How do you “live in the moment”? This month’s theme is all about being open to a FRESH START and A NEW BEGINNING. We all deserve that and need to give ourselves permission to have this. September usually brings this feeling for us because everyone is getting back in the swing of things with kids going back to school, schedules being more rigid, and bedtimes enforced. Lately I have been talking to many people about this topic so to prepare us ahead of time I’ll explore this topic now. In fact, I think this subject is so important that we should focus on it every day. We’ll start by learning how to live in the moment because doing that will support a joyful positive mindset, which allows you to receive the gift of a daily fresh start and a reminder of how every day is a new beginning.
When I first started this healthy lifestyle journey, I would hear my new circle of influencers say things like “live in the present” or “live in the moment.” That kind of talk annoyed me because, duh, how else can we live? And then I began thinking about how that is the problem with the world today! That’s all people seem to be doing. With no regard for others, they would live in the moment, do something hasty and either they, their family and friends, or people around them would pay the consequences for their stupid decision, which could have been avoided if they would have thought it out first. Dude, seriously?! Think ahead, it doesn’t take a lot of energy!
As you can see, I didn’t take well to the mindset that was so prevalent with all these health nuts, vegans, yoga lovers, or raw food consumers. These people walked around with smiles all the time (which I felt were probably fake) talking about just enjoying the moment. Ugh….really? I’ll drink my green smoothie, take my vitamins, and hope for the best because I have a list 17 items long that I keep thinking about having to get done and I only got 4 hours of sleep the previous night. (That is a great example of taking care of the Outer game (visible actions) and ignoring the Inner game (thought life, habits, and choices).
I am the type of person that takes a lot of things at face value and very literal. So, as you can see, when I hear statements like “live in the moment,” my defense goes up, I say to myself that’s just not realistic, and then I get frustrated because I felt like there was some validity to what they were saying, but I was not able to reconcile that statement with real life, so I then I’d go right to the place in my mind that says, never mind you can’t accomplish that so don’t even try, and those people don’t live in the real world anyway.
But when something bugs me enough, I will keep thinking about it. I saw a lot of people I respect who were happy, successful, and financially stable talk about the philosophy of living in the moment, so maybe it was worth me trying to see if I can apply any of their recommendations to my life. Well, guess what? I’ve learned that we DON’T live in the moment enough – yup I said it. I acquiesced. Those crazy health nuts, vegans, yoga lovers, and raw food consumers were right! But first, let me define what “live in the moment” means to me.
Live in the moment: When you get up in the morning, be grateful for being alive, having your loved ones around and a roof over your head and whatever else you can think of. Take care of body and soul and get ready for the day. Look at your schedule. Look at all the things you will do today to move closer to your goals. Put your mental intentions into every action you do connecting those actions with purpose of why you are doing them. Don’t let the day go by without recognizing that each day you are given has purpose and value. What you DO has purpose and value. How you treat others has purpose and value. Connect your daily life with intention. Before bed, do some stretching, write in your journal about what you got accomplished today, line up your events and schedule for tomorrow, and close out your day with gratitude.
Here’s what it looks like to not live in the moment: Focus on yesterday’s shortcomings, focus on how you could have been closer to your goals if you didn’t screw up last week, last year, when you were 18. Focus on how you haven’t done anything great with your life and what you are doing is not really that important. You could also focus on future plans and not take any actions in your current daily life to reach those plans. Before bed, put your head on the pillow and focus on how you didn’t finish what wanted, focus on what you wished you would have done instead, think about how you wish you had a better job, better pay, better spouse, and how you need to lose 20 pounds and feel fat. Then go to sleep. WOW! This plan seems like it will lead you right down the road to happiness, success, and financial security!
Let me say that this is a skill that must be practiced. When you begin to take on the task of embracing this new way of thinking, you must be forgiving of yourself, especially in the beginning. Because you might start out okay, but then you’ll realize days later that you haven’t been practicing and completely forgot to do something you wanted to do. Don’t give up, it’s not natural for us humans to live like this, if it was, the world would a far better place. So write things down to help you remember how you want your mind to be steered and transformed. Leave sticky notes in obvious places. Set your phone reminders to help you do things that will enforce your new way of thinking. If your mind got you where you are at, your mind can get you out!
Every day you have the opportunity to live more minutes of the day in the moment. Be forgiving to others and especially yourself. Walk with eyes wide open, not blindly like a drone doing the same thing day in, day out. Every day is a new beginning! Every day is a fresh start! Live in the moment!