Friday, August 21, 2009

Staying Right Here- in the Moment

For some reason, I have really been living in the future lately. When there is a lull, or I don't like what is going on at the moment, I hop into what I am getting ready for or excited about. I even sometimes enjoy anticipation more than what I was anticipating. So, my (not so new) idea is to try and live in the moment more often, and not wait for my precious time to pass.

I love the line in Sheryl Crow's Soak Up the Sun song "It's not having what you want, It's wanting what you've got." To me this means appreciating what is in your life, even the moment.

Hey! Come back to the moment!! Tips:
Here are some tips about how to work on staying in the moment, and they are so simple that I love them- gotta keep it easy!!

1. Bring your mind back:
If you are having a "moment" without thinking about it and all of the sudden your mind starts reeling about the things you have to do, or have forgotten to do, stop, breathe, and gently bring your mind back to the present. Don't push yourself into worrying that you aren't in the moment, just re-focus on the now. I sometimes write down what I need to do or remembered, then shut off the worry.

2. Take advantage of time to make moments:
Go for a walk. Call that person you feel like connecting with. Plan a dinner with someone. Or simply appreciate the time you have before you.

3. Focus on the five senses.
Take a deep breath. What does the moment smell like? What sounds do you hear? What do you feel on your skin? These are the details that make each moment special. When you can’t stop the interior monologue from intruding, take a minute or two to create a mental catalog of what this moment feels, smells, looks, sounds, and tastes like for you. It can be a pretty effective way of quelling that inner voice, and at the very least, gives you a few minutes to savor the moment before returning to what’s on your mind.

4. Journal a little bit:
This is one way to get out of meta-thinking (thinking about thinking). Journaling comes in many different fashions. You can old school it by writing in those things called journals, with a pen and all. You can write a letter to someone close to you. Maybe you like to update people everyday on Facebook. You can have an online journal that either only you can see or your Friends too. You get the point, expressing yourself really brings you to think about the now, if that is what you are writing about.

5. Talk it out:
Tell someone about the moment you are in. It can be really simple, like "Wow, check out that sunset!" Or, "Right now I am ______. And it means _____ to me." If you are processing a moment and trying to figure it out, it can be way more fun or meaningful to include another person.

What if I Hate This Moment?

So, what if the moment you are in sucks? I am one who LOVES escaping sucky moments, however, I have also noticed that connecting with the sucky moments can really connect you to yourself. It also makes that fear of the bad a little less powerful. If we have mastered sucky moments in the past, we can do it in the future too. I truly believe what we have experienced has helped us become who we are, so the sucky moments are really important, as long as we do something good with what we have learned.