The present moment is all there is. The past is gone; it no longer exists. The future hasn’t happened. It is yet to exist. We are given 86,400 moments EVERY DAY. That is incredible if you think about it. We have 86,400 moments to be aware and choose love instead of fear. We have 86,400 moments to be present to our loved ones, to ourselves, to do the things that matter. Instead of replaying the past, mistakes and all, or worrying about the future, if we can find a way to live in the moment, then our joy and happiness will increase exponentially. Here seven ways to let the moment be all that is:
1. Watch a child play
I glance up and watch my 7-year-old just do his thing. I watch kids splashing in a swimming pool. I know for a fact that they are not thinking about the future or the past. They are present to the exact moment that is happening. Right here, right now. Kids have it made in that respect, and when I watch them, I am there too.
2. Play and create like a child
I remember the last time I went to the beach with my husband and my son. While they played and splashed in the surf, I sat by myself, in the sand, and proceeded to build the most awesome sand castle. If you walked by and saw my creation you might not think it was particularly special, but just the feeling of being there, in the sun and sand and concentrating on molding the earth into fun shapes took all the junk out of my mind.
3. Listen to music
Whether it is India Arie or Pink (my favorites), hard rock, or classical, music takes us away from our inner turmoil. For a while, you can get caught in it and just be there. Try singing or humming along. Concentrate on the tones and harmonies. Let it bathe you in beautiful sounds.
4. Engage in meaningful conversation
Having conversations that matter, that is one of my favorite ways to stay in the present moment. You can learn things you never knew; you can teach someone something valuable, you can listen and let someone vent and grow, cry and laugh. Conversation keeps me present and aware and keeps my soul connected to the important lessons I am here to learn.
5. Practice yoga
Concentrating on your breath, and your movement makes you stay present, whether you want to or not. Yoga is hands down the easiest way to get “in the moment”. I practice agni-pranayama, the Breath of Fire. During this breathing technique, I use abdominal contractions, and it allows me to release some very old emotions that I have been carrying for years. Letting go of past emotions brings us fully into the present and allows us to move forward unencumbered by grief, anger, and other hard to manage emotions.
6. Being in nature
Feeling the wind on your face and gazing at a majestic mountain, feeling the sunshine and watching the tide roll in, or sitting by a simple pond in your own backyard, connecting with Mother Earth brings us harmony. We all have a sense of knowing where we came from and a sense that we are here caring for the earth and all of its inhabitants. Even if it is only a few minutes of the day, by standing rooted to the earth and taking in the beauty of it, you will feel the connection and be present to the life force from our planet.
7. Tasting life
Sometimes we just need to let a piece of dark chocolate melt on our tongue or to eat some perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts. Some people go overboard and escape problems through emotional eating. That is not what I am describing here. I am talking about savoring that one piece of chocolate, or that organic orange you just peeled. Chewing your food more than you think necessary, which is not only good for digestion but also keeps you in the moment of the fantastic meal you are eating. Let yourself engage with your food; bless it, eat it, and fully TASTE it.
Are you living fully in the present moment? I would love to hear your ideas. Please leave a comment below and let me know how you are staying present!