Embrace the present moment and enjoy the joy of NOW
Embrace the present moment or live in the present is what we call the state of being mindful or mindfulness. I’m pretty sure you would be hearing this term more often nowadays but it always existed.
Practicing mindfulness could be daunting in the beginning especially when you are like me who loves to dwell in the future or never seems to let go of the past.
Life happens in the present. But were so super busy daydreaming about the future consequences or re-living the past moments that we forget to cherish the gift of now, the gift of being actually there in the moment.
I read this beautiful phrase, ‘Welcome the lion on the path’ which means when you have a lion in front of you on your path, you surely cannot afford to think of the future or dwell in your past. You can there, in the current moment.
This really makes me wonder, how mindlessly have we spent the majority of our life and are still repeating the same mistake. When are we actually going to embrace the present moment and cherish the beauty of being in now completely?
We have become everything but noise.
Just a day ago when my mother asked me about the food we had yesterday, I totally went blank. I didn’t seem to remember what did I eat just a day ago. I was so embarrassed for letting the moments pass by so recklessly. Mindful eating is also the sign of practicing the art of living in the moment.
It is totally necessary to set goals for the future and also to review past mistakes but while doing that we totally forget the gift of now.
Our era is defined by words like technically advanced, the hustle is the new goal, maximize productivity and whatnot.
While in the real sense, it is the rest that we need now. It is being and embracing the present that we need to learn. It’s about being still and enjoying the beauty of living the current moment.
The point of power is always in the present moment. – Louise L Hay
What actually means to embrace the present moment?
Living in the present moment isn’t just an arbitrary modern phrase, it’s the art of adapting the lifestyle which gifts you the choice of being in the present and to live mindfully. Being in the present moment means it’s now and here. You are completely aware of what is happening now.
Even while reading this piece of embracing the present, you are devoting all your sense to this single work of art.
We are not distracted by the happenings of the future or are carrying past baggage. We are still in this very own moment feeling the complete presence of our being.
This what Allan Watt quoted about being in the present moment;
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
Why is it important to embrace the present moment?
Being in the present helps you stay mentally stable as well as improves your physical health. When you are in a complete state of awareness, no uncertain future or the past memories could curb your happy state of mind.
Living in the present isn’t some trendy lifestyle but it also essentially means practicing and honoring the gift of now. Being present in the moment not only makes you happier and healthy but also gifts you the beauty of mindful living which reduces stress and anger.
Why is it difficult to live in the moment?
We poor human beings are always having multiple tabs open inside of our heads. And if you’re someone creative like me, daydreaming is our favorite thing to do. We are often so caught up by the uncertainties of the future.
I catch myself many times getting tensed while setting the goals for the future and questioning all the maybes and what-ifs to myself. I then need to remind myself that the future isn’t in my control, what I can control is the actions of now, the work I do in the present moment without attaching myself to the future results.
Try convincing your little heart to be still and enjoy the joy that the current moment brings. We live this exact moment only once. Let it be filled with our undivided attention.
Now that we are aware of what is being in the present and how necessary it is for our mental health to practice mindfulness, let’s dive into some creative tips on how to actually practice being in the present moment.
How to embrace the present moment and feel the joy of now:
1. Enjoy Little things
The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little. – Jon Kabat Zrim
Our whole life is actually the combination of all those little moments that we somehow failed to live. It’s in those tiny moments of life when we are full when we are totally present. When we look back to the day we were truly happy, it would always be because of the little things that we fully lived.
How the simple scenario of our childhood fills us with joy! It can be as simple as savoring mango while spoiling your favorite tee. We really don’t need to wait for something grand to happen to bring us joy.
This is the moment where you can feel the most alive if you’re truly present. Be grateful for all those little things that life gifts you, live them wholeheartedly so that you don’t regret not living enough while you had the chance. Take a moment and pause, notice all the tiny acts, little things that bring you joy. Live them, again and again.
I am a die-hard fan of Dorris Day and her song ‘Enjoy yourself’ always brings me back to the present and makes my heart dance on her beats.
2. Practice unselfconsciousness
Oops!! What a heavy term to coin out. Sometimes, when we need to improve our performance, we need to forget about it. We need to let go of the consequences and only focus on the present action.
When I was called out on the stage to perform my college welcome speech, I was super conscious, and instead of delivering it from heart, I said everything to the point just as a robot.
I feel so dumb revisiting it but that very thing helped me realize how necessary it was to forget about the speech and just live the present moment and deliver my best.
When we are attached to the outcome or are too focused on our actions, we miss out on the fun of embracing the present joy. At that moment, I really needed someone to tell me to let go and just be myself.
Focusing on the present moment also lets you stop worrying about the uncertain future or overthinking.
“Being present-minded takes away some of that self-evaluation and getting lost in your mind—and in the mind is where we make the evaluations that beat us up,” says Stephen Schueller, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
3. Release your past
How many times did you catch yourself reminiscing about what already happened? I should have done it this way or I should have enjoyed that moment a little more.
It is alright to cherish past memories and relive them again. But how wonderful would that be to live the present moment so fully that you feel the sense of fulfillment when you’re nostalgic about that moment. Your present moment will become the regretful past if you fail to savor it fully.
Let go of the past for it’s over and you cannot change it. What you can control is the present, this very moment and you need to decide how you want to spend this very moment which is still in your hand.
When we decide to let go of the past, we free ourselves from the heavy baggage that we necessarily carry around. This burden is surely not yours to carry when you cannot change it.
Practicing mindfulness teaches you the art of balancing past, present, and future. When we are lost in any of these phases pretty too much, the balance is disturbed and so is our lives.
It indeed is difficult to train our minds to leave the past an focus on this present moment, for it is all that we have. However, it is always possible to train your mind at any point in life. Let’s not be the slaves of our brain and embrace the present moments while living them to the fullest.
4. Instruct your future to hang-on
Just as we dwell in the past, we long for some future fantasies too. If you are someone like me who overthinks and over-analysis the present situation, you really need to just BREATHE.
I create assumptions and stories for the future that scare me of all the uncertainty and all I am left with are those anxious thoughts that never seem to leave my land.
We really need to give ourselves a break and allow us to breathe in the present moment. When we embrace the present we focus on the current happenings and not on some pre-assumed outcome.
It all starts within our head and then it grows into some huge size monster that completely curbs our power to think and perceive. Living in the present moment will enable us to let go of future expectations because we have firmly trained our minds to shut off the doors to the future and be still in the moment.
Can we really experience the joy of now when we are clinging onto our past or longing for the future? We do plan the things out for our better, secure future but it’s not in our hands to make it happen as our wish. This is the only moment that we are truly gifted with, let’s cherish it NOW when we actually can.
We often go to a beautiful place and think of visiting it in the future, often. But in that circle of planning for the future, we fail to savor the present moment. We fail to live the moment that we are blessed with.
It’s already proven that living in the moment makes people happier and healthier, ever wondered why? Because all the worries are actually tied to the thoughts of past and future expectations.
As Mark Twain said, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” The hallmark of depression and anxiety is catastrophizing—worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet and might not happen at all.
5. Flow into something you love
When we do something we truly love, the river of joy flows within. There are so many moments in our lives that we forget the count of time. And these are the moments where we lived truly and fully. Find out something you love and are passionate about.
Flow occurs when you’re so engrossed in a task that you lose track of everything else around you. Just set some achievable goals that are realistic and not so overwhelming.
I love writing, and writing for the blog is super therapeutic and I totally lose the track of time while planning all the beautiful content for the blog and Instagram. Writing has literally healed me and this is the only art that makes the joy of river flow within.
Find something that you truly devote yourself in, you feel super conscious and aware of the things you love doing. You will lose the track of time when you focus completely on the things you love the most.
6. Acceptance is the key to mindfulness
We all have some past longings that interrupt our present. Maybe that is some old pain bothering you or the sudden wave of anxiety when you are overwhelmed with the thoughts of uncertainty. Instead of running away from them, learn the art of acceptance. Accept them as they come without trying to fight back or rush your thoughts in another direction.
Often we try to distract ourselves to save us from the pain but unknowingly we are inviting the same pain again and again into our present moment.
These happenings leave us astray and we then cannot focus on the present moment. Embracing the present with the baggage of the past and future will do nothing good to you.
Healing begins when we accept the pain and feel it completely. This is the common tendency of the mind to distract us from the thoughts of pain when we should be actually feeling it. This idea of growing the current emotions fills us with frustration and anger.
Acceptance will save you from such needless pain. It is okay to feel your feelings, we are all humans and we all face them at some or other point of our life. Acceptance doesn’t even mean that you agree with everything currently happening. It is the state of mind where you know that these things cannot be changed.
“Acceptance of the present moment has nothing to do with resignation,” writes Kabat-Zinn. “Acceptance doesn’t tell you what to do. What happens next, what you choose to do; that has to come out of your understanding of this moment.”
7. Journaling and writing Morning pages
I know what you’d be thinking. This girl always talks about journaling and her morning pages. But ain’t this going to stop me !! As I already mentioned, writing healed me and it was particularly this gift of writing morning pages and journaling that made me realize my true self.
While writing the morning pages, you are exactly pouring your heart out, resting your worries on the blank sheet of paper, and coming out from the whirlwind of anxiety. This makes you live in the present moment and embrace the joy of being truly still.
Here is the complete guide on how to practice journaling as a beginner along with some mindful prompts. If you are still with me reading this piece from my heart, focus on your breath how it goes out and comes in. Then read along with a little more and here you’re living in the present moment.
We don’t have to do something big or strive hard to practice mindfulness. It is somethings just being still, at the moment, with yourself and enjoying the incredible joy of being present.
This is a journey, my friend, not any destination. This is it. This is now, you’re all here.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this piece as much as I did while pouring my heart out. I’d love to know your views in the comments below.
Are you ready to embrace the present moment and cherish the joy of now?