My question for you today is,
Do you find it difficult to stay focused and present in your daily life?
Do you find meditation practices almost impossible because you can’t turn off the thoughts in your head?
Today we’re going to be talking about, how to live in the moment.
When discussing the topic of living in the moment, most discussions immediately go to mindfulness meditation. And this is a solid practice for learning to live in the moment. I highly recommend it.
I believe that meditation is an excellent practice for anyone interested in cultivating a harmonious sense of peace in their lives.
Obstacles to Living in the Moment
But some people find the practice of mindfulness meditation to be highly difficult, if not impossible. The reason that’s most often given is because they can’t seem to turn off the thoughts in their head.
I’ve found that it isn’t that the person cannot turn off their thoughts but rather the racing thoughts are on auto-pilot.
When someone tells me that their thoughts are constantly racing and that they have trouble just being present in their life, I’ll sometimes ask them to repeat this phrase out loud, “It is not safe to stop thinking.”
Moving Past Judgment
I’ve found that when I ask people to say this phrase out loud, and without judgment, a natural sense of compassion will begin to emerge.
This is a compassion for themselves, and more specifically, for the part of themselves that is aware that it has not felt safe to slow down their thinking.
So why would it not feel safe to slow down your thoughts?
To understand the answer to this question we first need to look at the difference between thoughts and feelings.
The Difference Between Thoughts and Feelings
Our thoughts and thinking are excellent tools for evaluating the experiences of our life, and for strategizing how we can get more of what we want, and avoid what we don’t want.
In other words, thoughts and thinking are perfect for reflecting upon the past and for projecting ourselves into the future.
The natural limitation to our thoughts and thinking is that it becomes very difficult to experience the present moment through the lens of thoughts and thinking.
This is where feelings are of high value. Our feelings are perfect for allowing and nurturing yourself to be in the present moment.
We experience joy, happiness, compassion and connection in the present moment. These are feelings that we embrace and desire.
But we also experience sadness, remorse, jealousy and heartbreak. These are feelings that don’t feel good. As a result, many people try to avoid these feelings.
One of the easiest ways that people turn to when trying to avoid their feelings is turning to thoughts and thinking.
When someone that we love is hurting or emotionally suffering, we advise them to “look on the bright side.” In other words, we encourage them to use thoughts and thinking as a way to distract themselves from the pain of their feelings.
Conditioned Response to Avoid Living in the Moment
Unfortunately, by habitually using our thoughts as a way to avoid feeling we become conditioned to avoid living in the moment.
For many people this conditioning started in childhood. This is especially true for people that had a difficult childhood or that grew up in difficult circumstances.
I’ve worked with people that even find it difficult to feel the subtle sensations of their physical body. But as we begin to reassure the inner child that it is safe to feel their feelings, it becomes easier to once again become in touch with the present moment, both physically and emotionally.
Learning to Live in the Moment
So how do we learn to live in the moment?
I suggest starting with some kind of meditation practice. I don’t think it’s important what type of practice that you start with because if you stick with it, you’ll naturally find one that works for you.
Next, start to journal. This is also an excellent step in the journey of self-healing. If you’re having trouble in an area of your life, I recommend to start by writing out the desired outcome as a question.
As an example, you may write at the top of your page, “How can I learn to be present in my life?” Then allow your thoughts to flow onto your page.
Reaching Out for Help
But sometimes we all need a little extra help. Another person can often see in you what you’ve been hesitant to see in yourself. Sometimes just one insight can be enough to help to move you forward towards the life that you desire.
So now let me ask you.
Are you ready to start embracing your life?
Are you ready to let go of the conditioning that you received in your past in order to start living in the moment?
I believe that it is possible to let go of the past and live a life of being present in the moment, and all the beauty that comes with the experience.
If you’d like to work one-on-one with me I’m here to help. You can reach out to me through my Contact page and set up a time for us to work together.
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