The art of living in the present
How many percent of your mind space are you spending on the past? How much time is spent trying to look into, or plan for, the future? How often are you fully engaged in the present?
When I did this exercise for myself, by observing my thoughts a bit more diligently, I realised that I spend far too much time in the future and not enough in the right now. It’s was a sad realisation but I know I’m not alone in this.
When I’ve finished my workday, and gotten the kids to bed, then I will relax. When we’ve finally checked in to that hotel on our vacation, then we’ll be happy. When I’ve finished my studies, and gotten my first real job, then I will start enjoying life. When I have that partner that truly gets me, then I’ll feel satisfied.
But we all know this; there is no there there.
As soon as we get there we’ll surely find something else to strive for, something in the distant future to long for that keeps us from living in the moment.
So, how do we do it? Move the there to here? Well, I practice being in the presence by noticing the small details in my every day; the taste of the coffee, the way my body feels when it moves, that smile from someone I care for. I also practice gratitude daily. By focusing on the things I appreciate in my life today I help myself staying present with whatever is, without wishing it were different or that I was somewhere else.
Awareness is a skill that we can improve. Meditation helps immensely in getting better at observing what is and noticing our thoughts and feelings so that we can make conscious choices of where we want them to go.
Tomorrow is granted to no one, so how would you live bearing that in mind? What can you do today to feel fully alive? How can you engage more in your current life, feeling the way you want to feel, today? When you do this, you’ll act in ways that will attract what you want also in the future. But that’s not the end goal, the end goal is not in the end at all, it’s in the now.
By: Helena Önneby