Posted by: Jo Banks
I’ve recently completed a Diploma in Mindfulness, which essentially is a practice of focussing on the 'now'...
After all, now is all we have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t happened and yet we spend so much of our lives thinking/dwelling on the past or living for the future. Today, this moment, right now is the only time we actually have that’s real.
How much of your life do you spend thinking, “I’ll be happy when … the kids leave home, I get a new job, I find the right person, I get married, I have children, I win the lottery, when world hunger is ended" We waste so much of our lives waiting for that 'thing' that we think will make us happy.
We literally go through the motions of every-day life whilst waiting for something we perceive to be better to come along, thinking how much better our lives will be when we get that new car, house, holiday etc only to finally get what we desired and it changes nothing, except for a few brief hours of excitement after attaining what we coveted.
What’s stopping you from being happy right now, right in this minute? Take a second to stop and really look at this precise moment. Are you warm? Are you comfortable? Are you full? Do you have a roof over your head? Is there anything really missing right at this very moment? OK, you may think, “I need money to pay that bill” but that’s in the future not right this second. Is there anything you need right this second to make things better? My guess is no. You are right were you need to be and have everything you need in this current moment and this current moment is all we have.
If we could start to live more in the current moment and be happy right now instead of basing our happiness on something that we hope will happen in the future, we wouldn’t be waste so much of our lives.
Try an exercise in mindfulness (a term commonly used for really focussing on the current moment and noticing everything that’s going on around you rather than projecting your thoughts in to a future that may never happen):
Take a small task that you do every day eg washing the dishes, washing your face, cleaning your teeth, walking up the stairs etc and really focus on what you’re doing and feeling. If you choose washing the dishes, notice everything about it, be totally present and alert. Notice how the water feels, is it warm enough or too hot, how do each of the items you wash feel in your hands, notice how the bubbles form … notice everything about that very moment. How warm are you? What can you smell, what can you hear.
That is an exercise in mindfulness. You can always bring yourself back to the current moment and ask yourself, “How am I feeling, right at this moment?” “Do I have everything I need, right at this moment” It’s also a brilliant tool to use for stress release and worry. If you’re a worrier, remembering that you have everything you need right now, right at this moment, takes you out and away from worrying about what may happen and brings you back to right now.
Do you need help with something in your life? Why not contact us for a free, no obligation consultation on how we can help you.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.