The world around us seems to be consumed with time. Every day we are all on a schedule from what time we get up, eat, go to work, get off work, and sleep again. This process day after day can eventually make us feel like we are all just a bunch of hamsters on a wheel. We think of the past and may have thoughts of guilt, shame or hurt, and we carry those negative thoughts and feelings with us. We think of the future and we may constantly be working towards a future goal of a better job, nicer home, a new car, a great relationship, or more money in the bank. When we tend to be consumed with thoughts of the past or goals for the future we rush through the only thing that is really important…the present moment.
Time is just an illusion and a tool to help us through our day to day lives; it is not meant to be the controlling or key factor that our lives revolve around. We should not fear time or race against time or wish for more time but instead simply embrace the now. So how can you move your thought process more into the present? How can we practice becoming more conscious and appreciative of where we are right now instead of worrying about the past or the future? Well I will list my top five practices that can help you get started and lead you to a life that is free from the worry associated with time.
Meditation: Many people I know struggle to be alone and would really struggle with the idea of spending time alone and quiet with themselves. However, one of the best ways to really learn about yourself and the world around you is to learn to be alone and get silent. Quiet time for prayer and meditation is one of the most important tools to bring a person into the present moment fully. Being able to sit comfortably in your home, with no distractions like TV or radio, and just take in the feelings within your body. Breath deep in and out a few times and just listen to the sounds around you, smell the room, be aware of how your body feels, do you feel stress or tension in some areas of your body? As you sit and allow yourself to be fully aware of that moment you can choose to focus on something certain that you desire or you can just enjoy the practice of being fully in the now. You do not have to be home alone in order to do this process. I have instructed my daughter to use this tool anywhere, especially when she is having a day where she is feeling overwhelmed or anxious. At your desk you can just take a moment to stop and take in the sounds, sights and smells of the room around you and ask yourself how you are feeling right in that moment. Doing this a few times a day is like hitting the reset button and simply brings you back to yourself, pulling you away from worries about the past or what you need to do for the future. Just focus on what you can do right now.
Finding Joy in Solitude: Bringing yourself into the present and become more conscious and self aware while finding something you enjoy and doing it alone. Solitude is key in the process of knowing thy self. If you like to write, paint, go hiking, do yoga, sing….whatever it is that you really enjoy; practice doing it alone and be fully in the moment with no distractions. Pay attention to how your body feels and the sights and smells and what you hear just like you would when you are meditating. I know people who love to read and take time each morning to read from the bible and then they meditate on the scripture before they start each day. This combines the enjoyment of reading Gods word with the power of meditation and prayer and can be a very positive and powerful way to start the day.
A Motto or Mantra for Your Life: Sometimes we can get so busy and lives get chaotic with work, kids, friends, family and life that we lose track of what our personal goals are in life. It is good to stop and refocus and re-evaluate life every now and then. It is easy to refocus when you have a mantra that you repeat to yourself that is easy to remember. When I feel chaos in my life and things are getting too hard I remind myself of my mantras, ‘money comes easily and often’ and ‘love starts within’. These two mantras were created because I struggle with remembering that money is not elusive and hard to come by like I was taught by my parents. The second one is to remind me that what I think about myself will set the tone for how another see and treat me. When struggling financially or feeling insecure in a relationship the negative thinking can creep in and that is when it is good to refocus and repeat your mantras. Bad experiences or negative thought patterns from our past can creep into our lives now and cause problems that do not apply to the now, use mantras as a tool to remind yourself that you have learned from the past and will be better now. Repeating your mantras can be a nice focus tool during meditation as well.
Feed the Body & Rest the Soul: Now we get into a little deeper idea for the now that will affect your body inside and out. There are two things we do everyday, or we should, and that is eat and sleep. These are two of the most important things we will do in our lives and they will affect us on many levels. When, where, what, how and with whom you choose to do them is very important. Eat when you are hungry and only until you are satisfied, do not over-indulge. Choose food that will nourish your body and make sure you give thanks for the food and the nourishment the food will provide for your body. Focus on how the food will affect your body in a positive way. If you believe the food will not affect your body in a positive way then you will be right and that is where negative effects like weight gain will occur. Do not rush through meals, do not stand or drive while eating meals, do not watch TV while eating. Give your meal the respect it deserves because you are what you eat. Do not eat a meal with someone who causes you negative feelings about yourself or life in general. Negativity while eating will lead to disease in the body and possible overeating or nervous stomach. Eating in a positive and loving environment with family and friends and saying grace before and thank you after a meal is enjoyed is the best and most healthy way to eat. The same with sleep, do not allow yourself to sleep too much or too little because both can cause health issues. If you find you are tired all the time you need to ask yourself why, could there be signs of depression or other health issues are you not giving yourself a heathy amount of sleep? Give yourself a peaceful and comfortable place to sleep each night with no distractions of electronics. Make sure if you have a sleeping partner that you share a moment of appreciation and love with that person before you go to bed each night. I think most of us have heard the wise words, never go to bed mad at one another, and those are very wise words to live by. Being completely focused on your body and the food when eating and completely focused on your body and the peaceful and positive mantras you have set for yourself as you go to sleep each night can be life changing for your mind and health.
Give Thanks & Show Gratitude: The most important tool for keeping yourself in the now and fully conscious is to be thankful. Be thankful for who you are, where you are in life, what you have right now and who you have in your life. To be truly grateful in life right in the moment is a great way to bring more greatness into your life. If we are overly focused on what we don’t have or what we want in the future without ever acknowledging all the wonderful things we are blessed with in the present moment, then we will continue to struggle for the elusive thing we call happiness. To be truly happy is to be content with exactly who we are and what we have and where we are in this very moment.
These basic tools are the foundation of a happy and healthy life that will help you practice each day to be in the now and lead to a happier, healthier peace within you. Always remember to choose love over hate. Our actions, words, thoughts and beliefs reflect who we are and what we attract into our lives…keep it positive and from a place of love and respect and the world will bring more love and respect into your life.
With love, health and happiness right now…