By Joyce Dillon, RN, MN
The unexamined life may not be worth living, but who has time for contemplation?
You do, despite daily e-mail invasions, cell phone-message pileups, endless traffic jams, transporting your active kids, managing your own business or career.
First point: Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future to arrive. It means living your life consciously aware that each moment your breath is a genuine gift.
How do you start the process of living in the moment? By becoming aware of how much time you spend dwelling on past memories, losses and mistakes, and considering how to resolve these old problems. Now, think about how much time you spend focused on your future. Believing you will be fulfilled only when you get that great car, that perfect romantic relationship or that once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity is also a mistake. Such beliefs physically drain you of the life energy you need to experience the only thing that is real, which is the Now.
In his renowned book, Spiritual Solutions, Deepak Chopra speaks to the reality that it is our own mind, with its nearly constant stream of thoughts about the past, and the concern for the future that causes all of our anxiety and anguish. We create our own problems, not other people or outside environmental forces.
Second Point: To live in the present moment means you have to be willing to slow down, simplify and do nothing. It takes a while to get to this point. It can be more difficult than it sounds. If you’re not in the habit of doing nothing for periods of time, how do you start? Start with an hour, perhaps a lunch hour, or choose to get up an hour early or set aside an hour on the weekend to just sit and be with yourself.
When we talk about mindfulness or living in the present moment, we are describing conscious living and alert presence of mind. Such a mental state helps us pay attention to what we are doing as we are doing it. It helps us see truly what is going on in our lives.
Have you ever made a decision to do something, and even as you were doing it, you where saying to yourself, “This is a mistake. Why am I doing this?” We all have innate awareness. Unfortunately, this awareness is often buried, obscured by temporary distractions and confusion, and submerged under layers of habit and old behavior.
Many of us go through our days almost as though we are sleepwalking. Every now and then, we wake up for a brief instant of clarity and say to ourselves, “What is happening to my life?” And then we fall back into our semiconscious state as we continue bumbling about, half asleep at the wheel of life. We don’t pay sufficient attention to what we are doing as we are doing it, and then we wonder why we end up in the predicaments that we do.
You can’t always get away to a retreat to relax…so we all have to learn how to shut off the endless onslaught of activities and demands that create our frenetic life-style, increase our stress, strain our relationships and eventually cause illness.
So start by being aware of your daily thoughts and what you are thinking about. How much energy are you giving away to the past or the future? Be willing to slow down and start experiencing your moment-by-moment life. Don’t let another day go by without asking yourself, “What do I need to do to live more in the moment?” Here are a few tips to start you on this worthwhile journey.
Ten Tips On Living In the Present Moment:
- Go to a quite place and just sit
- Let go of your old life story
- Take a nap in the middle of the day
- Enjoy a massage
- Stroll in the park
- Breath deeply, inhale and exhale
- Let go of emotions and disappointment
- Learn to meditate
- Practice Tai Chi, Qigong
- Spend more time in nature
- Take a bath with essential oils
Joyce Dillon, R.N., M.N. founder of a coaching, personal development and travel retreat company that coaches aspiring women and men to manifest their life passion, purpose and destiny. 404-824-7332, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.Joycedillon.com.