The art of now

A perfect place to stop

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.  ~ Eckhart Tolle

* * *

A 2008 article from Psychology Today somehow popped into my life recently, right when I most needed it.

“Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. When you become mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them.  Mindfulness involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.”

This sounds so simple, and yet it is quite difficult.  I am usually not able to do it for more than a few seconds.  I’m in the moment, noticing the warmth of sunlight on my arms and then I’m thinking about the mail and before I know it, it’s in my hands and I’m opening it and that moment is gone.  I forget to feel the paper in my hands or really hear the sound of the envelope as I open it.

I love the idea of being slightly detached and really noticing my own reactions to things without burrowing down into the emotion of them.  I’ve started using this strategy with my daughter and it’s really helped me in retaining some energy for the end of the day.  In not losing myself to her behavior, I am better able to direct my own experience of the day.  It makes perfect sense.  If we picture that we are a mountain, weathering each storm or wind but strong within, it feels right to remain calm and to notice our surroundings without becoming them.

I only wish I’d learned this in high school!

How do you find moments of NOW?

See other posts about mindfulness here.

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12 thoughts on “The art of now

  1. Strangely enough, the times I now experience this is when my kids are doing something amazing and I am able to let everything else go and be amazed by their passion, skill, effort, or dedication.

  2. I am taking a Mindfullness class, and I am struggling to calm my ADD brain down enough, but I know that it will be worth the struggle. I am excited to get to the point where I can be more mindfull every day.

  3. I love how my breathing slows and deepens
    even as I read this……noticing now how my fingers tap lighter
    on the keyboard and my neck goes soft and swimmy.
    And I can hear, really hear, the windchimes singing near my window.
    So grateful for the reminder.
    Yours was the whisper today:)
    thank you,
    Jennifer

    • I would say, and I am the farthest from an expert you’d ever find, that meditation is an attempt at practicing mindfulness on purpose, focusing on your breath or something. But what you do with that is what counts… carrying that focus into your everyday life. If we can train ourselves to remember to be mindful in an everyday moment, then the meditation was useful.

  4. Pingback: The Calm in the Storm « Getting Better, Man

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