Moments are All You Have, So How Alive are You in Yours?

Moments, like a drop of water are fleeting and are everything.

Moments, like a drop of water are fleeting and are everything.

Moments are precious. And it’s true – they are all that we have.

But the future has a way of swallowing up our present moments. This is especially true when there’s a big event on the horizon — something like the approaching winter holidays.

So, is this a challenge for you?

Moments and Albert Einstein

Anticipation about the future takes us away from where we are.

The other day I was talking to a friend who was returning to work after a long vacation.  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.

So, who better than Albert Einstein to consult for some advice about staying in the moment? His advice is succinct and to-the-point:

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”
Albert Einstein

We can neither slow down nor speed up time. But we can diminish our presence, effectiveness, and enjoyment by removing ourselves from our moments and focusing on the past or the future.

Moments, the Winter Holidays, and Thich Nhat Hanh

When it comes to anticipation, nothing quite equals that of children waiting for Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa. I can vividly recall the challenge of keeping a classroom of 5-year-olds focused on December 23rd — a humbling task, to say the least!

And yet, those moments are where we live and breathe and have our being. 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 our 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.

Reclaim Your Moments: 3 Tips

So, what can you do to get back in touch with life?  Here are 3 ideas:

  • 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 3 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.

Moments and Your Boundary-Setting Skills 

Setting and maintaining boundaries is a skill that helps you focus in THIS moment and makes everything else in your life possible. And it’s a difficult challenge for lots of smart, motivated people. People like you.

“Your Secret Power: How to Honor Your Time and Claim Your Space with Boundaries” helps you establish the boundaries you need to unlock the door to your freedom. Boundary-setting is a skill that’s learn-able, doable and definitely within your reach. And the strategies, tips and exercises in “Your Secret Power” help you discover how to start using boundaries to maximize your time and energy.  Click the link below to learn more about “Your Secret Power” and the bonuses that come with it:

Speak Your Mind