The present moment is truly a gift. It is all we have and all we will ever need. Life is so simple and yet our minds have created unnecessary conflicts. When we meditate on nature, we see how life flows, life grows and life makes wonderful creations. When we are overcome with stress, we live in a sterile, unfeeling and even hostile world. Luckily, we can always return to a more peaceful feeling with meditation. We are gradually coming back to the now: to simplicity and harmony.
- 5 Minutes at a Time
Dr. Wayne Dyer suggests in his book “Erroneous Zones” that we should live “5 minutes at a time”. He is referring to going with the flow of life. Sometimes a decision or rule that we always used to live by is deemed null and void. What used to work for us may no longer work and so we have to adapt. This idea of “5 minutes at a time” is also a good practice for meditation. By living in the here and now we become more alive.
- Holiday: Take a break
Everyone needs a break. No one can keep going at one pace for a long time. We all need to take some time out to relax and unwind. We can do this by taking a trip away for a day or two. If this is not feasible we can also take a holi-hour rather than a holiday. In her book “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”, Dr. Susan Jeffers suggests that we set aside some time each day to do whatever we want. It could be a bit of exercise, meeting a friend or anything that you find fun.
- Learning to Accept
Perhaps the most challenging and most rewarding of all is the art of acceptance. Sometimes we literally cannot do something about a situation which we would like to change. We find ourselves uncomfortable in a situation and unable to escape from it. This is where we learn to accept. In his stand up comedy show, Simon Amstell says “If you can’t change something, just accept it.” This is great wisdom as we can all get rid of our struggle by accepting. It is a very worthwhile, yet sometimes difficult practice.
- Seizing Opportunity
One of the fruits of living in the now is that we discover things that we never expected. Pleasant surprises are waiting to jump out at us. We can access these gifts when we pay attention to the now. When we take a moment to dwell in the now, we can create, discover or do something we never imagined we had the power to do. Carpe Diem!
- Getting back to nature
One of the best ways to return to a state of peacefulness is by walking in nature. When we stroll around in a relaxed environment, we naturally become more at ease. Listen to the sounds of the trees, meditate on the flowing river and see the birds fly around. Nature is great to bring us back to the now.
Final note: Living in the now can be difficult when we feel the pull of negative thinking. However, with practice we can live more and more in the present moment. With time we become more at ease with life. Another added benefit is living in the now is that it makes us feel much happier. We can enjoy the little things in life and our need to worry diminishes.