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You have heard it before: “living happier starts in allowing yourself to live in the moment” or “the sacred part of life is in the every day moments” We KNOW this mentally it isn’t that we don’t understand the concept. So why can’t we do it?!?! Today I want to give some tips for how to gain more awareness of what’s happening in your every day life
It is a practice. Staying present is something I practice every day. As with any new routine/concept you have to make room for it.
Review your day.
Start by looking back at the day and remembering all the ‘moments of the day’. Be curious about what happened at that time and what you were doing.
Was there a moment of laughter while you and your partner made dinner?
Was your child especially happy or sad when you picked them up from school?
Did you have a nice lunch or get to take a walk outdoors?
Non-judgmentally look back on your day and take an inventory of the moments that happened in your day. Then take notice as to what you were doing.
Were you engaging fully?
Were you worried about something else? Work? Your To-do list? Your kids?
What if anything was keeping you from engaging?
Initially you might have to force yourself to engage in the present. One of my favorite tricks is to set my alarm on my phone or computer and whenever it dings I am reminded to come into the present and just notice what is happening around me. I hear the alarm, I breathe and I ask myself “What am I grateful for right now in the moment?”. As time passes and I get more comfortable/familiar with the routine I don’t need the alarm as much and I ‘take stock’ at random times throughout the day
This is one of the biggest block to being in the moment. Letting yourself. As you watch your child play soccer and you take in the joy on his face and his laughter you suddenly also start feeling guilty. You say to yourself:
My to-do list is 1000 items long I should be organizing my task list…
He is so happy–I hope he doesn’t get injured…
My gosh he is growing up so fast..some day he won’t need me anymore….
I remember when I loved to play soccer and then I injured my knee and it has been all down hill since then…
And before you know it you are off to the races with a whole array of guilt, shame inducing, joy sucking thoughts and the moment is over and you missed it. Our tendency is to fight to stay out of the present. Our lizard brain wants to keep us in the past or worrying about the future. So you are fighting against your instinct. The key is to keep forcing yourself back.
Keep coming back to the present, to the joy, to the soccer game. To consistently bring your thoughts out of yourself and into the moment.
I would love to hear from you in the comments: Do you believe there is magic in the mundane? How do you stay present to the every day?
Live Happier Wine Night is October 30th. Wine Bistro in Worthington from 7-9pm. Cost: $25 includes 2 glasses of wine, hors d’oeuvres and a presentation by me on Tips on Living Happier through Conflict. How to speak up for yourself, set boundaries and manage conflict. Advanced registration is required. To register or for more information go to: https://live-happier/live-happier-wine-night Hope to see you there!!