The first time I ever really thought about the idea of “living in the moment” was when I stumbled across the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I feel like I heard people say this all the time, and maybe I even said it all the time without ever stopping to think about what it truly meant. This book was in such great and beautiful detail that I truly started to take in the words. I was moved. I started to think about why I would really want to live any other way. Of course I am human, and will have moments where I slip up. That is perfectly okay, and I believe that it's important to forgive myself and accept those moments. When I start to really feel what it's like to live in the here and now it transforms my point of view on life.
Living in the moment strips away worry. When I discovered that the only thing that truly exists is this moment I stopped stressing about the future, because I realized the future doesn't even exist yet. Why worry about something that is non existent? I do believe there is power in planning for the future, having goals and dreams and working toward reaching them. Now I realize that I can be content with the present while also working toward my dreams. Along with eliminating stress about the future, living in the moment also removed any depression I may have felt about the past. I was able to finally let go of pain and suffering that I was holding onto so tightly without even knowing it. I let go of things that I was clinging to and things I had buried for so long. None of that mattered when I felt like I was being present.
I have my own routines that help me return to that inner stillness, and what helps you may be different. But I wanted to share my experiences with you in hopes that someone can possibly relate.
1. Meditate – So I absolutely understand that sometimes meditating is hard and intimidating at first because we are trained to have our brains constantly going, all day every day. For me what helped was learning how to do it a little at a time. I remember only being able to make it 2 minutes before I had to stop. Now I have some days where I am able to make it 30 to 40 minutes. And still some days where I can only make it 2! Each day is different, but so worth reaching that place of being.
2. Yoga – For me yoga was much like meditating, I didn't really understand it and I could only make it a few minutes at a time before I would stop. Now I stretch out in a class full of people for over an hour! Nothing happens over night. The breathing and poses I learn to hold in yoga focus my brain to the present moment and it calms my mind, allowing me to relax and just be. It's also amazing for our health! It increases our blood flow, drops blood pressure, maintains our nervous system, and is literally scientifically proven to make us happier! It was worth it for me to give it a try and truly feel the difference after class.
3. Writing – So this is specific to me, not everyone's main passion is writing. Some people place their passion in painting, singing, dancing, the list goes on and on. It is beautiful how many different kinds of art humans can create. I urge you to find whatever artistic outlet you need personally and open your heart up to it. I found ways to let so much negativity go through writing. Sometimes my pen hits the paper and it's like my soul is being spilled out through the letters, and you guys understand it! What a beautiful way to let out your worries.
4. Spend quality time with people who matter to me – I still have moments where I feel like retreating and shutting people out on days where my spirit feels drained. It feels like human connection isn't even attainable when I am feeling this way. I am learning now that when I feel that way, it is just another moment I am experiencing. I know that I will eventually come into another moment where I want to be surrounded by all my wonderful family and friends. When I experience the company of those that are close to my heart I feel content. I don't want the moment to end and I am taking in each part of it. Each instant is held onto and I feel present. I am learning appreciation for all the beautiful souls I get to share this life time with.
There are so many different ways we can get back to that inner stillness. After we practice this we become more of the person that we are meant to be. I encourage you to soul search until you reach what you need personally to reach this state of contentment. I promise it's worth it.
Thank you. I love and appreciate each and every one of you.