Are you ever anxious, overwhelmed or just plain “frecked-out”? How do we manage a life that is more and more stressful? Every enlighten soul, great philosopher and spiritual teacher taught the way through life is to live in the moment.
Jesus said in Luke 12:25, “Who of you by worrying about anything can add a single hour to your lifespan? And if you cannot handle such small things, why do you worry about the rest?”
Buddha said it this way: “Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, but concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A. A. Melne
If Jesus, Buddha and Pooh agree about anything you know it has to be true.
All of this sage advice is telling us to live right here, right now. So what does that mean? It means that, instead of fretting about your past or worrying about your future, you need to bring your full focus into this moment. Ask yourself, “What do I want in this moment? How does the sun feel on my skin in this moment? How does it feel to be alive in this moment? Can I feel my own heartbeat? Can I feel my breath go in and out of my body? Can I feel the joy of simply being alive in this moment?” If I do that, I do not have time to plan for tomorrow. I don’t have time to worry about anything I’ve done in the past, and all the regrets that I have.
What if, just for one day, we lived fully in each moment? And when each moment expanded into the next moment, we would be willing to take that ride fully trusting the moment we are in. So if we are enjoying a moment, if we have peace in a moment, we may even know the ecstasy of God in a moment. The inner life is the creator of everything. The more that we know peace, the more everything in your life works.
Every great spiritual teacher brings us into the moment. When we don’t live in the moment, it freaks us out! We get profound anxiety!!! Come back into this moment. Affirm, “I am fully committed to this moment.”
Here are five reasons why we absolutely need to live in the moment:
1) The present moment demands that we take dominion over our thoughts. Many people have a difficult time meditating, because they have a really hard time taking dominion over their thoughts. What happens when we sit down in the quiet to meditate is that we become painfully aware of how out-of-control our minds are! We’re thinking about fixing the garbage disposal, cleaning out the refrigerator, clearing out the garage or whether we remembered to iron that shirt or get our kids a sack lunch for school. Our minds go so fast that we know no peace! And we can’t stand to meditate, because when we try our mind has been let loose, and it’s a crazy monkey mind!
Living in the NOW requires that you take dominion over your own thoughts and mind. Every time you start to think about your past, you say, “I am going to stay in this moment.” Every time you want to think about your future, you stop and say, “I want to be in this moment.” “What am I feeling in this moment? How does it feel to be in this moment? What do I want in this moment? How does it feel to hear by heartbeat and breath in this moment? How can I completely move into this moment?”
What begins to happen when you are committed to living in this moment is that you actually learn how to master your own mind. And a soul that learns how to master its own mind is set free!
So every time you want to go to the past and tell that story one more time, just stay in the present, instead. When that old fear starts to rise up, take dominion over your mind and bring yourself back to this moment and say, “I am going to live right here today. I am going to live in the NOW today. I am not going backwards, I am not even going to go forward. I am going to stay right here and have dominion and mastery of my own thoughts.”
2) The present expands and heightens our experience of the moment. One of the things that happens when you’re not spending all of your time in the past or future is that you actually have profound moments in the middle of your life! You actually feel connected to the people around you, and feel connected to God. Everything – your joy, peace, love, gratitude – goes through the roof, because you’re actually in the moment you’re having. And when you’re in the moment, you open into this incredible sense of bliss, joy, gratitude and peace, because you’re where you are supposed to be.
Your mind may start to wander and think you’re supposed to be back there or up here … but that never leads to peace. When you actually come fully into the moment and the deep, happy experience that is right in front of you, you experience joy and peace. When the sunset is right in front of you, you actually have it. When your grandkids are playing right in front of you, let yourself have that moment! When your spouse is in front of you, stop thinking about something else and just be right where you are. and see if everything in your life doesn’t go from black-and-white to Technicolor!
3) Living in the moment teaches us abundance. We often imagine abundance as winning the lottery, getting a bonus, or inheriting millions. But what we need to see is that, in the moment, everything we need is provided. In this moment, is there any need that’s not being satisfied? When you stay in the moment, what begins to happen is that you learn that in every moment is an infinite experience of God.
Affirm, “In this moment, I have everything I need.”
If you go from having a moment where you have everything you need, can you imagine that the next moment will be the same? That you will still have everything that you need? You’re just going to roll from one moment to the next moment to the next … and in each of them you will have everything you need. It’s only when you jump into the future that you scare yourself by thinking you’re not going to have enough. Yet everything we need is in every moment. In this moment, you have everything you need. Every moment is like a little egg; in that egg is everything a baby chick needs. Everything your soul needs is encased in this moment.
Affirm again, “In this moment, I have everything I need.”
4) Moving into the moment frees us from anxiety. When we move fully into this moment, our shoulders drop, our mind relaxes, and our tension just goes away. When we move into the moment, we are set free of all anxiety.
More than 30% of Americans have diagnosable levels of anxiety, and over 18% are currently on medication to treat anxiety. Almost a third of the people in this country have levels of anxiety in their lives that are problematic: that get in the way of their lives, relationships, work and enjoyment of life. The way many of us are living now is highly charged with anxiety. We worry about tomorrow, we worry about next week, we worry about our kids, our parents and our relationships
Stop! Move into this moment. Breath. Affirm, “In this moment, I have everything I need.”
5) Living in the moment deepens our connection and awareness of the Divine. There’s a reason that great spiritual teachers lived in the ecstasy of God. They had a heightened sense of ecstasy, because they didn’t have to worry about things. And it’s not because they were supernaturally blessed; they were no more blessed than you or me. It’s that they moved so much in the moment that they lived in a profound connection with the Divine, and were able to touch the ecstasy of God. What they taught over and over again was the simple way of moving into the moment. They taught people how to take dominion over their thoughts, and move the whole focus of their attention into the moment they were having … and then that moment would just open into the ecstasy of God.
Here’s your homework for today. For just today, live in the moment. One moment at a time. If that seems overwhelming, pick just one moment. Bring your thought back to right now. When you worry about the future or past, bring your attention back to the moment. Just be wholly present in that moment.
Affirm, “This moment is all that matters. This moment has my full attention. This moment holds the ecstasy of God.”
Use this affirmation and take dominion over your thoughts. Every time you begin to feel anxious, or start fretting about the past or worrying about the future, consciously stop and bring yourself back into this moment. Bring your thoughts back to, “This moment is all that matters. This moment has my full attention. This moment holds the ecstasy of God!”
God bless you!