If my grandchild were to ask me what the key to life is, my answer would be to live in the moment. To use your smart brain to realize this moment right now is truth and everything else around it is history or speculation.
Living in the moment is all I have control of. My mind plays tricks on me thinking I can control my next moment by thinking ahead, figuring out what’s next, what to do, what to say, what to wear. But it’s all that, just a trick. A distraction.
Over the years, I’ve suffered from panic attacks that catapult me into an out-of-control state where I can’t deal with life. Panic sets in when I’m reliving the past and speculating about the future. Bringing myself back to the moment is calming because that is what is. What I see and hear and feel right in front of my nose is my moment.
I’m proud I was able to stay present for my interview yesterday. I approached the designated time with excitement. “I am excited” I said. If I chose the words “I am nervous” I knew the cascading effect would be nervous anticipation that would bring in my what if’s and my judgmental shoulds. I’ve learned through practice that nervous anticipation is no fun. Not for me or anyone in my presence. I chose not to go there. I was determined to follow through. Sometimes it’s not so smooth.
Training my brain to stay in the moment is a day-by-day process. Sharing with my community buoys me as I recall others moving through their challenges and coming away with key words that buoy them. Words hold intention. I have to pay attention listening carefully to the words that I speak. I am my own monitor.
Some days, I awaken from dreams that are full of worry and anticipation. I am lost from the get-go. I don’t remember to be present because I am occupied by big puffy demanding worries. I can’t find the door out. I can’t remember where I’m going. With no direction, I happen to glance at my old affirmation written on a tattered index card taped on my bathroom cabinet. It takes a second to read. I fool my brain by reading my message. “I am present in my body.”
One little affirmation can change the direction of my thoughts. One little affirmation brings my awareness to my feet standing on the floor holding up my body leaning on the counter facing the mirror reading the message. I find my moment and remember.
Affirmations are my remedies for moments I am lost from the present. I look at affirmations like prescriptions I write when I diagnose myself with feeling fear, having less-than thinking, feeling doubt, self-judgment, forgetting about self-care. I take action with an affirmation. I look for ways to interrupt my stinking thinking.
I trust my life.
I am safe and I am happy.
I live in expectancy.
I am here now.
I love and accept myself.
I am patient with myself as I navigate through my day.
I hold the answers I am looking for.
The present moment, as small and brief
as it may seem…
a blink of an eye,
a flap of a butterfly’s wing,
is so much bigger than our biggest fears,
and more real than
every doubt we’ve ever entertained…
It’s more alive than our past can ever be,
and the only place
full of the empty spaces
where the only limit is our imagination.
The present moment is the only place where we really are,
and we have so much to lose
if we let it get away.
It is only now that anything is possible,
and second chances are available.
This is the window of time where choices can be made
and opportunities are on the table.
But we think we have time.
That there’s always tomorrow.
We wait for the perfect moment to act
and in truth there’s no such thing.
Because what we do now affects
what we can do with the next moment…
and becomes the direction
we are going…
Thank you for the reading and its gift of Peace in the present today.
Thank you. That was a great reminder to me to stay in the moment. I’m teaching a challenging class later, excited about it, not nervous. I have a very busy week as well, a bit overwhelming. That’s the future. And it’s my parent’s anniversary, that’s the past. It’s a good reminder to be in the now, to focus. I think I focused for about a minute in the meditation. Thank you for the reminder.
I loved the reading. I want to share it with a family member who suffers from panic attacks. I had the image of a drop of water getting fuller and fuller, the present moment gathering clarity and fullness, and then it drops. And it’s past.
That was a beautiful reading and it sent me on quite a journey. It started with a memory. Just before the meditation, I looked out the window and saw that the snow had covered a labyrinth that I have in my yard, except for the statute of Buddha in the middle. All I could see was his head. It was a beautiful image. But it was a memory. That’s not present. What came was I was sitting in Buddha’s lap and I was very small like a fairy. It felt like the present, a vision of that memory transformed into right now. That was a whole journey for me. I would come back and breathe, and then go on journeys around my yard and then come back. Thank you.
I believe in cellular memory and I hold in my body memories that come up when they are ripe to come up. And they catapult me back into pain and I am back experiencing them. That takes me out of the now. I do know, as Matt Kahn says, when you hear it, you clear it, when you see it, you heal it. I believe as I stay in the present and experience that memory, it gets it out and keeps me going instead of falling back into the past.
You talked about the present and affirmations. There can be negative affirmations. I never realized it for what it was. When I was in a small women’s dorm in college, when there was a male visitor, we had to bow down and say “I know my heart, I know my mind, I know that I stick out behind.” That came up for some reason. And during the meditation, I changed it to “I know my heart, I know my mind, I am loved, I know compassion.” I changed that affirmation in the present moment so that that would stay with me. Thank you.
I didn’t settle down during the meditation for even a minute. I thought about moments. My cats are getting elderly and it is heart-breaking. It’s easy for me to get into panic and anxiety around my family member in terms of health and money. I love the moments taking care of the cats, making sure they are comfortable, smoothing out their beds, stirring up their food. Tender moments of caring for them. Present moment tasks. Thank you.
That was really good. It’s so helpful to be in the present especially when we have anxiety, to come back to the present. Being present is a present to ourselves. When I really feel that I can be in the moment, it feels like, whatever I am trying to do, there’s an intelligence in the room bigger than my own intelligence. If I can get ego out of the way, I can’t be thinking about me and what I want and be in the present moment. It’s like the present moment has an instant silence. The present moment is pregnant with possibility. When you try to plan things out, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. In the present moment, there is a profound intelligence. It’s like the eye of the storm.
Thank you. It’s so interesting you said that. During the meditation, I went to the eye of the storm. I remembered we talked the other day about the eddy current in whitewater. During the meditation, there were times I could let go of the swirl of my outer world, the past, the speculation on the future. I was gifted awareness of an Alanis Morissette song Not As We yesterday. I heard the melody and allowed myself to really take it in. I had a moment of just grieving for my husband. In that moment, I am aware I am here now, this is now now, but still there are measures of grief that I need to release in order to get from here to the next phase. It was beautiful. It reminded me of a paradigm shift. It’s like left-brain, right-brain. There is a greater intelligence and there is also a creativeness that goes along with the intelligence that transforms up in the moment. A paradigm shift. I can’t change this thing, like my husband dying. Looking at it, it’s like looking at a tip of a pen that looks like a blue dot. But if you change your perspective to another view of the pen, it isn’t a blue dot anymore. That’s a paradigm shift. When I sit in community and listen to you share and our heart energies connect, the higher intelligence and higher creativity can come in and be transformed. It’s more than just I’m changing my affirmation by changing my words from being nervous to excited, it changes us on a cellular level.
Thank you. Thank you for being in this community. What a gift. I’m grateful. The steady steadfastness, the daily surety. It feeds my soul. I hear that it feeds your soul. Thank you for listening to my words and for being willing to be here every day and being present. It says a lot about loving yourselves as I love myself.