Live your life in the now because the future and the past don't exist
Living in the present moment
Too often, are beautiful moments of this life lost and drowned out by anxiety, by intrusive thoughts. Our thoughts, always creating scenarios about what has been, what could have been, what will be and what could be, take over your consciousness.
As we think about work or school, the things that need to get done, we miss out on the things that are truly happening in front of us. Even when we are at work, we think of being home, and when we are home, we think about work.
Life unfolds in the present and yet, the present is always slipping away and if we don’t take a moment to catch it, the moment is gone. It is the precious moments in life that make happiness and if we neglect to observe those moments, life passes us by.
We need to learn to let go of the concept of controlling our environment and live in what is happening.
Your thoughts don’t need to control you
Most of us are not aware that we are thinking as it is happening. Our thoughts control our way of being and we don’t question it.
When we take a step back and observe our thoughts, we become mindful. We become aware of the thinking process. When we take a step back and stop focusing on “doing”, we start “being”
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
The truth is that the future doesn’t exist, and the past is gone, therefore it doesn’t exist either. All we have is the present moment. If you never wake up from the never-ending invasive thoughts that trap you in the future or in the past, you become a slave to them, you become a slave to time. You become trapped in a loop of past and future, never truly being aware of the now.
“Learn to focus only on the present. The past is unchangeable so it is futile to reflect on it unless you are making sure you do not repeat mistakes. The future is but a result of your action today. So learn from the past to do better in the present so that you can succeed in the future.” Jordan Lejuwaan
What Does Mindfulness/Living in the Present Moment Mean?
As you are reading this, I invite you to become conscious of what you are doing right now. Are you sitting at a desk, or on the couch? Are there thoughts passing by in your mind as you are focusing on this article? Are you feeling full, or hungry? Are there things happening around you right now? Be mindful of the present moment. Become aware of the sights and sounds around you. Take a deep breath.
Next time you eat lunch or supper, don’t rush through it. Appreciate every bite and every flavor. Do you have a loved one in your life? Take a moment to live in the present and notice the sound of their voice, what they are doing, what they are saying.
Pay attention to what you notice. Mindfulness is the act of intentionally focusing your attention on the present moment without judging.
You can practice mindfulness while doing something as simple as brushing your teeth or cooking.
Tips for practicing mindfulness
Be still for then minutes a day
Take ten minutes out of your daily schedule to do nothing. Sit down comfortably and focus on your breathing. Be aware of everything around you and observe your thoughts as they flow in and out of your mind. Become comfortable with silence and stillness.
Be mindful of future and past thoughts
When you start thinking about the future or the past, be mindful that you are doing this and put a stop to it if you can.
Pay attention to the people talking to you
When you are talking to someone, pay attention to what they are saying. Listen in order to listen, not in order to respond. Be mindful of the existence of this person in your life.
Focus on what you are doing
Be aware of what you are doing, and get lost in the flow of it. If you are practicing a hobby such as sewing or painting, immerse yourself fully in the activity. If you are at work, pay attention to what you are doing, how you are sitting, what you are creating.
Ground yourself with your senses
Use sight, sound, smell taste and touch to snap back into the present.
You can look around and describe the room that you are sitting in. You can touch something cold or warm or with a nice texture and pay attention to the feeling. You can drink or eat something and pay attention to the taste. You can feel the sunshine on your skin and hear the cars driving by. Pay attention to what is happening around you right now.
How is mindfulness beneficial
Imagine that you are on your way to an interview. Even though you left early, there was crazy traffic on the road and you are late.
If you do not practice mindfulness, your thoughts are entirely focused on the future. you imagine scenarios that did not happen yet and that don’t exist. What is the boss thinking? Did you just mess up your first impression? Will they be angry?
As those thoughts fill your head, you get extremely stressed and when you arrive at the interview, you are strung up, you are sweating, and your thoughts are all over the place.
Now, let’s rewind for a sec and imagine the same scenario but with you practicing mindfulness. You are late, but the interview did not take place yet. Take a deep breath and be mindful of your surroundings. Notice everything that is going on around you and know that the traffic is out of your control. When you arrive at the job site, your focus is on parking the car, opening the door, talking to the receptionist and meeting the boss. You are collected, calm. You may not be able to control the traffic, but you can control how you behave and feel when you walk into that room.
That is the power of mindfulness.
Being mindful helps us keep focus on what we are doing, it gives us more control over our emotions and helps to create deeper bonds with people.
Being mindful means living well. It means appreciating your time on this earth and knowing that when your day will come to leave this earth and move on to the next plane of existence, you will not have missed a thing. Your heart will be light as a feather because you will have lived your life fully.
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” Alice Morse Earle
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