Why is everybody talking about staying/living in the present? Are we not all living in the present? As someone who has changed their perspective on existence itself and on how life here on earth is set, I can definitely understand why everyone encourages you to stay in the present.
We have all learned that on the time axis there are the basic time frames: past, present, future. Variations do exist. Perhaps, time is not what we consider it to be. However, I’ll stick to simple ideas related to the point I want to make. Our past and our future are either the present moment that has been surpassed by another present moment. That present moment that surpasses another is considered the future. The other one is considered the past. As you can see, all moments are present. So, it would make sense to question the urge to live in the now.
Physically, we all live in the now. Mentally and spiritually we live in the time frame we choose. Memories, past events, future events, thoughts, worries, stress, deadlines – these are all remnants of the present moment that has ceased to be. We often bring them back to life but in doing so we prevent ourselves from fully experiencing the present moment.
Why do we throw ourselves in the past or in the future?
It’s all about experiencing the same powerful feelings that have made the past so vivid in our minds. We watch a movie again and again in search of the same emotion, that sense of extraordinary thrills and enthusiasm. The same happens with thinking about the future. We turn to our desires, dreams, plans in order to fuel our feelings of accomplishment and enthusiasm.
We believe that the present is boring.
That we have had such an incredible life so far. So many memories, events, people we have met. Or people to meet, contracts to sign, adventures to start. We’ve experienced sadness and joy so we want to bring them back by materializing every past moment inside our minds. This is not exhilaration.
The act of remembering the past or enjoying the future pushes us in a state of trance. While in this state, our actions are on autopilot. We miss out on what’s right in front of us. Or better said, right within us. The adventures and feelings that we are looking for happen to be right here, right now.
2 Ways to Get Back to the Present
Reminiscing about the past or planning for the future – is it that bad? No, it is not. Unless you get stuck outside the present moment. Sometimes, when we think about the future, we become trapped inside our imagination. Oh, and imaginations are wild and possibly frightening. When we remember the past, we are at risk of developing depression or a sense of unworthiness. The same goes for the future. What if your plans don’t go as planned?
While you live in the now, nothing can bother you. You know you can learn from everything. You are free to experience every new or old feeling you have. Awareness lets you see every possibility out there. You begin to unleash the inner creator when you live in the now.
Here is how to get back to the present:
- Focus on Your Breath – while your attention is fixed on your breathing patterns, your mind is on hold. You then are able to feel and notice everything that’s going on right now.
- Practice (thought) observation – each time a thought comes to mind, observe it. Then, shift your perspective and focus. Look at a tree, a leaf, a house, a person without judging. Look at everything like it’s the first time you’re doing so.
Experience new feelings instead of remaining in the past reliving it or instead of propelling to the future with the sense that everything has already happened. You won’t get surprised anymore. The adventures that you are aware of start at this very moment. While you jump from past to future, from future to past, you miss out on all the present opportunities.