Be where you are, not where you’ve been or where you think you’ll be going. If you’re anything like me, your mind is thinking a thousand thoughts all the time. Vacillating between several different streams of conscience, all the while analyzing and searching for the ‘way’ to go next.
Should I go with the tile or the laminate?
Would it be better to talk to this person face to face or would an email suffice? Maybe I should just call them.
Why did he say that? Is he disappointed in me? How do I find out and what should I do about it?
Do I want to send them to school or should I seriously consider home schooling them? What would people think of me?
Often, these ever-speaking voices are occurring right in the middle of something ‘else’ that we are doing. Taking away our attention from the moment and draining our emotional energy while robbing us of the potential of being present.
How many times have you heard or thought, “you can’t get the past back and you can’t live in the future… you only have this moment.” There is great wisdom here, as cliché as it may sound. It’s extremely helpful at times to analyze past decisions so they might inform us of future decisions. Likewise, it’s extremely helpful to plan for the future. But when it comes to living, truly living, you only have the moment in time and space that you find yourself presently.
I find 3 simple things that help me ‘get out of my head’ and into the moment I’m living. The first is more of a foundational truth. No matter what has happened or is going to happen, the Divine has enough resources for me and IS enough for me to sustain a quality life. If this is a foundational belief of yours, then in many ways, nothing else matters. So you screwed up. God can mend that. So you aren’t sure what’s going to happen tomorrow with the things you care most about. The Divine never stops actively caring for you and does not run out of resources.
The next two things are more along the practical lines. Schedule time to simply think through the past week and the next week. Limit that time. Say, maybe, 1 hour per week. And when you seem to be overwhelmed in the moment with a multitude of thoughts, simply remind yourself that you have time scheduled to think through these things. I even write them down in an email and send it to myself so that I can let go of that thought as soon as I hit ‘send’.
Finally, have a physical ‘move’ that you do when you realize that you aren’t being present with yourself, those around you, and the current moment. Maybe its as simple as tapping your heart three times to remind yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically that you want to be present with the person that you’re looking in the eye right now. Yes that sounds weird. But not as weird as coasting through your life being unintentionally.
Being present isn’t a new concept. But having a plan of action so that you can intentionally be present is invaluable.
"If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is." ~ Author Unknown
"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now". ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don’t think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you’re hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time." ~ Art Buchwald