Now is all we ever have. There is only now, the present moment. Our ability to be in the present moment has a direct connection with happiness levels. Yet it is one of the hardest things to achieve, especially at a time when it’s hard to embrace what is happening around us. Most of the time we tend to be thinking ahead or looking back and even if we are doing that in a positive way by looking forward to something or remembering a happy time we are still not operating in NOW. We may not even particularly like the NOW that we are in but it is all we have.
I caught myself doing just that yesterday morning. We were on a beautiful walk, yet my mind was full of plans (positive ones) rather than focusing on being there where we were with my family and dog.
Now is our current experience right now and allowing ourselves to experience it fully and bringing our whole selves to it is not always easy.
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart indicates that the present moment is all that we have. We are so caught up in our daily tasks to notice the fleeting moments of life. According to Tolle, there is no future or past. There is only memory or anticipation. The things that happened in the past give us an identity and the future is simply full of promise. Promise can take the form of fulfillment, salvation or deliverance. These are intangible and therefore simply illusions.
One of the most common sayings is that time is precious. Actually, it is also simply an illusion. The factor that we consider precious is not the time but the point in that time. Eckhart calls it the Now and encourages us to stop fixating on the future or the past and focus on the Now.
3 ways to be in the Now
- Say YES to the present – Yesterday I caught myself not being fully present and I decided to simply embrace every second of what was around me – the fresh air, walking in nature, dog scrambling around with joy in the mud and the simplicity of Sunday mornings. Saying YES is all about acceptance of what is in that moment. Not wishing it away or wishing it were different. The more we can do that the easier it is to feel calm with what is.
- I am not my thoughts – It’s so easy to get caught up in thoughts. Especially when you are in the middle of processing with or dealing with a challenging situation as I am at the moment. But life unfolds in the present. It is so easy to let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized. So this is about pausing in silence, with what is, to focus on breath – all a part of being mindful and cultivating a non-judgemental awareness.
- Savour more – whether it is a cup of tea, a walk or a conversation – this week I want to slow down and savour more rather than rushing through my day. These simple things really really do help.
Why does living in the moment make people happier—not just at the moment they’re tasting molten chocolate pooling on their tongue, but lastingly? Because most negative thoughts concern the past or the future. But when we are in the present we actually feel no anxiety or fear. Pretty powerful right now, I’d say.