Present Moment...Wonderful Moment
Thinking and planning and more planning and more thinking. That is how my mind usually works. My mind is everywhere except in the present moment. My spinning mind often times has kept me from enjoying the present moment. I catch myself thinking of the future and planning out my day, weeks, months and years. Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing some planning, but when it dominates our thoughts is when it gets to be a problem.
What I am starting to realize that future planning is a trap that keeps us from finding joy in the present moment. Even on my walk this morning I was trying to decide if I should go for a bike ride later in the day. I didn’t sleep very well and my body felt tired, but it is such a beautiful day and I want to be outside. I kept going back and forth in my mind trying to decide if I should go for a bike ride all the while missing the present moment of enjoying my walk. It’s pretty astonishing how much I catch myself thinking about and planning my future.
The first step to making any changes in our lives is awareness. I am becoming more aware of my propensity to plan. I am learning to recognize when I am in the future and bring myself back to the present moment.
From the book Living Buddha Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh shares a simple but powerful practice that I have been utilizing during my walking meditations, while driving in my car and any other opportunity I have to practice mindfulness. It goes like this.
As we breathe in, we say to ourselves, “calming.”
As we breathe out, we say, “smiling.”
As we breathe in again, we say, “present moment.”
As we breathe out, we say, “wonderful moment.”
This is a great way to connect our mind and our body while staying in the present moment. It’s a reminder that life happens in the now. We can’t change the past and the future hasn’t happened yet. It’s an exercise in trust.
Jesus tells us not to be anxious about tomorrow in Matthew 6:34.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
So why do we get so caught up in the future and how can we stay in the present moment?
The why for planning my future is wanting to be in control. I want to control my future and we all know that is impossible. Having the illusion of being in control gives us a false sense of security. I have never been very good at going with the flow, but I am getting better at it.
Planning, organizing and structure has always been my thing, which can serve its purposes, but it can also keep us inflexible and frustrated when life doesn’t go as planned. And how often does life go as planned? Even when it does it has us so stressed out because we are worried if it will go as planned. That leads to nothing but anxiety, worry and stress.
The how of staying in the present moment is reminding myself that I am a child of God. Isaiah 55:9 assures me that God knows what is best for me.
“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.”
Our Heavenly Father only wants what is best for us. When we are able to see ourselves the way God sees us, as his children, that frees us up to live in the moment knowing that God is in control. We might as well enjoy in the moment and let go of control.
If we truly believe in God and see ourselves the way God sees us he will provide for absolutely everything we need. That is the practice. That is choosing faith over fear. I am not perfect at it, but something I am practicing every day of my life.
True freedom is accepting life as it is. Every moment is a wonderful moment. Even the challenging moments, because it is teaching us to be more like Christ. Staying in the now is a practice of a life time.
Through meditation and mindfulness we can be more present. By seeing ourselves as children of God knowing that God is for us and not against us will allow us to relax and enjoy life. Life only happens in the now and if we aren’t careful we could miss our lives.
Life is busy, what if we all slowed down a bit?
What if we took a deep breath in and soaked up where we are at in our life with nothing but gratitude?
What if we took a deep breath out and thanked God for that single breath because without that breath we wouldn’t have life?
We take so much for granted in our lives. I don’t want to take anything for granted because our life is a miracle and I want to live my life that way.
Every day is a miracle. Every day is a gift. Let’s take the time to enjoy the present moment because each moment is a wonderful moment.
Spiritual Warrior Coach
Founder and Creator of Barbells & Brothers