We are coming to the end of 2021 and usually l would make my predictions and give you a personal glimpse of what may lie ahead for in 2022…. But the word STOP kept popping into my head and l wasn’t able to reach my conclusions until now. Subconsciously l was not able to look forward with any kind of positive feelings and hope for the future. Sad, but true.
I tried sharing my feelings with a few close friends, but the only feedback that l got was COVID, COVID, COVID. What most folks have done is blame COVID for everything as the easy way out. Everyone is blaming the pandemic that has put civilization into a tailspin with no end in sight. This pandemic without question has put us into a state of constant uncertainty and questioning the future .
The current state doesn’t look like it will be changing anytime soon. Health experts are saying that the pandemic will not be under control at least until 2024/25 and even then, most experts really don’t know. These variants are spreading like wildfire and most are changing the way we live, work and play. So where do we go from here? is there hope and light at the end of the tunnel and will we ever see the world as we knew it?
Here is my take on all this. Has my mindset changed?…yes…will we have to adjust? Yes and I can go on and on. The simple advice is to live on the moment. Let me explain.
Life’s most precious aspect is found only here…in this present moment. Moment by moment we have the opportunity to experience life 100 percent, in glorious 3-D, technicolor, surround-sound. Now is where it’s at. Now is where life happens. In a sense, it’s all there is.
Yet we humans get quite creative in avoiding the present moment. Life can be boring, painful, repetitive, or ugly. We may wish to be anywhere, anytime except for here and now. We habitually filter our experience through thick overlays of memories, ideas, preferences, opinions, fantasies, daydreaming, worries, plans, hopes and internal dialogue. Consequently, at the end of the day, we often wonder where the day went. Then we do it all over again.
Being creatures of habit, the patterns of living in our heads become deeply ingrained, and we hardly even notice the constant churn of concept running through the mind day and night. The antidote to avoiding the present moment is, obviously, to stay present, regardless of the circumstances. Simply put, try to live in the moment. Enjoy the time when you are with someone, enjoy that project you are working on, enjoy whatever you are doing. Live in the moment and try and savor the experience. Living in the moment is not always easy. Sometimes our thoughts are overwhelmed by regrets about past events or anxiety about the future, which can make it hard to enjoy the present.
If you are having a hard time living in the moment, there are some simple strategies that mayhelp. There are little things that you can do throughout your day, such as creating a mindfulness cue, learning to meditate, and performing random acts of kindness. You personally know your trigger points which helps you to transition into a state of the moment. On a personal note, meditation for me has been a life saver and helped me get into a state of the moment and enjoy my time during the day, especially during this pandemic.
Meditation is a great way to train your brain to live in the moment. As you meditate, you practice noticing your thoughts and simply actions to be with much more clarity. Learning to meditate takes time, practice, and guidance, you can go on you tube or find a staters class online for free, you won’t regret it. Another simple thing that you can do is be grateful for breaks in your day. Having to wait for something can be irritating, but if you want to live in the moment, you will need to learn how to think about waiting as a good thing. Instead of becoming impatient when you have to wait for something, practice being grateful for the extra time to notice your surroundings. Treat the extra time as a break and appreciate the time.
Practice gratitude…. Being grateful helps to bring you to the present moment because you are thinking about what has made you grateful and how that has affected you in the here and now.
Gratitude can also help you to remember good things in life or gifts. Practice being thankful for who you are, how you are feeling in the moment, and for loved ones such as friends, family, or pets. Throughout the day, take a moment to remember something you are thankful for. You can speak or even write down your gratitude to reinforce it.
When our lives dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to past events or potential future outcomes, it becomes increasingly rare to live in the present moment. By constantly residing in the past or the future, you might carry with you a sense of unease, become more susceptible to stress, agitation, and generally feel unhappy and uncomfortable with your life. Because of this, it is extremely important to learn to live in the present moment. Be grateful for each moment, living in the present means you stop taking moments for granted and recognize that you should enjoy life while you can.
Imagine waking up every day and asking yourself this question… “what would you do if today was my last.” Think about how you would treat your family, your colleagues and even strangers. Mentally list all the things you would do, the people you would call and the moments you would savor. Think how productive and excited you would be to live every moment to the maximum. You would start to focus on all the meaningful things in your life and stop wasting your time on the trivial things that are dragging you down in life.
The future is not in your control…the moment you experience right now is the only moment you can control. You cannot control what will happen in a year’s time, let alone what will happen in the next five minutes. By living in the present, you stop trying to guess what might or might not happen in the future and instead you stay focused on what is happening in the here and now.
Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy your life.