I’ve been noticing it. As a whole we spend lots of time and money toward dissecting the past or planning the future. I understand these things can be valuable, but I woke up this morning with a line in my heart that has brought me to this keyboard.
The past and the future are nothing compared to now.
And I know this to be the truth because it rings true in my heart and soul. The present moment, the one right now, is the most beautiful moment we have and what we do with it is completely up to us.
Here are seven ways to practice enjoying life now.
1. Turn your phone off.
Derek and I started having set hours that we turned our phones off. We left our phones at home when we went for walks and turned them off during meals. We went as far as getting rid of text messaging so that we did not feel the need to be “on call”. It’s much easier to engage in conversations, enjoy meals and nature when there aren’t any phones ringing and buzzing every few minutes. (We have since given up cell phones all together and we love it!)
2. Do one thing at a time.
Multi-tasking is overrated. Many would argue that multi-tasking increases productivity but I have not found that to be true in my own life. Doing more than one thing at a time leaves me feeling frazzled because I know that I didn’t give anything my full attention. All I can say is try it. When you’re talking with someone, engage and be all there. Don’t try to cook and mop and send an e-mail at the same time.
3. Be particular about the company you keep.
When I decided to get serious about focusing on the present moment and enjoying it to the fullest I became much more aware of who I spent my time with. I could no longer bring myself to spend two or three hours with people who I didn’t really click with. If I didn’t leave with the feeling that we were both better because of our time together, I didn’t reschedule. Take some time to think about who are the best people to be spending time with, it’s important to enjoying this moment.
4. Take a 6 month fast from TV.
Derek and I turned off the cable last September. We wanted to dedicate more time to reading, writing, drawing, really any creative activities. For starters the evenings instantly became longer and more peaceful. We found that we were connecting in new ways and we began cheering each other on in our creative endeavors. The reason I say take a six month fast is because if you take six months off, you won’t want to go back. You will soon fill your time with much richer experiences and you’ll wonder why you ever gave up so much time to that mind-rotting box.
5. Make a date with Nature.
Spending time outdoors is a great way to focus on the present moment. Whether it’s stepping out on the patio and letting the sun shine on your face or going for an hour walk through the forest, time with Nature is always amazing. I don’t believe we were designed to be inside all day long. Even when it’s chilly out, I’ve learned to get bundled up and at least admire the sky for a few minutes each day. Set up a date with Nature and let her take your breathe away.
6. Communicate your true feelings.
Open and honest communication makes it possible to really enjoy the moment. By finding our voice and opening up with ourselves first and then those around us we will find ourselves in more satisfying relationships. When we stuff feelings and let words go unspoken when we really want to share them, it causes regret and that makes it difficult to enjoy right now. So, write that letter, make that call and practice communicating in ways that will strengthen your relationships.
7. Invest in your health.
Often times we aren’t enjoying right now because we’ve neglected to take care of our bodies and minds. Whether it’s weight problems, backward thinking or just feeling lethargic, how we feel in our physical bodies will greatly impact our present experience. I have found that whether it’s my body, mind or emotions, giving myself the best fuel possible, ensures I feel good. For example, when I’m off physically, I can choose healthier options with food and I’m right back on track. If it’s with my mind, I’ll take some time to read books that inspire and encourage me. The bottom line is, do whatever is necessary to get yourself feeling as good as possible.
Even if you feel that you are currently in less than ideal circumstances you can chose to enjoy this present moment. Yes, at any given time we can choose to start practicing the art of living in the now. And when you find yourself drifting off into last year or next week, just remember this…
All your power, all your joy and all the magic is in this present moment.Hungry for More, Monique Alvarez p.s. If there are typos, spelling or grammar mistakes in this post don’t worry about. Those are the kinds of things I’ve worried about for FAR too long. It’s time to just get it out and who cares if it’s not perfect, it’s from the heart!