“All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” ~Martha Graham
I am someone who is always focusing on the next step rather than the step I am currently taking. I am always longing for the next thing in life.
Looking forward to the future isn’t a bad thing, but when it consumes 90 percent of your daily thoughts, it becomes a bit exhausting.
My energy has always been restless. I get bored easily, crave change constantly, and yearn for immediate fulfillment. At one point, I realized I was letting a good life pass me by.
I have been working full-time and have been a student year-round for over five years. Life has been repetitive for a long time, lots and lots of work with very little playtime.
This began to leave my mind in a constant state of restlessness, and there was no turning it off.
I craved more meaning out of life, richer experiences, and deep soul-searching. I had big ideas of what I wanted to do, so many ideas that it began to overtake me and make me feel angry about the life I was living.
I became impatient and intolerant of my own life. I was in a rut. I felt completely out of control and stuck.
I had always admired people who were able to be present and live in the moment. I had never been that type of person, and I really wanted to be.
I realized the only thing I could control was the present moment; I could not control the future because it hadn’t happened yet. So I decided to focus my restless energy on things I could change that would help me live a happier life right now.
In the brief moments when I wasn’t working, or at class, or doing homework, I decided to try turning off that multi-tasking motor in my brain. I began to focus on one thing, and one thing only. It could be something as simple as brushing my teeth or doing the dishes.
You’d be amazed at how enjoyable simple activities can be if you enter them with a positive and uncluttered mind.
I also decided to pick up a hobby and learn something new; I dabbled in a bit of photography and taught myself basic functions of the camera and different tricks and techniques. While school and work are stimulating, I often do things because I am told to do them, not because I want to.
This was a refreshing perspective and a great outlet for that restless energy.
I also started saying “no” less, and “yes” more. This forced me out of my comfort zone and enriched me with those new experiences I had been craving, even if they were small and simple. There’s nothing better than finding comfort in chaos and testing your boundaries.
Once I began to practice these things daily, I started seeing benefits. I felt happier, more secure, and full of life again. My heart began to open and the weight that had been pulling me down began to lift.
If you find yourself rushing through the present, focusing on the future, and not enjoying your daily life, it might help to try these small changes for yourself: fully immerse yourself in what you’re doing instead of multitasking, try a new hobby to create more moments where you’re engaged in something fun, and practice saying “yes” to things that you normally wouldn’t.
This will push you out of your comfort zone and allow you to discover new things about yourself. It’s a lot easier to live in the now when you feel blissfully alive in the now.
There will be times when you find your mind shifting somewhere that you don’t want it to go. Don’t judge it. Acknowledge it, and then mindfully transition yourself back to the present moment. With a little practice you will be amazed by how in control of your thoughts you really are.
While I still have goals and dreams for the future, I am now focusing on what I can work on to be fulfilled in the present. These are the moments that matter; these are the moments that will soon be the past. We are not promised tomorrow, but we are promised right now.
Live in it. Breathe it. Take in as much of this moment as you can.
You are capable of being your best self, and you are capable of doing it right now. I challenge you to challenge yourself, to live in this moment, to break through your limits, and to find the very best, most present you.
Happy, free woman via Shutterstock