I love this moment. You know, the one that is THIS moment – as you’re reading this – this moment – the only one that exists.
But we have, as humans, this unique ability to think in the past and future. It allows us to remember memories, and helps us plan for the future.
And it can also lead to lots of suffering. Not just a little suffering – a lot of suffering… guilt, remorse, anxiety, stress, depression, fear, physical ailments, and lots more.
So why does it happen? Because it’s where the mind goes – into the past and future, and a belief that THIS moment is not complete as it is. THIS moment. Right now. Here. Before you. THIS moment is the only one you have and is totally complete as it is – just as you are complete and whole as you are.
There is no “happiness when this happens, or that happens…” I know that’s what your mind thinks and believes, but it’s not true. THIS moment is IT.
So how do you train your mind (which is made to think – that’s it’s job) to live more in the present moment? There are several, little steps you can take each day to bring you back to this moment, each of which you have the ability to do. I guarantee it.
1. Notice when your thoughts are in the past or future. Take a deep breath and come back to this moment with kindness and compassion for yourself. Practice doing this each day when you notice you’re lost in thought.
2. Pick one daily activity you do and practice being present in it. Say brushing your teeth. In that one activity, be present through the physical senses. Notice what you smell, taste, feel, hear, and see as you are brushing your teeth. When your mind wonders, and you notice, bring your awareness back to the physical sensation you are now experiencing.
3. Have boundaries with technology. Computers, cell phones, tablets, and all those other things that beep and boop are one of the biggest present moment killers there are (I call my cell phone the PMDD – present moment distraction device). I was a late bloomer to cell phones and got my first smart phone just this past Dec. I didn’t turn it on for 5 days after getting it because I was afraid of becoming addicted as I see so many others are. I admit it, I became a little addicted and then set some firm boundaries for myself:
- All notifications are turned off except for the phone ring when it’s at my house, and the ringer turned off when I’m with others.
- I leave it at home when I leave the house unless I know I need it for something (which is rare).
- I turn it to airplane mode when I go to bed and don’t turn it back on until I’m done with meditation, yoga and breakfast.
- I leave it in a pocket or bag when I’m with others so that I’m present with them. If I know I need to field a call or email from a client or student during that time, I tell them this (another rarity).
I promise – happiness isn’t in your phone when you receive or send messages where your mind thinks it does – it’s in this moment. Pick just one of the tips above with your phone and practice baby steps.
4. Meditate. You’ll hear it from me over and over again – meditation. It’s wonderful in training your mind to come back to this moment.
5. Smile at a stranger. I love this one. When you’re caught up in your thoughts, lost in a story of something someone said, what you’re going to say, or your to do list, smile at someone on the street or indoors. Actually make it a point to see how many people you can get to smile today – research proves you’ll brighten their day!
Categories: Heart Centered Living