“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~Buddha
It seems as if there is a lot of hype about living in the present moment today. Funny thing is….the concept is nothing new. Buddha knew the key to living a healthy and fulfilled life was to live in the present moment and he was born sometime before 1887.
Living in the present moment is how we were meant to live, but as we’ve evolved, we’ve lost the ability to do this. Many “life experts” believe this is the core reason we are a confused, unhappy, sick, and dysfunctional society. Thanks to life experts like Eckhart Tolle, we’ve been able to really define what living in the present moment means and we can examine it closely by addressing what it isn’t. It’s not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Very simply – living in the present moment is about living in the now by being more aware and focused on what you are doing. If you are washing your car, then you are not thinking about anything else but washing your car. Sound boring? That’s because the life we live in today requires each of us to do 10 things at once – it’s called multitasking…and many people brag about being able to multitask. It’s a shame that a life zapper such as multitasking has been given a gold star of efficiency!
Test yourself: think about a time or a place where you have had a peaceful and calming feeling. Maybe walking on the beach at night or gardening with the birds singing or hiking amongst Redwood trees in the still of the forest. When you do these things, you are focused on them and nothing else – you are in the moment – and you are pleasantly aware of your surroundings. You’re not making lists in your mind, talking on the phone and worrying about your job.
The key to getting into the present is to fully pause and be aware of what you are doing, thinking, saying or even how you are breathing, so that you can shift to a deeper level of awareness. When you become aware of everything around you and in you – then you are in the present moment. When you stay out of the past and the future, you can find balance and joy in the present moment. The longer you can stay in that present moment, the better. Life’s normal distractions will somehow snap us all out of our comfortable present moment blanket – but with practice, you can learn to soak up the present moment and appreciate the grace and beauty of all that life has to offer.
Give yourself some time to learn this – there is no right or wrong and there are no time requirements. You can be mindful of the present moment for 5 seconds or 30 minutes – or better yet, all day! The important thing is to make the connection when you are prompted. Choose to do something calming and special rather than choosing to do nothing at all.
It is perfectly normal for your mind to wander after a few moments of being in the present moment – it happens to all of us. Don't get discouraged and stop the practice – stay with it. It might make sense to think of mindfulness in this way: If your mind wanders away from the present moment, mindfulness is really about bringing your attention back to the present moment. It’s an ebb and flow that is easy and light. Think of this process like the beach. Your body is the sandy shore and your mind is the tide. When you are in the present moment, the beach is soaking in the water that has just come in. That water might stay there or it might go back out to sea….if it does it’s OK….pause and bring the water back onto the shore. Light and easy….ebb and flow…
Most people need something to keep them on track – so that they are mindful and aware all day of their intention to be in the present moment – so that distractions don’t derail them. They need something to help them remember; something that provides reminder points during the day so that they stay in the present. Solution: the meaning to pause® bracelet. This bracelet gently and privately vibrates every 90 minutes with a friendly nudge to keep you on track and mindful of your daily intention to be in the present. This simple and inexpensive bracelet holds the key to keeping you focused on your daily intention of living in the now – the present moment!
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“Living in the moment brings you a sense of reverence for all of life's blessings.” - Oprah Winfrey