I need to work on pulling in the moments that I have right now. I mean, all that we have is right now... That's it. This very instance you’re reading in; that's all you have right now… The present is an available gift to each and everyone of us and many of us, myself included, waste it on the fantasy of opportunities and outcomes that might be or might happen. Many of us live in fear of what might or might not.
Here are a few things I’m working on that may help you wrangle the present like an elusive unicorn of awesome and ride it like a glorious steed into your present moment of glory:
- Minuses to Plusses. Change all that negative thinking. Recognize and eradicate any thoughts that are negative. You’re either acting or thinking. Negative words actually prevents us from acting because negative words make us stop. What do you do when hear “no”. The natural response is to pause. Once we’ve stopped, we begin calculating all of the negative possibilities rather than creating positive outcomes with the moment we’re standing in.
- Pay Attention to Pay Attention. Focus intently on what's going on. A small practice challenge: if it's raining outside try and look at as many singular raindrops as you can. Look at one at a time. This helps you to be in the moment. Practicing being in the moment with trivial challenges helps you to live in the moment when it counts. We miss out on so many wonderful feelings, experiences and opportunities simply because we do not pay attention.
- Shake the Haze. Have you ever taken a drive and wondered how you got there? Sometimes when we're routinely performing a task over and over and over and over and over again, the mind slips into autopilot and we forget that there's a whole lot of stuff going on around us. This can happen from sleep deprivation, stress and pressure or depression. But living in a haze can be dangerous. We’re caught in a haze of nothingness. This is like being in purgatory because we aren’t actively moving in the direction of our aspirations. When I catch myself in these moments I close my eyes and open them again. This physical act of “refocusing” actually helps me snap back into reality. I recommend trying it.
- In Control But Not. Control is an addictive force but the only thing we can control is ourselves, moreover our reaction to the world around us. When situations don’t pan out the way we thought or planned we get frustrated, depressed, confused, angry. These emotions come as a result of the illusion that we are in control of results rather than reactions. To move forward, resolve yourself to find solace with being in control of the moment but not in control of the outcome. We can control exactly how we will react to something but we you cannot control what will happen after we react- be okay with that.
- Be Mindful. Ultimately, to conquer your present moments you must be mindful. Many people use the word mindful without regard for what it actually means. Imagine your mind as a cup. When the cup is full we cannot fill it with anything else or the cup will be in crisis and overflow. Being mindful is the same concept. When we are mindful, when our mind is full, we aren’t preoccupied with other thoughts or ideas. If we flood our mind with thoughts and ideas, we go into crisis- depression, stress, anxiety, anger, disappointment.
- Present but Patient. It takes a second to change your thoughts but depending on how stubborn you are it can time to fully change your mind. Small victories should be acknowledge. Did you really hear what your child said? Good for you! Did you fully feel every emotion (good or bad) that the moment presented for you? Good for you! Keep encouraging yourself. It may feel lame, but fake it ‘til you make it is real. You can trick your mind into it to get going and then use that moment to keep you there and to move forward. There will be a few setbacks but don’t stay there. Having someone to remind you and encourage you will help the process move quickly.
- Gratitude. I hate thinking it could be worse... it could be better. But really we should just be thankful for what it is. As much as we fantasize about someone else's life, someone may be fantasizing about your own. When we think about all the great opportunities available to us that are uniquely our own, we begin to experience life fully.
These are a few things I’ve considered working on so that I’m more present in my daily life. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss a thing. I’m not going to waste time thinking about how it could be; I’m going to experience each moment as it is. Carpe diem & good luck!