Updated: Apr 8, 2022
The term ‘present moment’ gets lots of coverage, especially when mindfulness, flow state or general new age well-being content is concerned. But where else are we if we’re not in the ‘present moment?’
Part of being aware of the present moment is to simply recognise that you cannot be anywhere else. When meeting information which suggests it’s helpful to be in the present moment – whether for a sense of calm or to fully be awake to experience what’s happening – there can be a felt sense that you need to do or try something different to find it.
In fact, there is no need to try to be in the now, or do anything, because you are already there – perhaps you have experienced that it is your mind that is elsewhere only?
The only way to escape the present moment is via our thoughts - which may drag us into replaying the past, or into a wishful future. Being aware of your surroundings, your body and your thoughts at any given moment puts you in touch with now.
Intentionally slowing down and meeting each moment with your full presence, enriches the experience. Naturally, the mind may want to race ahead – perhaps to plans of dinner or a pending holiday – in the act of recognising this, you have again brought #awareness to what you are doing, in tune with the activity, experiencing it more. This ‘remembering’ is all we can do…time and again the mind drifts to its usual thoughts, and time and again, we have the capability to pause, and remember; we may gain freedom from the trap of a continuous stream of thought.
“Paying attention to present moment experience with open curiosity and a willingness to be with what is.”
- Diana Winston
Experiencing feelings of impatience can leads us to understanding that we have built up an inner #resistance to the present moment; the mind can create the illusion that it prefers to be at home when at work, or that you need to rush to finish the grocery shopping because your favourite TV show is on. Postponing happiness in a sense – “I won’t be happy until this is finished, and I am over there…!” With gentle concentration and awareness of the situation right in front of us, each moment can be experienced for exactly what it is, below the mind’s projections on the moment.
Perhaps the best method for staying in the #present #moment is…to have no method. To simply “be” wherever you are, whenever you are. Practices such as formal meditations and various #mindfulness exercises are available to help cultivate more presence, yet ultimately staying in the now requires no effort other than awareness – we just have to remember.