Live in the moment: 5 reasons to trust the timing of your life
I have been guilty of spending too much time looking forward or backwards and less time being in the moment. Anyone else feel that way?
Examples of looking ahead:
- In High School, I was anxious to be in College
- In College, I was anxious to get out in the “Real World” and work
- When I started working, I was always looking steps ahead to my next role
Examples of dwelling in the past:
The good, the bad and the ugly
Having a vision and drive for what we want to happen in the future is important, and so is reflecting on our past decisions so we can find lessons learned and gain closure. However, there is the good, bad and ugly when it comes to looking too much ahead or in the past:
- See: visualization is a major part of reaching and even exceeding your goals.
- Feel: spending time mourning the past, means that we are human. When we allow ourselves to feel our emotions we can heal more effectively. However, it is important we limit the time we spend mourning and move on.
The bad and ugly
- Taste: when we worry about our past it does not taste good and is unhealthy.
- Hear: self doubt is very loud. It is more enjoyable to be around confidence.
- Smell: if you don't empty the garbage in your mind regularly, it will smell rotten.
Bottom line: when we spend too much time on the future or the past, we lose balance and perspective of the moment we are currently in.
In fact, my wise older brother once said to me:
"Laura when you drive a car, what would happen if you spent the majority of your time looking out of the rear view mirror? You would crash! A good driver knows that every mirror is important and that it is all about balance and timing."
focusing more on the present
Fortunately for me, once our son Aiden was born, I realized more than ever that I wanted to live in the moment and cherish it all.
Plus like most parents, I discovered that raising a child is truly a skill of "learning to let go". Trusting that when the timing is right, they will learn how to roll over, crawl, walk, talk and even go to the toilet on their own.
I have found that practicing "mindfulness" is a great way to focus more on the present moment. For me that means trying to find pleasure in the moment here and now - no matter the situation. Not always easy, especially in times of despair, loss, etc.!
I recently read a great article "The Art Of Mindfulness: Why Mindfulness Matters," on the blog Relax Like A Boss. The way John writes about Mindfulness is refreshing. He takes the pressure off of this being a religious tool or just a fad. Instead, he encourages us to approach "Mindfulness" without pressure or judgment. Instead it is a process which takes time and one that can be done by taking small steps everyday. And of course, mindfulness is always about feeling good! My favorite statement in his article is
"You don’t always have to feel good when practicing mindfulness. In fact, mindfulness helps you work through challenging emotions, so that you can find comfort in them."
A great reminder that we are all human! We will go through challenging moments and feelings and emotions are inevitable. By becoming aware of our feelings we have more power to move through them, not allowing them to hold us back but pushing us forward! We can experience them in the present and appreciate the lessons they bring.
Five reasons to trust the timing of your life
- See yourself more clearly: the more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them and the greater self-acceptance you will have.
- Feel less stress: stop worrying about what you can't control, like things that have already happened or things that could happen. You can only control what you are doing right now.
- Taste happiness: take the time to savor every bite of the dish you are eating and you will feel more full.
- Hear deeper: create stronger connections when you aren't preoccupied with other things.
- Smell the roses: live in the moment without worrying about what you think could happen. Let go and trust that the universe will provide you with what you need at the right time.
give the gift of being present
The next time you feel overwhelmed and are unsure of where to begin with your huge to do list - give yourself (or those around you) the best gift of all: a moment focusing on the present. You will thank me later, I promise!
Here are 5 simple ideas for how you can be more in the moment:
- Go for a walk / run around the block - a clear head usually helps with the motivation you need to tackle anything
- Turn off distractions and do something not on your to do list but gives you zen (meditation, fold laundry, write a poem/blog post, color with your child, listen to music you love, etc.)
- Get creative - find the item on the list which requires the most creativity and start with that. Save the most challenging items for when you have a clear head and are less overwhelmed.
- Clean up - if you are like me and a tad bit OCD, having a clean work space can make all the difference! This can also mean taking a shower, putting on makeup, doing your hair, etc. Anything that makes you feel fresh and clean.
- Be curious of others - talk with a friend / your partner / a stranger. See if there is a way you can offer them support. When we put our own life on hold for a few minutes it can make all the difference.
I hope these tips have inspired you to trust the timing of your life and stop worrying unnecessarily about things that you cannot control! When you slow down, focus on what is in front of you and let go, it is truly magical!
What do you do to stop worrying about the future and to be more present? Feel free to share in the comments below.