There is NO way to intellectually understand how the universe works; as a result, BEING is the only way to intimately connect to the source of understanding, to experience how the universe unfolds. Now this may sound somewhat esoteric, but it is anything but. Without being in sync with reality, with "what is", there will always be incongruence.
Can you imagine telling someone what chocolate tastes like without having tasted it? And even when you have tasted it - look how difficult it is to explain what it tastes like to someone who has not. Consciousness is like chocolate - only by truly tasting it can you know what it is. Eating chocolate is a present moment experience; it forces you to stay squarely in the moment, because without that, you miss it.
When you are in the past or the present you are in your head and always one step away from the action. The action of life - the joy of life - comes from the heart and is always in the present moment. But being present is not for the weak at heart. Being present requires great bravery, a willingness to FEEL your life rather than think about it.
When you are willing to connect to your soft underbelly, that part of you that you keep hidden (from yourself as well as the rest of the world) - only then does being present have a chance. Integrating the dark side as well as the light automatically makes your present and only by being totally and completely in the moment do you have an opportunity to "see" to the core to things.
This "seeing" is NOT an intellectual exercise but a state of being. It is unequivocal, not up for debate. It acknowledges the failures as well as successes, the valleys as well as the peaks, the losses as well as the wins. It recognizes life's wholeness - all of it - as perfection.
The ability to "observe" your life, to know on a gut level that you are always in the right place at the right time, and to know that every"mistake" is a step towards greater awareness and authenticity is how consciousness evolves. The more present you are, the more you are aligned with the workings of the universe and more connected you are to the SOURCE.