We are human beings, not human “doings” or human “havings”.
Yet, despite existing as human beings, we often let the art of “being” escape us. Think about the last time you had “nothing to do”.
How did you feel? Bored, restless, fidgety, anxious, worried, or depressed?
Many of us do feel this type of stress when faced with spare time. We often fill this time however we can, avoiding at all costs the anxiety of being present in the moment.
Living in the moment can feel tricky to master, because of the discomfort that can arise when we push all our thoughts and worries to the side. Here are some steps to living in the moment, or what I call the Clarity Mind State.
1. Spend time alone every day. Spend it in mindfulness meditation, or yoga, prayer or Tai chi. Spend this time without “doing”, and without thinking. When thoughts arise, simply release them, and let them go on their way. Doing this will allow you to witness the frenzied behavior of the mind. The pace of the mind so furious and fast, demanding that you strive to take action to find happiness.
2. Find the simple things that are around you, yet are striking in some way. The saying “stop and smell the roses” reflects this simple joy. The simple things are easy to find: birds singing from the trees, lightning flashing across the sky, or the bright moon on a dark night. There are many joys around you, you have only to look.
3. Be present in conversation. Listen completely to each person, taking in all their words and expressions. Many of us simply “wait to talk” or try to assume to know the other person’s meaning. Listen without thinking about what you will say or finishing sentences. Don’t anticipate another person’s words. Listening is a rare skill these days. It takes practice, and is enhanced considerably by having a quiet, still mind.
4. We are told that we create everything in our life. Whether you believe that or not, believe that you can alter your perspective. Start by accepting what is, and not pining for what isn’t. What is happening right now in your life is what is happening, and no amount of emotion will change the present moment, only the future. Every moment has many perspectives. There is opportunity in misfortune, and there can be joy in the end of something. Sometimes, it may take effort, and determination to see the silver lining – but it is there.
It is difficult for most people to find stillness of the mind. To find meaning in a single moment, free of the material constraints of our current world, and free of the need for achieving, doing, and having, then we have found a miracle within ourselves, and an entirely new world of opportunities will begin to open as a result.