In my previous post I wrote about the most fundamental truth of your life and the present moment. In this post I would like to expand on that topic and give you practical ways to put this idea to use.
Some might ask Steven, how do I know if I am living in the present moment? That’s a great question. An easy test for this is your current state of joy, happiness or lightness. As you go throughout your day ask yourself: is there joy, happiness, or lightness in what I am doing? If the answer is no, you are not accepting the now and you will know that you have veered from the path of the now, and what you are doing has become a burden or struggle. You are just plowing through it and going through the motions. If you are in a bad situation you only have two options: change it this moment or accept it this moment and work on changing it (while accepting it at the same time). If you do not..you will suffer.
I’m going to give you four tools to help you be present in this moment:
#1 -The first is to ask yourself “what is going on in this moment?” Try it now and see what happens. I use this whenever I have racing thoughts. It breaks the cycle of your minds compulsive activity and thinking. So what is going on in this moment? What is REALLY going on? Right now…in reality…around you. Not thoughts in your head, not what’s going on at work tomorrow, not your partner or kids’ issues. What in reality is happening around you right now…keep your awareness on it and enjoy it.
#2 – Make a list of your tasks and prioritize their order. Once the list is created and prioritized do not memorize it. Look at the first task, put the list in your pocket and then focus on the present and complete your task. Anything can be done joyfully if you are present, no matter how small or tedious the task. Once that task is completed you can look at the next task. I use to be a big worrier and over thinker, and this technique helped me focus on the present task at hand, knowing that the list was there when I was ready for it.
#3 – Close your eyes…and feel the energy in your hands. Now feel the energy flowing through your whole body. You can even trace your body with your fingers. Starting at your feet and working your way up to your head. Drop your energy down from your mind into your chest and feel your surroundings with and through your body. Feel your breath going in and out of your lungs. This works just like other physical exercise, it may be a little challenging when you first try it but the more practice and repetitions you get, the better you will be at it. Finish by saying “I am in the present moment” and open your eyes…and you will be there. Mind clear…fully present…and fully taking in what is only in the present moment around you.
#4 – Ask yourself “what will my next thought be?” Do it now. You will find that you cant answer this question, which proves your mind is running wild. It makes you see the compulsivity of your mind and it shows you that you are on currently on autopilot. This is a powerful technique that forces you into the present moment by making you focus on your thought process.
Be HERE! Put your phones way and be present with people! Be present with yourself! If you don’t you will look back on your life and it will feel as if you weren’t really living…you were always just somewhere else. Pay enough attention. It is a way to go beyond the confines of your mind.
If this topic interests you and would like to research it more, I highly recommend reading Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now. I would say it is in my top 5 books that have changed my life. If you have any specific questions leave them in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer them!