“Your natural state is joy.” I had that quote on my fridge for years.
And every time I would pass it by, I would feel a moment of awareness, of seeing something which resonated within me as truth. Then, just as quickly as that moment came, it would pass as my glance shifted to the next object, the next thought.
And that’s how I lived my life – ricocheting from one moment to the next. I was never “still” enough to just be in the present moment.
It was a hollow way to live. An afterthought of a life, really.
Stop Trying to Control the Moment. Experience It Instead.
Today, living is different for me. Things are not always amazing or wonderful, but I am here. I am experiencing the Now’s of my life. I am available for this present moment. It is a moment un-reigned, undictated: it does not have to “be” or unfold in a certain way. And when I truly disengage from the urge to reign or dictate my present moment, when I let go of the selfish need to impose my own expectations upon that moment, that is when I can actually experience that moment and all that it brings.
Do you see that when you try to manage your experience by resisting how things inherently are then you never truly experience anything? Resistance naturally implies thinking – it is impossible to resist anything without simultaneous thinking and judgement . The actual resistance is based on the thoughts that something is “bad” or “undesirable.” The moment your mind starts narrating an event and you give precedence to that dialoge, the real-life experience of that moment is lost. And the irony of all of this spent energy, is that your resistance CHANGES NOTHING. Nothing that you are thinking has an effect whatsoever on what is occurring. We engage in this pulling back, backing away, squeezing shut our eyes, etc. in an effort to change what is happening, but this resistance doesn’t change what is happening, it only heightens our own internal aversion.
When we shut down from present moment awareness, we miss out on our entire existence. It takes a mammoth amount of emotional energy to resist, repress, distract, and continuously identify with your mind. It takes absolutely NO energy to release yourself into the awareness of the now and to open yourself to what is directly before you. Indeed, you actually feel energized, rested, and replenished when you embrace the present moment. When the frantic mind is quieted (even for only brief moments, for example, when you are washing the dishes, sitting at a red light, spending time with a loved pet) and you are no longer engaged in dualistic thinking (separated from the present moment and others/me and them/etc.), than you actually draw in strength, energy, and peace. You are better able to harness your own natural center and, therefore, are more innately productive and fulfilled. When we can accept the present moment for what it is and embrace the truth that there is nothing lacking from it, then we can stop trying to manufacture a different moment now and that will follow. When the manufacturing of artificial moments begins to slow, then your real life begins to appear.
Focus Your Attention and Be in the Now
It is really about capturing your attention and focus for the moment. Because experiencing the present moment with your attention on that particular moment is what brings forth the essence of being in that moment.
It’s like a light. Imagine, a magnificent lighthouse with its powerful beam of light illuminating its surroundings. You also have the magnificent ability to focus your beam of attention, your light, if you will. So, you have to ask yourself what is yours shining on?
Take this moment and consider this: Where is your attention?
Ask yourself this question, for there is no other question more important than it.
Don’t lose the value of the moment in its fleetingness. And don’t lose the treasure which I’ve just shared with you, for it is indeed, a treasure worth clinging on to. So, right now, in this present moment, write something down to capture this singular truth and to remind yourself, and when you wake up tomorrow, before your feet hit the ground and you’re off and running, return to this place of knowing. Remind yourself of the vitality you can experience just by living each moment of your day. You deserve that. The people in your life deserve that. The day and the individual moments that define it deserves that.
Embrace the truth that you can experience joy in this moment. Smile, and realize the possibility that everything is as it should be, and in this moment (if only this tiny one) try to actually enjoy yourself. Try to actually laugh and have fun. Be serious. Be silly. Be whatever you want to be. But allow yourself to BE by focusing your attention here and now.
Unleash the Joy in Every Moment
Every moment is made up of the Now. All your pasts are made up of a million different Nows that have come and gone. Your future is made up of the Now’s that will be. So how about actually experiencing one or two of those? Treat yourself, and unleash the joy in each moment by recognizing the inherent value of the present Now and of each Now that will follow.
Take a deep breath and resolve to be an active participant in your life. Resolve to slow down the frantic pace of your day and exchange the energy of resistance for that of appreciation. Look someone else in the eyes. Say thank you, and truly mean it, when someone holds the door open for you. Place your judgments aside, and allow yourself to just marvel in the beauty of the world. Allow yourself to marvel at the colors, the smells, and the rhythm of the day. Allow yourself to be there. Allow yourself to attend to the presence of each moment of this hour, of this day. Bask in the luxury of being in the present moment.
There is no better way to have a remarkable day. There is no better way to unleash the joy waiting to be discovered within each moment.