Where are you right now? What are you doing? Well, besides reading this piece about staying in the moment.
Are you actually aware of what is happening in the present?
These days, we are so caught up in the past or future, always thinking about our to-do list, unread emails, urgent text messages. It’s so easy to forget what we are doing right now.
That’s where the practice of yoga and meditation helps: I was at a vinyasa class the other night that started off with an introspective pose (child’s pose or balanasa). As our heads lay softly on our mats and our bodies were curled underneath us, the teacher instructed us to let go of our thoughts and future plans. She suggested that we let them fade away to the side of our minds because, for the duration of class, we would not be worrying about them and anyway they’d still be there when it was done. For that period, I only needed to focus on the breath, each yoga move, the way my body felt.
This whole concept of “living in the moment” has been guiding the way I try to live ever since. I have been living with awareness and intention, moving from one moment to the next. It has helped me become more present, productive and in-tune with my intuition.
This more aware lifestyle has already impacted the way I make decisions: Instead of operating on autopilot, I question everything, asking things such as, “Is this what I want to be doing?” and “How does this make me feel today?” Just the intention of checking in with myself helps to bring me into the present moment. Because what worked yesterday may not work today. Our bodies, minds, souls are evolving.
The first day after living with such awareness ended on a high note. I was in bed with a cup of peppermint tea, almond milk and a teaspoon of honey. (Local, raw, unfiltered honey releases melatonin in the brain, so it’s great to have before falling asleep.) I completed the majority of my to-do list—and not just completed it, but felt great about what I was putting out into the world.
But the best effect of this way of living has been how I end up caring for my friends and family better than I normally do. Interesting, right? I sent my friend that postcard that was sitting on my desk for weeks. I texted my friend right at midnight to wish her a “Happy Birthday.” I sent my family a link to an article that I thought would bring them some smiles. I asked my brother to go on a road trip with me during the holidays. I bought my best friends a bottle of my favorite organic oils. (Yes, go buy some!) I called my mom. I bought a train ticket to visit my friends in Boston next month. The list goes on.
Living in the moment allows me to be more present for them. And being present for them makes me more appreciative of the important things in life.
The quality of our lives is directly connected to the relationships we have with ourselves and others. Living in the moment makes these relationships stronger and healthier. All it requires is taking a beat to check in with ourselves and listen to what our minds, bodies and souls need right this second. In the present moment. Right now.