There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about the freedom and power of living in the moment.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle touched off a firestorm of thought leaders adding to the virtues of remaining present in our thoughts.
There is no doubt that once learned, the calmness of the present moment is overwhelmingly obvious. If everyone truly understood the significant impact this way of life could have on their happiness and well-being I have to believe that most, if not all, would devote a tremendous amount of time and effort into mastering this mindset.
I meet plenty of people that comment on living in the moment. I hear plenty of references to it in every day society. Most people know what it is. I think it is just not clearly understood.
There are plenty of books and videos that explain the advantages of living in the now. Many of us probably have some level of understanding but how many of us actually understand what it means to live our entire lives in the now?
The most typical comment I hear from people when referencing living in the moment is…..”I need to live in the moment”. Whenever I ask someone what that means to them usually the response is vague. They know it’s a good thing, they know it’s something that could potentially help but that’s where things end.
My journey into awareness started out this way. I was never really sure what it was, I knew it sounded good but I didn’t quite get it. For me, most of my appreciation and understanding of the benefits of living in the now came from seeing people whom claimed to have mastered the lifestyle. They seemed pretty calm, happy and together.
As I slowly learned more and more about what living in the moment actually meant it became more reality and less theory.
This is where I see a lot of people stop their journey. Living in the moment becomes a theory to them but never crosses over to reality.
When the benefits of living in the moment become clear it is a life changing event. There is no other way to explain it. The startling realization that whatever has happened in ones life up to the very moment they are currently in has no significance. There are lessons that have been learned but they have already been learned. The past serves us no other purpose other than these lessons learned and fond memories.
Even less important is the future. Why bother dwelling in a life that hasn’t even occurred yet. If you die today, how much wasted now was spent worrying about all that life that will never happen. Wasted now time equals wasted life time.
Life only happens in one place. Life only happens in this moment. The life that happened before this moment is forever gone and life that might happen after this moment is not guaranteed.
This understanding is the pinnacle of living in the moment but few of us ever grasp it.
Once the concept of living in the now crosses over into reality and becomes fully understood how does one stay there?
The beauty of living in the moment is in it’s simplicity.
Anyone can do it.
Anyone can do it at any moment.
Anyone can stay in the moment of their life forever.
There are no books to read or classes to take…..although they can assist if you are struggling to stay in the moment.
One thing that can help and has helped me a great deal is to slow down and concentrate on every simple move you make from opening your eyes in the morning to brushing your teeth to sipping a cup of coffee. Every little move needs to be recognized as an individual miracle. We take things for granted but it is a miracle that you and I were born and it’s a miracle that you and I have made it this far in life.
My ability to write these words and your ability to read them is a miracle. It is at this level of thinking that things begin to change.
There is not one thing that happens from moment to moment that is not a miracle. The breath you just took between reading the last sentence and this sentence was a miracle. The next breath you take will be another.
Consider for a moment if instead of reading this post right now you were lying on your death bed gasping for air and life. Not a pleasant thought I know but it helps to bring things into perspective. These breaths that you are taking as you read are considered automatic. Nothing to even think about but if you were on your death bed and struggling for each and every breath to stay alive each would feel like a miracle. Now consider if you were in those final moments of life and everything changed in an instant. One moment you were sure to die as you labored for each breath and the next you were breathing freely with no struggle and no effort. From that moment on life would feel like a miracle would it not?
We don’t need such drama to start living in the moment. We don’t need to walk around every day comparing our current life to life on our death bed. That would be the opposite of living in the moment.
What we do need to stay in the moment is simply an appreciation for that moment. Once we slow down and observe each moment as an individual miracle we become more and more aware of the value of forgetting the past and not wasting time thinking about the future.
Catching ourselves slip into thoughts of the past and worrying about the future and then returning our focus to the moment transitions into an easy task once a deep appreciation and a deep level of gratitude has been established.
Slowly any value that was once given to reliving past experiences or trying to live out future experiences before they happen diminishes. A greater appreciation for the moment starts growing more and more from one moment to the next as the pure joy of these millions of miracles we are given each and every day becomes clearer and clearer. That clarity of vision and thought anchors one to the moment.
The reward is a life of quiet peace and unimaginable joy.
Things still go wrong. Life still unfolds around us. The difference is in how we observe the ups and downs. The difference is in the very fact that we start observing life instead of absorbing it.
Living in the moment is still misunderstood by the masses but little by little, as more and more people realize what it truly means, progress is being made.
The wonderful thing is how difficult it is to not share the joy of learning to live in the moment with friends and family. This makes spreading the teachings of this wonderful mindset a lot faster.
I am committed to doing my part to help…..how about you?