“Look past your thoughts, so you may drink the pure nectar of This Moment.” – Rumi
Do you find yourself being drawn into the past? Are you sometimes preoccupied with the future? Whatever happened to the present??? You blink and it’s gone. Did you even notice it?
It’s so hard to stay in the present moment. I find that I am drawn to the past when I’m thinking about something that I could have done differently or when I’m remembering when my kids were younger.
I find that I’m drawn to the future when I am imagining all of the wonderful items that are still on my to do list. I dream about going places and about seeing things that I have yet to see or experience.
There’s nothing wrong with these thoughts! Of course, you’ll remember those fun times. It’s also natural to imagine all of the fun that you still have left in your life. However, if you dwell on them constantly, then you’re never living in the present moment.
The past is done. The future is yet to happen. Right here, right now you have the present. Are you paying attention to the present?
What is happening right now in your life? Are you feeling tired? Are you feeling excitement? How about happiness or sadness? It’s all there in the present moment it you just stop to pay attention.
When I get caught up in trying to achieve a goal or finish a project, I’m usually so focused that I don’t pay attention to myself. I might be living in the flow, but I’m not completely in the moment. I will often have terrible posture or neglect the need to eat or drink. If I stop to take a quick Awareness Break, then I am brought back to the current moment. I realize that I’m sitting horribly or that I’m ignoring some basic needs.
Recently, during one of the terrible rain storms, I noticed that water was seeping in under the floor boards in my office. In a bit of a panic, I started moving things out of the way of the rising water. I didn’t know how much was going to end up in my house but my mind went to the past & the repairs we had made to try to prevent this very thing from happening again.
Now, It turned out to not be that much water. I was grateful that the water stopped coming in, but I still had a bit of a mess to clean up. In the midst of moving things out of the path of the water and as I was cleaning up, I paused and took notice of what I was feeling in that moment. I noticed how my body was reacting to the sudden issue of water coming in my house. I noticed my thoughts and I noticed my reactions.
What made me pause to check-in? Well, I’ve been practicing these awareness breaks for several years. In that moment I could feel myself tightening up & it triggered me to check-in with myself. These breaks have become a bit of a habit for me to stop & just take a quick check in to notice all that is happening to me, in me and around me.
As I paused in the midst of this sudden mess in my house, I noticed that I was anxious, my body was tight & I was very tired. The sudden cleaning session wasn’t on my to do list at all & I was a bit resentful as well. I realized that I needed to take a short break and then come back to the mess so that I didn’t overdo things that day.
That quick Awareness Break was enough for me to acknowledge how I felt and gave me the clarity on how I wanted to deal with the issue in the short term.
Coming back to the present, always helps me find my focus. When I’m living in the past or the future, I’m not clear on what is happening in my present. Taking a quick Awareness Break helps me to come back to the here & now. I can then make the choices that I need to make in order to go in the direction that works best for me.
I’d love to hear if you have a way to bring yourself back to the present moment. Do you have a special trick to remind yourself that you’re focusing on the past or the future instead of the present?
Share below your thoughts on living in the present moment and what it does for you.