When we are overly attached to an outcome, wanting something specific to happen and pinning our hopes on this outcome, it can cause us to think ahead, thus taking us out of the acceptance of ‘what is’ in the present moment. The ego in thinking that it knows ‘best’ can cling to that which it wishes to achieve, rather than acknowledging and trusting that everything is as it should be and is perfect for us at any particular time if we chose to experience what is occurring in the Now. When we trust and have faith in the Universe our Higher Powers, our Higher Self or God, we may find it easier to be in the present moment rather than dreaming of the future or reminiscing about the past. When we have trust and faith in our Higher Selves or a Higher Power, we can find it easier to enter the flow state, rolling with the changes and knowing that there is a Greater Plan at work. Part of trust means that although we may not have the full details of this plan we may know from our previous experiences that ‘something’ is at work for our highest good, no matter how tough our current life experiences may sometimes feel in the present.
The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the nextMignon McLaughlin
The phrase ‘be in the moment’, ‘be in the Now’ or just ‘be’ are common phrases based upon the spiritual development path. Being in the moment means that the concentration and focus is flexible enough to go with the flow and adapt to what presents itself from moment to moment, as it occurs and arises. Letting go of the previous moment which is now the past and staying fully focused in the present, means embracing and accepting the inevitable changes that life brings with it, rather than resisting it. Being focused in the Now isn’t easy to do. Initially it is easier to achieve when we’re under less stress or if we’re feeling good in ourselves and things are ‘going well’ in our lives and we aren’t pre-occupied with distractions. The challenge of living in the moment is truly highlighted when we don’t feel so good and things aren’t going so well in our lives.
The point of power is always in the present momentLouise Hay
An inability to be fully present in the moment can be highlighted by poor listening skills. If we are not in the habit of listening fully to someone with all of our attention, we may hand-in-hand complain of having a poor memory. A poor memory might not necessarily be so, it may be that our attention is more focused on something else – in another place or time – rather than ‘hearing’ what is being said in the present moment, at a level where we can process the information fully into a memory’. Talking to someone who is quite obviously ‘not with us’ as their thoughts are elsewhere, indicates that they are not truly listening and therefore not able to fully respond with all of their senses. They are not paying attention, which especially with regards children can invalidate their existence (ie. they may begin to question their very right to exist; their sense of worthiness and painfully their right to ‘be, here now’ which may prompt a cycle of escapism from the moment in their behaviour too).
Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not here and if we don go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with lifeThich Nhat Hanh
`What if’s’ and worries detract us from dealing with things in the present. Any fears of future where we are looking ahead to what might be, or thinking of the past and ‘what could have been’ deter us from being in the moment. Staying fully centred in the Now (a good mantra is ‘here, present, now’), absorbing every word that we are reading instead of ‘letting’ the focus drift off, comes with discipline and practise. It isn’t something that we achieve overnight — it’s something we achieve in the present!
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.Abraham Maslow
Attempting to consciously control the mind can highlight how little control we may have over our own thoughts as they randomly stray from A to B. If there is an issue which repeatedly takes our attention away from ‘what we are supposed to be doing’ it may be an indicator that Now is a good time to address the issue, if the thought keeps intruding it is the priority for Now. How often do we try to sweep things under the carpet, only for that intrusive thought coming back up from under the carpet to trip us up again? Focusing on the issue – during insight meditation – may lead to an insight or realisation. Allowing ourselves to be present to the issue, can allow us to find our own answers, being in the present is where we find our consciousness or (k)nowing.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.Babatunde Olatunji
Escapism from the present isn’t always possible as tough life experiences rear their unavoidable head, but by being present, we may be able to transmute these painful experiences more quickly. By allowing these experiences, with deep conscious breathing, to flow through us and move out of us, rather than suppressing or denying what is going on we move through them. This is ‘letting go’ and surrendering to the present, rather than resisting it. One of my favourite quotes is one from the TV series Lost, when Locke says ‘struggle is nature’s way of making us stronger’, and when we move through it we often can find a gift’, we can learn something that we might not have learnt had we not gone through that experience. Another saying that I find of great comfort is that ‘if God has brought you too it, God will bring you through it’.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feetJames Oppenheim
Being in the moment is closely connected to being wounded. When we’re not wounded we aren’t fully present on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual basis and thus not able to respond with clear intention. To just be indicates openness and acceptance of what is, allowing us to relax and foremost, to be our true selves. It is the ability to allow – or receive – life, in order that it flows through us, rather than resisting or blocking it. As the saying goes, the present if called the present because it is a ‘gift’ and the gift of being in the present is often one of pure joy, bliss, connectedness, unity and harmony. That gift of the moment, the Now becomes our consciousness, our (k)nowing.
It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basisMargaret Bonnano
Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future. In other words, if we’re going to be more cheerful in the future, it’s because of our aspiration and exertion to be cheerful in the present. What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now.Pema Chodron