Living In The Moment
The world we live in is becoming such a distracting place. With the constant pull of our attention in all directions, it is becoming more and more difficult to focus our attention on any task for very long. It is so easy to squander valuable time by letting it slip away through the hustle and bustle of life. Managing our time won’t do much good if we are not able to manage where our mind wanders. Everyone struggle with distractions to some degree.
Life unfolds when we learn to live in the present moment. It is the only moment we have access to. It is all there is. Our decisions are made in the present moment. Our actions and emotions are experienced in the present moment. Life takes place in the present. When you stay present, you notice the movements of your mind. You observe the unfoldment of life both inside as well as outside.
Being mindful of the present is not an attempt to improve yourself or the effort to get you anywhere else. It is simply a matter of noticing where you already are. This is done intentionally and with non-judgment. It is the ability to focus on whatever you are doing so as not to be aware of the passing of time. Time passes by unnoticed, unobserved and unseized as we live our lives worrying about the future and ruminating about time past.
You can become mindful at any moment just by paying attention to your immediate experience. It’s natural to spend some moments of thought ruminating over past events. Identifying impending dangers through associations with things that have happened in the past teach us about self-preservation. They are pathways to information, knowledge and experience that enrich our lives. The mistakes and hurt that we experienced in the past help us become better people. Problems arise when we replay past memories in our heads like we replay an old movie.
There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. So Today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.
– Dalai Lama
REALITY IS ONLY NOW
The past only happens in the mind, not in the real world. You cannot experience the past as you do in the present. You can bring up memories, but they are made only of thoughts and feelings.
Pondering about the future can be nothing more than a projection of possibilities. Thinking about future events and consequences is paramount to human survival. We need to anticipate certain events as a means of protection to keep us safe. Many people however, dwell on hypothetical situations and negative events that may never occur. They spend so much time playing out scenarios in their mind, predicting and pre-living future catastrophes.
Life consists of a finite amount of time. It is presented in a bountiful space of vast possibilities and opportunities. The past is gone and the future is not guaranteed. When we dwell in the past or worry about the future, we are missing out on life. We are dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to past events and potential future outcomes. In this state, being neutrally centered and peacefully rooted becomes a challenging task. Tunnel vision limits our perception of possibilities.
Mind-wandering becomes an almost automatic activity. If we are not aware of what we are thinking about, we are allowing our thoughts to overpower and control us rather than being in control. The continuous train of thoughts about past or future prevents us from living peacefully. Our minds are constantly preoccupied with an endless list of things, none of which is occurring right now. We are caught up in the illusion of time, mulling over what has happened or anticipating what is to come. This robs us of our joy by distracting us from those seemingly beautiful things that happen around us daily.
Being mindful is a state where intentional attention is placed on the now. It enables us to find contentment and understanding within ourselves. By placing your awareness on what's happening right now, you propel yourself powerfully into the present moment. We are only truly present when our minds and bodies are connected.
The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That's all there ever is.
– Eckhart Tolle