Living in the Moment
And even though I love these feelings, living in the moment seems to be a fleeting practice. I get distracted, worried, frustrated, discouraged, or stressed. I live in the future wondering how long I’ll need to be semi-isolated and wearing masks. I want to go back to the ‘way things were’. And sometimes I just zone out and watch TV.
And then I remember.
I remember my strength, my courage, my resilience, my spiritual practice, and how much I love to feel free, spacious, content, and peaceful. It’s always about remembering the following ideas:
1. Get out of your (my) mind – Any time you notice you're in your mind and thoughts but not actually enjoying or participating fully in whatever you’re doing right this moment, get out of them. It’s helpful to use a word or strategy when you notice you’re in your mind.
When I notice that my mind is going a mile-a-minute and my body is tight, I take a few deep breaths and visualize my breath connected to something far above me and far below me. One of my favorite mantras while breathing in and out is “Be still and know that I am God” or (inhale) “God is”, (exhale) “I am.” And just this week I came up with another: (inhale) “illuminate”, (exhale) “dissolve.”
This simple practice of breathing with some repetitive words of stillness settles my mind and allows me to easily enter into the spaciousness of the moment.
2. Don’t focus on the future or the past – One of fastest ways that I lose my feeling of peace and contentment is when I’m futurizing or reminiscing. It’s not always a negative feeling; sometimes I’m visualizing an amazingly awesome future or wonderfully fulfilling memories. I’m not in the present, but I’m usually okay with those happy thoughts and ideas.
However, sometimes I might have some anxiety or worry about the future. Things may not be happening fast enough. I might be frustrated with my progress. I’m impatient for results. Or I might tune into a memory that isn’t pleasant and I find myself feeling the bitterness, regret, or resentment of things not said or not done. I’m not okay with those thoughts and ideas.
Guess what? When I notice myself in the future or past, I do exactly what I do above…breathing, centering, repetitive words. Because when I’m in the future or the past, I’m in my mind (the ‘monkey mind’).
3. Purposely lose track of time – When I set my intention to be in the moment, I make it a point to stop looking at the clock if I go somewhere or while I am doing something. Living in the moment means I am enjoying whatever I’m doing and time will go by fast.
Looking at the clock or wondering how much time has passed is a distraction and immediately puts us in our head (see item 1). A couple of good questions to ask yourself, “How can I fully enjoy myself in this moment?” “What can I notice that I might not have noticed a moment ago?” “How can I allow myself to be blessed right now?”
Staying in the present means you may not always be actively doing something (this is a tough one for me, which is why it’s such a good practice). You might just be sitting there, and that’s okay.
Appreciate who you are. Recognize that your gifts are needed. Celebrate that you are a once-in-a-lifetime cosmic event and you don’t need to prove yourself or your value. Sitting and doing nothing might be exactly what is needed for your mind to calm down so it can align itself with love, peace, compassion, and joy.
Creating a practice to stay in the present takes practice and you might need help, guidance, or encouragement. If you’re ready to shift to something new, I can help. You can connect with my by scheduling a free 45 minute Say Yes to Yourself Strategy call by clicking here.