Choosing to live your life in the present moment is no easy task when you stop to consider about two thirds of your life is spent in a waking sleep. That is where you are awake, but so busy in your head that you are really not aware of what is going on around you. Most of us realize this from time to time after we “wake up” and realize we drove from point A to point B and can’t remember even driving, let alone what road we were on.
It’s no wonder we reach advanced years and wonder where on earth our lives when too so quickly. The sad fact is we were sleep walking through so much of it, that it just sort of disappeared. Needless to say, getting into the present moment gives you more awareness, it’s lets you LIVE your life instead of life living you, and when you are older you will realize your life was rich and fulfilling, not some blur of thoughts run amok. To avoid this unpleasant predicament, jump into the present moment with all you got, these tips will help.
5 Ways to Live in the Now
1. The Startle Effect. This is the quickest way to get into the now because it literally shocks your system into becoming completely awake to the present moment. A close call such as slipping on ice, almost getting in a car accident or tripping on the stairs are all good examples of how quickly you become hyper aware for what is going on around you. Usually, the bigger the shock the longer your awareness lasts, but let’s not overdo it. You can create the startle effect yourself by wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it every so often. Please don’t injure yourself though; just a slight snap is sufficient.
2. Become One with the Present Activity. Practice entrenching your complete focus on the activity at hand by paying attention to everything you can find to pay attention to that is not in your own head. For instance if you are walking down the street, what do you see, what does the air feel like, what sounds can you hear are all questions to become aware of trying to answer. Do this without judgment, but only with observation.
3. Override Your Conscious Mind. This is actually a hypnotherapy trick that works to bypass your thinking mind to get into your subconscious mind. What you want to do is two things at once and the effort will automatically quiet your thoughts and allow your inner self to come out and realize there is life outside your brain. Try this, put your hand in front of your face and examine it thoroughly, the texture of your skin, veins, fingernails, knuckles, etc… now, at the same time, recite your favorite mantra. If you don’t have one, feel free to use mine. “The Point of Power is in the Present.” Say it with complete awareness. It might seem a little like patting your head and rubbing your tummy, but give it a shot, it works.
4. Cultivation, i.e. Practice Makes Better. As with anything else, living in the now is something you must practice, especially when we are all so programmed to do otherwise. Put notes around your house such as “Be Here Now” or use other tricks to remind yourself. Something I do is balance things in unusual ways so that I need to be mindful when picking them up and setting them back down. Yeah, my family doesn’t really appreciate that, but I try to do it with personal belongings such as how I set my pen on my notebook.
5. Get a Teacher or Personal Life Coach. Implementing major life changing new habits sometimes requires the assistance of other people and make no mistake about it; even one full minute of pure awareness added to your day can become a life changing event. If you like, contact me and we can create a plan for your Nowness (Yes, a made up word, you can choose “mindfulness” if you like, I happen to like “Nowness”!).
Commit to seriously working on these 5 ways to live in the now and become amazed at how alive you will begin to feel. I have to warn you though, sometimes waking up to the present moment challenges you to make changes in what are acceptable or desired in your life, but I’ll save that topic for another time.