Here and Now — How to Be Where You Are, No Matter What

ocean sunrise
Live here and now…

Here and now is where you want to be to live your moments as fully as possible. Yet that can often feel like a difficult thing to accomplish.

The future and the past pull on us. And this may be especially true during the holiday season — making the here and now elusive.

The reality is that we make choices, all the time, about where to put our focus and our energy. And if we aren’t choosing to be present in each moment, our pasts and futures are diminished.

Worrying about accomplishing the tasks on your to-do list, or about being ready for an upcoming event (like a holiday celebration) robs the present of its energy and meaning. And it doesn’t have to be that way. As Albert Einstein once said, “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

What if you have big event on the horizon?

The other day I was talking to a friend who was returning to work after a sabbatical.  She said that the night before her return she was not able to sleep, tossing and turning through the hours before dawn. 

A woman I know through a virtual coaching group has shared about how her worries in the days prior to speaking engagements can keep her from being able to focus meaningfully on other tasks.

And who among us hasn’t experienced the anticipation of children waiting for Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa?  (I well remember trying to keep a classroom of 5-year-olds focused on December 23rd – a humbling task, to say the least.)

Here and Now

Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

Large events, even if you are fully prepared for them, can “loom” over the days just prior, overshadowing them and sapping your focus and energy in the present.  It doesn’t matter whether you are looking forward in anticipation or in dread. The “looking forward” moves you away from yourself and from your life right now.

So, what can you do to get back in touch with life? 

3 Tips:

  • Take a deep breath and sit quietly for a moment.  Pay attention to your feelings and let them simply flow through you.  Don’t hold on; just observe and let go.  Breathing in and out, your mind will quiet and the present moment will emerge.
  • If you are worrying about a future event, or looking forward to it, stop and write down 5 things that you are anticipating.  Promise yourself that you will be ready when the time comes, and that you can check your list whenever you need to in the days ahead.  Then put your list in a safe place and let go of your anticipation in the present.
  • Sit quietly and think of three things that you are grateful for in this moment.  The attitude of gratitude is one of the most potent tools I have found for coming back to the present from tangles of worry or anticipation.

How will you incorporate at least one of these ideas into your repertoire, starting today?

Want more help staying in the here and now?

You face unique questions and are called, continually, to come up with unique solutions. So, I’m offering something to help with that today. It’s a deck of cards — 50 cards, to be exact. And it’s titled Mindful Moments: Heart-Based Reflections on Time and Life. The focus of this particular card series consolidates decades of my experience into bite-sized reflections and journal prompts.

I think you’ll find yourself returning to them again and again. Maybe you’ll shuffle the deck and pull out a card about boundaries or self-care. Or perhaps you’ll explore how your energy feels to you right now, in this very moment. Let’s say you randomly draw a card at lunchtime one day. You learn about how saying “No” to one thing helps you create the space to say “Yes” to something else. And then you realize, hours later, how that brief moment with that card prompted you to create a much-needed boundary that afternoon with your boss.

The more you engage, the more you’ll discover, so I encourage you to use Mindful Moments in whatever way works for you. I’m really excited to share Mindful Moments with you today. I can’t wait for you to discover the many ways that working with these cards will help you pause, ponder, and deepen your experience. This enriches you, no matter what the world is bringing to your door.

To give yourself more mindful moments, click this link:

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