All of the thoughts and emotions that are both conscious and below consciousness can be experienced in layers. The layers can be focused on individually. Most of the time the layers are flattened into a composite which we call our mood at the time and this makes up our personality.
Sometimes we get stuck in one layer and our thoughts and actions at that time are related primarily to that layer. Some of the layers are perceived as being good or bad. Each layer can be worked with individually and then weaved back into a composite.
This can be viewed as a photoshop layered and filtered digital photograph.
Your mouth, smile and body are also a part of this layered perception.
The layers may be arranged in categories: Life, death. Inside , outside. Thought , sensation. Now, past future.
Now is not a thought. The sense of now is a flowing awareness of what the senses are bringing into awareness. As soon as thought starts it is no longer now because any thought that has words to it is longer than now. Only a flowing awareness of the senses brings in what is now. As soon as thinking starts now stops.
It seems that most of the time we are passing through now to go from one layer to another. Whenever we can touch now its like being able to hold on to the side of the pool for a moment and taking a rest form continually treading water.
An airplane flying through the air cannot just stop. It has to slow down first. So too with our layers. To get to now you (most of the time) cannot just stop you have to slow down first. With practice you can just stop. Touch and let go.
Gradually now does stretch out not into the past, future or thoughts but into a greater awareness of what is happening now. The now has more awareness of a sense of the input from the senses and the background of the molecules of emotion that are continually present. The awareness of this becomes a fuller thicker sensing of the now which is beyond the horizon of thought in words.