The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.~Buddha
We often spend too much time regretting the past or worrying about the future; to fully appreciate the gift of life, we must live in the moment. . .
We can neither change the past nor control the future. We tend to dwell on negative memories, ruminate over something we regret and experience intrusive thoughts from the past. Similarly, we become anxious over our fears and uncertainties of what may happen in the future. When we fail to appreciate living in the present, we miss opportunities to relate in genuine and authentic ways.
Over the years, I have focused more on mindfulness, and my ability to live in the present moment has greatly improved. Sometimes, when I am busy doing something, my children will interrupt me to ask me a question about their careers, wardrobe, love life, goals. . . They don't seem to realize that I may be working or focusing on something important to me. When they say, “excuse me, Mom, do you have a moment to talk?” I often chuckle to myself because I have raised them this way. They know that unless I am doing something urgent, I will drop everything to give them my undivided attention. I love living in the moment with them and I truly feel blessed that they value my opinion and input and perceive me as someone with whom they like to connect. It isn’t always easy to live in the moment, but mindfulness is an art of paying attention to your present life in a deliberate and purposeful way.
Think of when you listen attentively to someone and actually pay close attention to the details of what they are disclosing. This type of interaction builds intimacy and strengthens bonds. A similar way of exercising mindfulness can occur within ourselves. Being present to our own feelings and thoughts typically happens when we meditate or are still. . . when we stop "doing" and focus on "being." Pay attention to the sights and sounds in our environment. When we monitor our thoughts and are open to the positive flow instead of judging or reacting to, or lingering over, negative thoughts, they simply pass by like a wave in the ocean. Positive thoughts inspire us to appreciate the beauty in life and help us to strive for inner peace regardless of what's going on around us.
We each have our own journey and in our uniqueness lies our gifts. As we face obstacles, we grow from working to navigate around them and we are transformed into a more compassionate and stronger person. Our interpersonal relationships and interconnections with others provide joy and fulfillment in our life. Being able to laugh with others, and at ourselves, enhances the experience. When we live in the moment, we develop a more accepting relationship with our fleeting thoughts and feelings and develop a greater empathy for others.