Six steps to living in the moment – The art of now!
Many of us have been busy running around, travelling and sharing time with family and friends. Sounds like fun but it can also be very stressful. Just being out of our normal routine, not sleeping in our own bed and being around excited and often tired children can add to tension felt at this time of year. Happy New Year! Now is the time for all of those resolutions. I hope you add relaxation and taking care of yourself to the list. With more people doing our micronutrient blood test and more people using the Magnesphere Therapy I am enjoying watching the effects of relaxation and nutrient replenishment when we know what we need. Getting to know what we need is crucial. Often we just feel down, tired and restless but don’t really understand why.
I am hearing and learning more about Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Most of us are probably not very good at this but I think it is worth looking at. Being aware of the present should help us recognize and deal with some of the stress and tension that so affects our lives.
In Psychology Today I found this article “The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment” We live in the age of distraction. Yet one of life’s sharpest paradoxes is that your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present. By Jay Dixit, published on November 01, 2008 – last reviewed on September 20, 2013
A friend was walking in the desert when he found the telephone to God. The setting was Burning Man, an electronic arts and music festival for which 50,000 people descend on Black Rock City, Nevada, for eight days of “radical self-expression”—dancing, socializing, meditating, and debauchery.
A phone booth in the middle of the desert with a sign that said “Talk to God” was a surreal sight even at Burning Man. The idea was that you picked up the phone, and God—or someone claiming to be God—would be at the other end to ease your pain. When God came on the line asking how he could help, my friend was ready. “How can I live more in the moment?” he asked. Too often, he felt, the beautiful moments of his life were drowned out by a cacophony of self-consciousness and anxiety. What could he do to hush the buzzing of his mind? “Breathe,” replied a soothing male voice. My friend flinched at the tired new-age mantra, then reminded himself to keep an open mind. “When God talks, you listen.” “Whenever you feel anxious about your future or your past, just breathe,” continued God. “Try it with me a few times right now. Breathe in… Breathe out.” And despite himself, my friend began to relax.
I found this interesting and so true. It could be anyone or no one on that phone but the advice is good. Just breathe……Take the time to breathe. Life unfolds in the present but so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and lost and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what’s past. “We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration and distraction” says Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace. We’re always doing something, and we allow little time to practice stillness and calm.
When we’re at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. We don’t appreciate the living present because our “monkey minds,” as Buddhists call them, vault from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree. How often does this happen to you? The same thoughts going on and on, over and over during the night like a broken record we can’t turn off. We can learn how to turn that record off.
We need to live more in the moment. Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. Mindful people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses. Anchoring awareness in the here and now reduces the kinds of impulsivity and reactivity that underlie depression, binge eating, and attention problems. Mindful people can hear negative feedback without feeling threatened. They fight less with their romantic partners and are more accommodating and less defensive. As a result, mindful couples have more satisfying relationships.
There are many paths to mindfulness—and at the core of each is a paradox. Ironically, letting go of what you want is the only way to get it. In the following weeks I will explore ideas about Mindfulness and share some of the tips to becoming “Mindful”.
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