People tell us to live in the NOW, what does this mean? I mean, I am here, right? So that means I MUST be in the now, correct? Well….. maybe not. What it actually means is to be present… aware in each moment.
To live in the moment has been mis-interpreted and used out of context (another Kleenex word?) for a while… but the meaning behind it is important. Living in the moment is actually to be fully aware of everything happening around you at this VERY moment both externally and internally. The internal awareness or the awareness of the self is the most fundamental part of living in the moment and with this you will be somewhere else — out of time.
When we think about things, when we get emotional about things, we usually are not living in the present or the NOW – we are living in the past or the future…
True reality exists only in this moment, in the NOW and nowhere else except inside our minds. Our minds can trick us into believing we are in the moment when in actual fact, we are re-living a moment in the past or hoping for a particular outcome in the future. Allow everything to occur as it occurs, surrender control (by doing this, you actually gain control), observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment … and you will be in the moment.
Is it humanly possible to enjoy every moment of life? Could we actually get through a day without complaining to a friend, getting exasperated waiting in line, or scrambling for time? You bettcha!!! The key is accessing the present moment. Mindfulness or living in the now is the only way to truly get out of our heads and experience all that life offers every day, hour and moment. It is a cultivation of a new consciousness that allow you to finally be happy. Awakening to what is going on around and within you at a specific moment is the first step towards more joyous and fulfilling being-ness.
When you find yourself drowning in thought… try this? Every time you walk up and down the stairs in our house or place or work, pay close attention to every stop, every movement… even your breathing. Be totally present. In addition, when you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sensory perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap and so on.
When the voice in your head starts to drive you crazy, try this: Pay attention to the gap between your; thoughts – when one thought subsides and before another arises. In this way, you draw consciousness away from mind activity and create a gap of no-mind in which you are highly alert and aware, but not thinking. When these gaps occur, you dis-identify from your mind and feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the essence of meditation and the single most vital step on your journey.
When you find yourself waiting for anything, try this: Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting…snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be, and enjoy being. If you are present, there is never any need for you to wait for anything. So, next time somebody says, “Sorry to have kept you waiting.” You reply, “That’s all right, I wasn’t waiting. I was just standing here enjoying myself.” (I need work on this one!!)
When negative thoughts sneak in, try this: become like a deep lake. The outer situation of your life, whatever happens there is like the surface of the lake – sometimes calm, sometimes windy and rough. Deep down, however, the lake is always undisturbed. You are the whole lake, not just the surface. Practice being in touch with your own depth, which remains absolutely still.
When you can’t seem to find a second of spare time, try this: Step out of time dimension as much as possible in everyday life. Become friendly toward the present moment. Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future whenever they are not needed. The past has already happened… we do not get do-overs… no shoulda, coulda in your vocabulary. The future hasn’t happened… plan for it, then let it unfold.
When you are stressed an irritable, try this: Take two or three conscious breaths. Now see if you can detect a subtle sense of aliveness that pervades your entire inner body. Can you feel your body from within, so to speak? Sense briefly – specific part of your body. Feel your hands, then your arms, fee and legs. Can you feel your abdomen, chest, neck and head? What about your lips? If there life in them? Then become aware again of the inner body as a whole.
When your to-do list is a mile long, try this: Knowing that what is cannot be undone, because it already is –you say yes to what is or accept what isn’t. Then, you do what you have to do, whatever the situation requires.
So this is all practicing mindfulness…what do you do to stay in the NOW?????
Now, is time to quit and go enjoy the morning paper and a cup of coffee….. thanks for joining me.