Ever lost sleep over something you thought was going to happen, and then it didn’t? How many times have you replayed some painful story from your past? The two most common usurpers of the moments of our lives are:
1. Dwelling in the past
2. Escaping to the future
The Zen among us will say that neither exists. Still we obsess over some unborn future while missing the opportunity to connect, to feel good, to be grateful. Today is post number 3 of our ongoing series 6 Ways You’re Missing Your Life.
How are you showing up for your life and for yourself? Do you dream about things being different than they are? Do you excessively worry about the past or imagine a future that’s considerably different from your current life?
Here is a surprising truth: It’s not possible to be worried in the present.
Action cannot be taken in the past nor in the future. The present is where life takes place, where potential ripens, where opportunity knocks, and where consciousness lives.
So why do we avoid it and how do we keep getting stuck elsewhere?
We get stuck by resisting or rejecting what is. We get unstuck by accepting what is. Our beliefs, attitudes and convictions limit reality along with our fear of facing the unknown.
Gratitude is practical magic. When we feel impossibly stuck, gratitude unsticks us. It liberates mental preoccupation and unleashes our heart. Love, compassion, and connection are vital to well-being because they free the mind. When you release some scary future image by embracing something beautiful, you return to the heart. In the present, we are whole; there is no worry, no judgment, no problem. Yes, it takes practice but even practicing with gratitude brings calm enjoyment.
Confusion arises when we think about the present, instead of being present. You won’t be able to remain in the present all of the time. However, even a short visit regularly will make your life infinitely happier.
It starts with listening to your body and your heart; this loosens the identification with the mind. Learning to discern the difference between thinking and feeling is also a great help.
In my workshop 5 Steps to Grace I introduce women to self-compassion practices and tools for observation, listening and becoming present. We keep it light and fun while doing the work that builds resilience and clarity.