place thousands of years from now (from our point of view). It's not that He knows what you'll do in the future (which would limit your free will), rather He knows what you DID in the future. So to say that the crator of time "lives in the present" completely misses the mark.

(21) Eric Salem, February 7, 2008 2:10 PM

a settled mind is a rational mind

Thanks for your valuable insight. This a good blog. I can identify with the inner dialogue that we all have to struggle with. I beat myself up about what I've done in the past such as not feeling like I'm getting enough out of life. I worry about my future in that I second guess myself whether or not I have the skills I need to get what I feel is enough out of life down the road. The result is that a lot of times I have a unsettled mind in the present. My cognitions affect my mood and the mood of others around me. How does embracing G-d solve one's inner angst? I don't understand how being a religious Jew helps one to understand one's inner conflict. We can all go to psychologists, psychiatrists, life coaches, religious leaders, friends, co-workers, and loved ones with our emotional baggage but if we don't know how to help these people help ourselves it's all pointless. Please give us all some insight, including myself. Then again, maybe I'm just going around in circles.

(20) faygie, February 6, 2008 10:22 PM

are you talking to me???

i felt that Lori was talking to me as i am always worrying about the future and how will it be resolved.i have had a dBut ifficult life making a bad choice as having an abusive husband and then raising 4 children myself so naturally my mind was always thinking how will i get through this??? But Boruch Hasem I had the zechus to marry off and raise my children to be Bnei Torah and lead wonderful lives.I just wish some of that Mazel woudl come my way

(19) Alaine Apap Bologna, February 6, 2008 2:30 AM

Wise thoughts

I really enjoyed this video- something I almost always forget to think about! Thank you for the tip.

(18) Michelle Sandler, February 5, 2008 9:52 PM

What about the positive emotions?

What about the positive emotions associated with both the past and future?
Some people constantly reflect on the past to feel the nostalgia or joy of moments they've lived. Or one could be very excited for an upcoming event/phase in their life and find themselves having difficulty living in the present because of their strong sense of excitement for this future.
I understand that the optimal state is still yeshuvah da'at, and these examples still don't provide that; but when discussing an inability to live in the present, I think it is important to discuss that even if you're having difficulty with it it doesn't mean that you're feelinga rush of negative emotions. It can be intense happiness, it's just not true happiness because it's preventing living in Hashem's gift of Today.

(17) Gitta, February 5, 2008 1:34 PM


what a great reminder of the true perspective of where we need to be. thanks and keep up your good work.

(16) ruth housman, February 5, 2008 12:28 PM

where God lives

The present is a gift as present is gift. I think we tend to forget this as Lori points out in the press of what we carry with us as burdens from the past and into the anxiety of future. As a therapist I do know that being present for so many of the people I have worked with, and myself, many times, can be so difficult. To clear one's mind is hard and yet, the clarity and beauty of the moment, well that is truly something to be sought and enjoyed. Thank you, Lori, for your meditative and beautiful words. I feel I am getting to know a very deep soul through these broadcasts.

(15) Dan, February 5, 2008 10:53 AM

Lori does it again...

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift -- which is why it's called THE PRESENT.

(14) Erika, February 5, 2008 9:50 AM

Thanks Lori for reminding me this great truth!

(13) Anonymous, February 5, 2008 9:18 AM

Lori is wonderfully eloquent oncce again

Lori's thoughts spoke to me in such a meaningful way. How true and inspirational. I felt like she was speaking to me once again.
Todah rabah Lori!

(12) Joey, February 5, 2008 9:06 AM

Very true

Lori is right; people need to focus more on the present. Remembering the past is only useful if you work now to change your mistakes; remembering the future is useful only if you work to improve any foreseen problems. If you don't change what you're doing NOW, there's really no point. God bless!

(11) Meira Lerman, February 5, 2008 9:04 AM

Morning message from above!

Thank you very much for this simple and brilliant advice to live in this day and settle the mind to have one day to live, one thing to do, finally one life to have.

(10) Jeannette, February 5, 2008 8:34 AM

thank you

I have to say how incredibly inspired I was by watching this video clip. Thank you for giving me some more of the clarity and wisdom that I needed. All that Lori said was so true and so powerful. Again, thank you.

(9) Anonymous, February 5, 2008 8:15 AM

Beautiful, inspiring, and the absolute truth. Thanks!

(8) Anonymous, February 5, 2008 7:57 AM

Thank you very much.

I can only say: this is what I needed to hear today. Thank you very much.

(7) Dvirah, February 5, 2008 7:36 AM

To G.M. Grena

I am a physicist - at least, I obtained an MA in Physics from the Technion - so let me try to explain something very simply (and perhaps for that reason, not scientifically exact). According to QM things travel as waves (ie, continuously) but interact discretely. The Universe and all in it is constantly in motion, so it forms a continuum - this gives us our past and future. However, every interaction (can we read relationship?) is discrete and is therefore totally NOW. Of course, everything carries with it the imprint of its past which then affects its future. But all interactions - life as it is lived, if you will - is now.

(6) Anonymous, February 4, 2008 8:27 PM



(5) Anonymous, February 3, 2008 8:47 PM


Lori, that was so awesome - as are ALL of your podcasts. I really enjoy them and get a lot of Chizuk from them. THANKS!

(4) Gavin-Chaim, February 3, 2008 5:04 PM

Lori's present

To all those people whose past has come back to haunt them and they are suffering from earlier mistakes,just remember we are all connected and now is our opportunity to sanctify Hashem's Name even more.Our victory in the NOW-WON is to be able to look beyond our suffering for Hashem is with us above our heads.Feel the pain if it is real for you and if you are feeling cut off I know what that feels like.Sometimes all the answers can not heal the pain of the moment but whatever state you are in,in the now is in the image of G-d.Now I can daven to Hashem who wants to hear YOU,Now I can learn Torah for Hashem wants to connect with YOU,Now I can do an act of lovingkindness for Hashem wants to feel love from YOU

(3) G.M. Grena, February 3, 2008 4:38 PM

Filter the Past & Embrace the Future

You always say something very thoughtful. Today was no exception. Or did you say it yesterday? You actually said it in the past. And before I'm done writing this comment, I will listen to it again ... in the future.

I've said elsewhere that there's no such thing as the Present; there's only the Past & the Future. The Tanakh, for example, tells us about past things (the Creation, the Exodus, etc.), & future things (prophecies like those described in Ezekiel 40-8 & Zekharia 14).

And then along comes Lori, saying the only thing that exists is "now" (i.e., the Present; 2:12 on your video timescale), & you force me to think harder. And that's always a good thing--I love ya for it!

It reminds me of the scientific problem when General Relativity [GR] encounters Quantum Mechanics [QM].

GR describes a continuum; time & space are continuous; there's no point where you can truly subdivide/separate them; sort of like trying to distinguish between one drop of water & another in a flowing river. As long as it's in the river, it's indistinguishable because it's interacting with other drops.

QM, on the other hand, describes discrete amounts of things like mass & energy as if they're by themselves (like an atom at rest). It focuses on individual components (apologies for sounding redundant; I'm not a physicist, so I can't go much further in the analogy).

But it seems to me that you're saying we can't have a relationship--a healthy interaction--with someone else if we're focused on a discrete event (or "discreet" to use a wordplay for indiscretions we regret) that occurred in the past, or might occur in the future.

You got away with this because you only focused on bad things in the past & future. You should do a segment on the benefits derived from reflections on good things from the past (e.g., Ruth choosing to stay with Naomi, or Esther risking her life to entreat the Persian king), & the benefits derived from hope for good things in the future (e.g., many more articles by Lori Palatnik).

The key is to filter out the bad past, keep the good past, put it to proper use in the present, & then we'll be headed for the future in the right direction.

By the way, I like my thermostat way up, & my stuff totally organized.

(2) Rosen, February 3, 2008 9:16 AM

reflecting on the past, preparing for the future, & living in the now

Thanks for putting time and life into context, Lori. It certainly can be easy to dwell on the past in worrying that it would come back to haunt one's self in the future, but the chances of that occurring is if one lets it by thinking about it too much.

I don't necessarily believe you should live each day as if it is your last, but it's often important to live in the now and prepare some goals for the near-future. It all depends on one's intuition and patience.

When I was in Israel on a Shabbaton, I was told to live in the now, and that was the best time I ever heard it because I was with so many of my fellow Jews on a kibbutz, and it felt similar to when the Jews entered Israel again before Mt. Sinai and saw G-d's presence. When I was on the kibbutz that Shabbaton, I felt a heavenly presence. Thus, it is better to reminisce on the good times than it is to dwell on the bad/testing times.

Life is very dynamic!

(1) Aaron, February 3, 2008 6:17 AM

WOW. This was a good one.

I think this is so awesome if we can hold this thought with us at all times. That would be great. I heard this once from a friend of mine..not sure where he got it from: "You cant change the past - But you can change the future by working on the present"


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