fbpx

Right here, right now

There’s one constant in life and that’s change. The seasons change, our relationships change – and just look at the speed at which technology changes! So what does it mean to live in the moment? asks Tracy Manu

There’s one constant in life and that’s change. The seasons change, our relationships change – and just look at the speed at which technology changes! So what does it mean to live in the moment? asks Tracy Manu

One global study used iPhones to gauge the mental state of more than 2,000 volunteers several times a day. The results indicate that, to stay cheerful, you’re better off focusing on the present, no matter how unpleasant it is.
–Science Magazine

There seems to be a feeling of ever-present movement in life. We seem to think we’re better people if we can just add two more activities to our already-busy schedules, or we think that checking our emails one last time before we go to bed will make a difference to our lives.

In her book Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, Dr Libby Weaver makes the point that all this dashing about isn’t good for our mental, physical or spiritual health.

The alternative to this hustle and bustle way of life is present-moment living. It allows us to be more mindful of the way we live and the decisions we make. We become responsive rather than reactive and we’re more aware of the thoughts we think and the words we speak. When we rush throughout our day we don’t have the time to notice what races through our minds. We don’t stop to ask ourselves if our decisions are truly making us happy.

Jane* came to see me because she wanted to build her confidence and find a new job. After a couple of sessions I noticed she was mentioning her past job quite often. I asked her to take note of how much time she spent in each of the following areas during a typical day:
• Past – thinking about what could have been, what happened back then, or how that person upset her.
• Present – aware of her surroundings, listening to our conversation right here, right now, not thinking about the washing that needed to be hung out at home!
• Future – imagining how life will be better once she has a new job, or all the things she needs to do.

Turns out Jane was spending 60 percent in the past, 25 percent in the future and only paying 15 percent of her attention to the present. This exercise was a real eye-opener for Jane. She was spending most of her time in the past thinking about her former job, or in the future thinking about how life would be better once she had a new job. What she also hadn’t realised was how negative all her self-talk had become.

Armed with this new awareness, we devised a few simple exercises that helped Jane spend about 70 to 75 percent of her time in the present moment. This included:
• A morning ritual when she wakes up, giving thanks for all the good things in her life.
• Checking in throughout the day to monitor her thoughts for negativity.
• Noticing if she begins breathing faster or starts rushing about, and slowing herself back down.
• Taking time at the mirror to look into her eyes and say mantras about being present and being confident.
• Decluttering her physical surroundings and dealing with jobs when they arise.

With her new habits to give each day structure, it wasn’t long before Jane’s confidence was growing. She was far more present throughout our sessions and she began discovering she could meet her daily challenges. After a couple of months Jane had a new job and was offered another one. But the biggest difference was that she became more calm and loving because she was more content – right here, right now.

*Not her real name

Tracy Manu is a lifestyle coach and mother in a blended family of five teenagers. For more inspiration, visit her blog at here

Share the love
Rate This Article:
Previous Article
Next Article
Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Sign up to our email newsletters for your weekly dose of good
ErrorHere