Tag: being in the moment

Living in the Moment

sky diving

“Forever is composed of nows.”
― Emily Dickinson

 

“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.”
― Albert Einstein

In a world where we are encouraged to analyze our mistakes of the past and plan for a successful future, it can be challenging to live in the present and enjoy the moment.

All we really have is now. The past is over and can’t be changed; the future is to come and can’t be predicted. The only time we are experiencing in our bodies is the present moment. Have you ever spent a vacation taking pictures so you could remember it, only to lament later that you didn’t fully enjoy the moments you were so eager to capture? Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself from a time you were unhappy and with hindsight and wisdom realize you had much to be grateful for but didn’t recognize it? When we live in the past or the future, we don’t appreciate what we have, who we are, and that we are a part of the NOW.

If you would like to be more present in your life, here are some ideas:

Focusing on an object to connect with the present. Look closely at an object. It could be anything—a leaf, stone, book, chair, piece of fruit—but it is best to choose something that is easy to study intently without disturbing you or the object. Look at the object and note your initial impressions. If the object is small, hold it in your hand; if the object is large, get close enough to see details. Study it’s color, texture, weight, shape, if it has a smell, how it compares to others like it. Notice if your feelings or thoughts have changed from when you first looked at the object.

Ignite your senses. Choose a place that is rich in stimuli—different noises, movement, smells, etc.—where it is safe to sit and close your eyes, and use all your senses to tune in. Be curious with what you are taking in. What do you hear? Where is it coming from in relation to you? How would you classify the sound—melodious or harsh, soft or loud, smooth or staccato, continuous or intermittent? Experience all that is happening around you, allow all of your senses to focus on whatever attracts their attention. Recognize that as you are listening, watching smelling and feeling you are a part of the NOW.

Practice gratitude for what you have right now. This is a valuable daily exercise to ground you in the moment. Take a few minutes to mentally list all you are grateful for. Nothing is too small, too silly, or too common. Additional benefits you might notice from practicing gratitude are lifting your mood and putting things in perspective.


Lessons from Animals on Love and Life

P1020737Although animals can’t walk, talk, or think quite like us, that doesn’t mean they can’t teach us a thing or two! Here are some life lessons that we can learn from animals:

Listen to your inner wisdom. No matter how trained a pet is, all rules and focus on treats go out the window when instincts kick in. If there is a threat of danger, they do everything in their power to protect themselves. They don’t care how they look or what others may think of them. So if your instincts tell you that doing something isn’t safe to your physical, mental, or emotional well-being…don’t do it. That could be anything from not taking on more responsibilities to declining an invitation to a party. In the same way, if there is something your inner guide is telling you to do to promote your well-being—taking some time out to recharge, calling up a good friend, getting outside for a long walk—listen to that voice too.

Let those you love and care about know how you feel. If you’ve ever witnessed a dog’s happy reaction to seeing his or her owner after time away, you know what unrestrained joy looks like. No amount of training can stop that dog from expressing gratitude, love, and excitement. Sometimes we humans restrain ourselves from expressing warm, fuzzy thoughts to others. Let the joy out! Think of how good you feel when someone shows they care about you. So if you experience feelings of love, affection, or any happy feelings for people in your life…don’t keep them to yourself!

Be present. Animals live in the moment. They don’t hang onto stories or emotions such as anger, guilt, hurt, despair, and fear that we humans can replay for a lifetime. They also don’t give themselves ulcers worrying about the future. Most of the painful thoughts we have don’t have anything to do with the present moment. Let go of the stories, limiting thoughts, and unsupportive beliefs that cause you upset, and strive to live in the only moment we really have…the now.

Figure out what you want and then take action. Often, when we humans decide we want some wonderful dream or goal for ourselves, we get stopped before we even start by unsupportive self-talk. When a squirrel decides to collect food for the winter, he doesn’t let worry, doubt, or fear stymie him. He doesn’t think: I’m not prepared for this. What if I fail? What if people think my goal is ridiculous? The squirrel just goes out and gets the job done. He knows what he wants and takes all the action he can in that moment. If an obstacle gets in the way, he doesn’t give up…he changes tactics, and then continues to focus on the goal. Focus on your desired outcomes, not the “what ifs” that may never even happen.

Be YOU and only YOU. Animals don’t try to be someone they aren’t. They are unabashedly and unapologetically authentic. Isn’t that one of the reasons we love them? There’s only one you. Be proud of your uniqueness!


Express Your Feelings Today

I have invited Yaz Headley of http://thecompletelife.com from the UK to guest blog on my blog for your pleasure:

We can have so many joys and regrets in our lives.

Bronnie Ware wrote a book on “The top five regrets of the dying”. One of the regrets she found was that they often wished they had the courage to express their feelings. So often we bottle up our feelings and think we can maybe, fully express ourselves another day. Will that day ever arise or are we meant to seize the day today, everyday.

Expressing a feeling does not have to be hurtful or painful to another. Expressing feelings can be kind, generous and simply practical. Expressing a feeling helps us to understand how we ourselves feel, something we so often forget to do.

If you do anything today, express at least one feeling not just to yourself but to another. Expressing your feelings is about living and savouring your interpretation of the life you are living. The other four regrets she found were wishing they had chosen to be happier, work less, being more authentic and stayed in touch with friends.

Ware, B., 2012. The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, Hay House UK.

©2012 Yaz.