Updated: Apr 29, 2021
What does it mean to live your life in the moment? Our lives are busy and consumed with work and activities that pull us in different directions all day long. It is easy to become consumed by everything we need to do the minute we wake up, even to the point where we feel stressed and overwhelmed by it all. The need to stop and just be is becoming ever more necessary. It is important to find a moment when you can draw your full attention to where you are in that instant and become acutely aware of everything around you, taking everything in through your five senses.
I remember a warm summer day when I was lying in a hammock with blue skies and an umbrella of green leaves from different trees above me. Being amazed by the beauty surrounding me, I called myself to ‘be in the now.’ With purpose, I called my attention to the moment I was in and used my senses to become attuned to everything around me in that instant. My eyes admired the beauty of Mother Earth and how everything around me was alive with intention: the vibrant green trees, the rustling leaves, the animals I could hear, the gentle wind brushing against my body, and the warm sun cascading on my skin. I was grateful in that moment for what I had been blessed to experience and enjoy.
It is essential to your happiness to stop and make time to be grateful for the small miracles in each day; recognizing and having gratitude for the things the Universe has blessed you with because those blessings may not always be there. As Dr. Seuss once said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Being present allows me to value moments in my life and hold them dear to my heart; fleeting moments like my children’s first words, first steps, their first day of school, their first graduation, and other milestone moments like these. I do not want to realize the value or importance of the awesome in my life only when it’s gone because by then, it is too late.
Being in the moment means you no longer think about the past or the future. You are here now, in this moment that is a blank slate. By being fully present in this moment, you are able to ground and center yourself. This allows you to align yourself with the Universe, and that’s where happiness and love can be found. We can do this easily through meditation. If I can center myself enough where I am no longer my body, where the thoughts of the day are left behind, and I am in that space of silence, I can begin to feel spirit with me at that moment. It is in this dimension where I feel my spirit the most. Being in the moment helps me feel blessed, clear, peaceful, and fulfilled. All this leads to living a life not only with purpose but on purpose.
When focusing on the present moment, we can leave our past behind. Our mistakes, trauma, regrets, and heartache are forgotten, even for just a few minutes. But trust me, they try to sneak back in whatever way they can. Even when trying to steady our mind in meditation, thoughts float into our head and try to sabotage the serenity and peace in the now. And if you critically look at those thoughts, you will realize they are thoughts from the past. This is because of how the mind functions. The mind has 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and of those thousands of thoughts, 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. We are creatures of habit, which means we do things pretty much the same way every day. We wake up, we get ready (usually doing things in the same order), go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, and the whole process repeats tomorrow. Neuroscience has shown that most of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behaviour depend on the 96 percent of brain activity that lies beyond conscious awareness, explaining our habitual nature. This means that 96 (or as much as 99%) of our life is lived from the subconscious mind. Therefore, in order to break any habit, we must be wide awake and conscious of what is happening in each given moment. We must purposely say no to thoughts that want to float into our serenity moments. We must dismiss those recycled thoughts from yesterday (or from years ago) trying to sneak into our meditation and take us away from being here now. When we understand how the brain works against us, prohibiting us from being present, we can be aware of how the past tries to steal our present moments from us. We can then choose to acknowledge the past thought, but then let it go, so it can remain in the past, where it belongs.
Happiness comes from connecting to your authentic self at that moment when you are centered and attuned to what is happening in the now, whether it be in the company of friends and family, all alone on a walk or a hike, while exercising, or doing something creative like writing poetry or painting. Your complete attention is on what is happening right then. You have removed distractions like your phone or the TV, and you are not thinking about what you must do later. You are taking this moment in with all your senses. Time stands still. In those moments, you have connected to the dimension where there is only now. The perfect time is now because it connects us to our full and innate potential. To be inspired means to be ‘in spirit.’ You may find that you feel ‘divinely inspired’ in those moments when you are immersed in what you are doing. Ideas flow easily, and conversation does too. Things click, and ‘godcidences’ happen more often. There is a feeling of bliss that is hard to explain with words and is more explainable through energy. The energy you feel within yourself is high-frequency energy that makes you smile, light up, and feel amazing. You can liken it to the feeling you get when you help someone or the feeling you get when you do something good. In moments like this, Spirit is working through you and writing a new story on that blank slate.
Being in the now takes conscious effort as you decide to center yourself and focus on the activity at hand. Sometimes it means being alive with your eyes wide open and sometimes with your eyes closed, like when you’re meditating. Connecting with Spirit reaffirms who you truly are on the inside, to be able to approach a new day with renewed vigour and strength. Living in the now can change everything if you choose. It can help you leave your past behind you because you are choosing to see the beauty that exists in your present moment. Happiness is felt when you place your trust in the Universe to help you day by day create a future that is in alignment with your authentic self and divine purpose.
Teresa Greco is the author of the book Steps to True Happiness, and the coauthor of the book The Decision to Heal: Pathways from Suffering to Love. She is an educator and educational technologies consultant with a master’s degree in Education from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the editor and senior writer at two Canadian lifestyle magazines. Teresa is also a happiness coach and reiki practitioner who does public speaking, holds workshops, and mentors others about embracing, honouring, loving, and celebrating their true authentic self and achieving their own personal happiness and fulfillment.
You can follow Teresa on her Instagram page @teresagreco_stepstohappiness and Facebook page, Steps to True Happiness with Teresa Greco. You can also connect with Teresa by email at email@example.com about speaking engagements, workshops, and services.
Photos: JoVi Photography
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