This week I've grappled with happiness. How can I be calm and find some joy, when surrounded by unhappiness, sadness and fear? It's not an easy task, but in the end I keep coming back to gratitude. Gratitude for my life, for this crazy chance I've been given to live here and now. This healthy body. This beautiful family. It won't last forever....that was brought into stark relief this week. I've been choosing this week to be as present as I can in my life and enjoy each moment rather than worry about what could be. I won't be given another chance at today, and I may not get tomorrow.
Here are a few ways I try to come back to living in the moment:
Open Your Eyes To Nature
When life gets too overwhelming, I take a step back and focus on nature. I will look at the color of leaves, blades of grass, the way the clouds roll past in the sky, the wonder of the night sky. When I focus on what's around me in nature, my worries about the future seem to magically dissipate and I feel much more present.
Realize Your Insignificance
What have those huge old trees seen? What have those blazing night stars looked down upon? All of it has been here so much longer than me, and will be here for many many years after I'm gone. My life truly is a tiny dot in the story of the universe. This means it will all go by too fast, and I'd better make the most of every moment rather than letting it all go by in a blur.
When I find something that inspires me, I am magically just IN that moment. When something speaks to my soul it's truly an instant mood booster and snaps me into an instant state of awareness and presence.
Learn Something New
When I learn something new I find that time seems to speed up and slow down all at the same time. I'm completely engaged and sometimes even forget to eat! There is a beauty to being challenged by something new and completely absorbed. That's living in the moment - giving all of your focus and attention to something new. It's a great feeling!
Meditation can help limit the "chatter" in your head that leads the mind to drift in a million different directions at once. It's literally a way of training your brain to focus and gain a sense of connection. I have done meditation in the past and found that it really helped me be present and focus. These days I struggle with meditation, but am committed to trying it again!
In the end, all we have is right now. This moment, this life, this minute. I am endeavoring to make the most of it every day and I hope this helps you to do the same!