I don’t know about you but life seems to get most complicated for me when I discover I’m not living the moment I’m in.
Any method of escape will do – mental flights to the past and future seem to fill the time. The problem is that when we do that as a regular practice, we put our lives on pause, causing us to stagnate.
The fix, like in the game of golf, is simple but not easy. “Keep your head down” is simple instruction to understand but not easy to consistently put into play. Ask any weekend golfer.
“Live the life you have in the moment you’re in” is the simple instruction. Committing to the practice is the only way to un-pause your life and get to a different future.
Practice begins with noticing. Start noticing the moment you’re in. It can begin with a simple practice. For example, I’m having my morning cup of tea. I could just reach over and take a quick swallow and then return to the keyboard. That’s what I usually do. But a moment ago, I reached for the cup, held it with both hands, felt the warmth of the tea and then took a swallow and noticed the warmth in my mouth and the warm feeling it delivered in my body as I swallowed.
It was a wonderful way to appreciate the moment rather than take it for granted.
That’s an example of living in the moment you are in.
Where it gets tricky is embracing the unwanted moment. It’s also a necessary step. We have an aversion feeling the feelings an undesired moment delivers. That’s when we take our flights of fancy to the past and future. This may seem like it’s in our best interest, but its only elongates the time the undesired moment hangs around.
Dr. Dave Dobson used a beach ball analogy. He would get you to notice how much time and effort went in to holding a beach ball under water. The answer to this waste of energy is to let the ball surface and focus on it.
Focusing on the moment you are in is the quickest way to take your life off pause. It’s also the only pathway to a different future. The surefire way to keep the future the same as the past is to not embrace the present.
Warm tea or deep do-do needs the same attention. The practice is to accept the moment. Once you accept what’s right in front of you, you activate a strategy for dealing with the moment. If you escape to the past or future, you miss the options the current moment presents.
When you savor desired moments, you remember to do it again and continually reap the rewards. When you focus on an undesired moment, you come up with a real exit strategy rather than holding the moment in place by going on a mental escape.
Practice being in the moment you’re in and notice how many more options show up.
All the best,
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