Living in the present moment is for me very difficult, but it is something I am working on. I really want to work on it. I want to appreciate what is around me.
To appreciate the beauty of the leaves on the trees.
To appreciate the quality of sunlight streaming in through my window.
To savour each mouthful of food I take.
To be fully aware of the person in front of me, talking to me.
It is so easy to slip into a daydream of places that we would rather be, or things that we would rather be doing, or have that incessant chatter going on inside our heads that seems to have no off switch. Indeed, that chatter can be worse than the most talkative person you encounter because it is really difficult to run away from it!
You can’t run away from your mind and thoughts.
Isn’t it weird that you only really live fully in the present when you realise you haven’t got long to live, or you are appreciating the calm before the impending storm, or you realise that you will never have such a moment again? It is very sad. I would cherish the last few days abroad on holiday, delighting in the texture of the sand grains slipping between my fingers, the smell of salt in the sea and the quaint buildings I would visit, knowing that soon enough it would be back to the hard grind. Everything would be in multicolour and my senses would be alive like they were afresh after being aroused from a deep slumber.
It’s not so easy for me to feel like this anymore.
But I’ll keep practising.
And so should you.
My words of advice for revelling in this experience?
Be mindful of your thoughts. Don’t let them rule you. When it comes to your thoughts, you are conqueror and king, not the other way around. And ultimately you should be able to silence them at will. See how many minutes (it will most likely be seconds at first!) you can go without thinking of anything. Meditation is good grounding for this. I find I can go a fraction longer each time without intrusive thoughts pushing in on my inner peace. That way the present has your full attention.
Have fun! Don’t take life so seriously all of the time. Do you remember what it was like as a child to have fun for hours immersing yourself in a playful activity? Rediscover this childlike, carefree quality.
Ignite all of your senses. I often say life is meant to be experienced in multicolour. Really be aware of tastes, sounds, sights, touch and smells. Watch things come alive!
Honour your intuition. Take note of how you feel and what this is trying to communicate to you. This can be very different from what your mind is telling you.
Practise makes perfect. Don’t waste any more time living inside your head or rewinding to the past or projecting constantly to the future. Each second you waste you cannot get back.
The present is a gift. Live it and love it NOW!