Everybody experiences rough patches in life. Perhaps you had a less-than-ideal childhood or endured challenging situations as an adult. If letting go of your past has been difficult, living in the present will bring more joy and fulfillment to your life and set you up for a brighter future.
Regardless of your past experiences, you have the ability to move forward and begin living in the present. Admittedly, this will require some time and effort, but you can practice any time you like.
Try these suggestions to inspire your desire to stay in the moment:
1. Accept the past. Whatever the situation that has you stuck, now’s the time to make peace with it. The event has already happened.
• Maybe it was something you couldn’t control. Perhaps you were a victim or survivor. Or maybe you made a mistake. How did the situation make you feel at the time? How do you feel about it now? Once your feelings are clear to you, you can move forward.
2. Recognize that your past doesn’t define you. We’ve all heard people who’ve experienced a challenging event say, “It’s made me who I am.” If taking that stance works for you and you can move on with your life, that’s great. If not, know that the situation doesn’t have to make you who you are.
• You have the power to define your own existence. From now on, you can be whomever you choose.
3. Let go. Allow thoughts and feelings about the situation to float away. Use visualization to imagine a large black balloon filled with the troublesome event. Let that situation and your feelings float away from your world.
4. Take a detailed look at your life. Do you live where you want to live? Are you doing the kind of work you want to do? Maybe you’ve spent enough time wishing, hoping and researching. On the other hand, maybe when you examine your existence, you’ll realize you already have all the elements of a great life.
5. Right now, start to create the life you want. If you’ve already got what you want, great! You’ll have less work to do. If you’re unsure, read on.
• We’ve all heard a story about how someone saved the good china to use for special occasions. Years passed, the china stayed in the cupboard, and guess what? The china wasn’t ever used. No occasion was ever gauged as “special” enough.
• Do you regard your life in the same way? Are you waiting for the future to come so you can live in the place of your dreams, pursue your beloved goals and take part in the activities you want to do? There’s no time like the present to live the life you want.
6. Immerse yourself in each moment. Regardless of the list of things you have to do, spend your moments fully engaged in whatever you’re doing right now. You’ve probably experienced the frustration and irritation of being involved in one activity while you’re actually thinking about another task or activity you need to complete.
• Make a special effort to focus on whatever’s going on at any given time. If you’re watching a movie, totally focus on the plot, scenes and characters. If you’re working on a project for work, screen out everything else and put your all into it.
7. Consciously connect with your emotions. Examine how you feel. Are you energized? Is your mood melancholy? How do you feel about what you’re doing right now? Increase awareness of your own emotions throughout the day as you go from task to task. Living in the present means living consciously.
When you live in the present, you’ll enjoy your life more. So wherever you are, be there in body, mind and soul.
When you allow yourself to feel however you do about an event, task or situation, you’re acknowledging to yourself you deserve the time to live your life to its fullest. Learning to live in the present will empower you to experience the fulfilling life you desire.