“The present moment is the only thing where there is no time. It is the point between past and future. It is always there and it is the only point we can access in time. Everything that happens, happens in the present moment. Everything that ever happened and will ever happen can only happen in the present moment. It is impossible for anything to exist outside of it.” Myrko Thum
Why is it important to live in the present moment? Not an easy thing to do. I know personally my mind is always scattered. It zigs and zags from what I am doing, to something I have to do in the future and what someone said yesterday. To me that is normal. Usually I am focused but not in the way that would be most effective.
I totally understand why it would be better to sink into the present moment and stay there.
- It is so distracting to let my mind wander.
- It makes me less effective.
- It can also be very frustrating which in turn causes stress.
- I don’t get as much done and it takes me longer to accomplish the task I am doing.
- It causes me to make more mistakes which I then have to spend more time correcting.
I know that everyone thinks about their past and we certainly think about the future. There is no way to escape doing that and we shouldn’t.
The past shaped us and made us who we are. It is healthy to look backward at all the good things that happened to us. Sometimes it can be beneficial to look at the bad as well. What did we learn from those experiences? Use them to make you stronger and to challenge yourself, make you a better person.
We need to look at the future to plan for what we will be doing next. Make a plan, set some goals and then let it go for the moment. Don’t be overwhelmed and don’t let it stress you.
We shouldn’t spend too much time focusing on either the past or the future. Go back to the present and focus on what you are doing right now.
“…we can be present when consciously reflecting on events from the past (as opposed to being caught up, distracted and overwhelmed by the past” (2015).Andy Puddicombe of Headspace
This is a struggle for me and I think it is for most people. I love the idea and I think it would be a totally efficient way of being. So how does anyone get to that point where they are immersed in the present and able to stay there?
Most will tell you meditation and yes, I think that is effective. When you take quiet time and let go of thoughts of past, present or future you can get to a very quiet place within yourself. It is totally calming.
I have done meditation but only on a limited basis. It is always connected with Yoga which I absolutely love. I can get totally lost in yoga and I am living in the moment. Concentrating on the movement and relaxing into it.
Writing is similar for me in some ways. I am certainly concentrating on my thoughts. I have not gotten into a true flow yet. I am working on that and I think that is what we should all be doing with our everyday activities. We can usually lose ourselves in what we love doing. Maybe that is the key to being present, loving what we are doing so we lose ourselves in doing it.
Another practice sometimes done in Yoga is either sitting or laying done and slowly thinking about each part of your body. Starting from you toes and moving upward and noticing how each feels. Relaxing your muscles and releasing any tension. You go from your toes to your head. It is very relaxing and it does help you focus on the present. You could do this at your desk, when you are taking a break or at lunch time.
Reading, we should read as much as possible. It is just a great thing to do. It makes us smarter and it is relaxing. Add it to your schedule and decide to read for a specified time each day. Read a book about learning to be in the moment.
Of course, music. That is so relaxing and you can get lost in it. I like to have it playing in the background. If you find you can’t stay in the moment of what you are doing then maybe take a break, do a body scan, take a short walk and come back but without the music. Schedule it for later.
To help you focus on the present moment I like to keep a daily list of what I am going to do each day. If you find yourself wandering around in your head, stop and refer to your list. It can center you and bring you back into the moment.
Appreciate where you are, each moment, each breath. Relax, smile.
“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” Wayne Dyer
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great mindful day.