Life is in the here & now. Life happens moment to moment in the present, not yesterday (the past) or tomorrow (the future).
The fabric of our lives is made up of every single moment we experience, good, bad or indifferent, that comes with the journey of working toward our hopes and dreams. Without failure there would not be success and without lows there would be no highs. The rich, vibrant woven tapestry that represents who we are comes from ALL of our experiences, not just the ones we like or are happy with. Every ‘no’ brings us one step closer to a ‘yes’, and every time we experience something unpleasant, not so great, terrible or awful we are provided an opportunity to see what we are made of and see if we can learn and grow from the challenge.
So what would happen if we learned to live life more mindfully and live our day to day lives more in the here and now of life vs holding on to the past or worrying about the future…making the decision to radically accept life as it comes, warts and all, if you will?
Well, what happens with that story line is up to you, but studies show that living more in the present moment of lie, noticing and responding to things vs. judging and reacting is clinically proven to support the following health benefits:
- Improved mental focus and coping skills
- Reduced stress, anxiety, depression
- Strengthened social relationships
- Healthier mind, body, spirit
Here is an excerpt from #tinybuddha author Matt Richards who decided to try living in the present more – here’s what he found out:
I’m glad to say that one day I had an epiphany. I realized that by being so cautious, I was actually missing out on experiencing the amazing backdrop to my journey. On that day I realized that I wanted to walk to school present and mindful of the wonderful world around me. I wanted to look around more and experience life in all its glory, not just worry about whether I stepped in poop. So I did.
And yes, perhaps on occasion my shoe may have met with something nasty, but it made that walk so much more enjoyable. I remember the feelings of oneness and freedom it instilled in me to this day. And really, that’s what being mindful and present is. It’s saying yes to life and noticing your surroundings. Fully.
It’s saying yes, I might step in something unpleasant, I might get hurt, I might feel silly, I might expose my vulnerabilities, but at least I get to experience every remarkable nuance and opportunity life has to offer too.
So what do you think – want to give this living in the moment stuff a try? You can get started right here & right now with just a couple of simple steps; repetition and practice are key:
Breathe – take a couple of deep breaths to slow things down
Notice – use your senses to take in information without judgement when life is happening (name all the different ways you may think & feel about what is happening, don’t feel the need to judge it so quickly)
Respond – use wise-minded processing (balance between logic & emotion) to evaluate and make decisions
Be grateful – choose to see the beauty and good that is out there & purposefully express gratitude for all that is fortunate in your life
Stay active – spend time with people, give back to others, exercise, stretch, take a class, travel, or just be 🙂
Live Mindfully & Prosper!