Staying in the Moment?
You become most proficient at doing whatever you give your attention to. If you give a lot of attention to worrying, you have successfully practiced fragmenting off from the present and into the future. If habitually judge and criticize yourself or others, then you have a well-developed practice of living in the would-have, should-have, could-have, might-have-been moment, not in the present moment. The Eastern Philosophies have great advice for staying in the present: Live from an open heart and minimize your issues with the present moment. The fewer problems you have with the present moment, the less you blame it.
Tips for Staying in the Moment
Sounds, smells and sensations to gently bring you back into the present moment. Sensory organ stimuli happen in the now. You cannot listen to something in the future or the past, only in the present. That is why the sound of wind chimes and water flowing in fountains is so soothing. It calmly and lovingly seduces our consciousness back into the here and now. When working at your desk or driving in your car, take time occasionally to really feel your body sitting in the chair. Notice the feel of the floor or the foot pedals against you feet. These sensations will realign you with the present when you give them your attention.
Watch what you eat. Your diet affects the clarity of your thoughts in the same way that it affects your body’s well being. Refined white sugar, white flour, saturated and Trans fats will decrease your mental focus and create a sense of physical agitation. If you want to improve your focus and keep your mind primed, cut out the junk food. A calm mind is a focused and a present mind.Remember anything that disturbs the nervous system will undermine your ability to stay present.
Thirdly, do not deprive yourself of sleep. A tired or fatigued brain is a mind that is not restoring its energy. As a result, the ability to stay present suffers dramatically. Dreaming is extremely important for clarity of focus and is the most under-acknowledged aspect in the quality of our attention. When people are deprived of REM activity (rapid eye movement), which occurs during the dreaming stage, their ability to focus properly suffers. The longer someone is sleep-deprived, the greater and more rapidly their mental decay is. People who have been dream deprived long enough begin to hallucinate but with quality, uninterrupted sleep they quickly return to normal.
The Importance of Staying in the Moment
This is where life is happening. You do not live in the past or the future; you live now. The present is where happiness is. It’s where the understanding of your value, power and worth is. Human beings are designed to live in the now. You cannot breathe into the past or laugh in the future. You can only engage in life-affirming, life-sustaining actions in the now. The present is where choice lives. The relationship you have with the now will also determine what the quality of your future looks and feels like. A positive, healthy, expansive future springs forth from the relationship you have with the present moment.
The present moment is where our real power resides. The present moment allows us access to change, grow or modify whatever is not working us. The present moment is where we refine, increase, nurture and cultivate what is working for us. If you are looking at your life and feeling powerless or overwhelmed, it is nature’s way of letting you know you have left the present moment and point of power.
Life Management Expert, Vaishali, is the author of “You Are What You Love”® (Purple Haze Press 2006) http://tinyurl.com/Your-Are-Love and “Wisdom Rising” (Purple Haze Press 2008) http://tinyurl.com/WisdomRising She hosts a weekly talk radio show "You Are What You Love"© on KTLK 1150am Sundays from 11am-12pm PST / 2-3pm EST and on Contact Talk Radio Fridays from 1-2pm PST/4-5 pm EST. Vaishali is a faculty member at The Omega Institute, and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Radio Show and has been quoted on Oprah.com. Vaishali learned to transform her life from the threat of two terminal disease diagnoses, domestic abuse and financial devastation. Completely recovered, she shares her wisdom @ www.purplev.com/mediakit or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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