So we are all supposed to “live in the moment” to be happy. If you are a shark like me, this is a struggle. Most of our strength comes from our mind, which when left to roam free will rush to either analyze the past for insight, or predict the future in preparation of it. However, if not controlled, this mental wondering becomes maladaptive and distracts us from the present–aka the most important moment at any given time.
It is hard to move off the mind-roaming treadmill and into, “Okay Lady, think only of NOW…okay, NOW…back to NOW!”
So if the discipline of moment-by-moment awareness feels unnatural, allow me to suggest a great way to get there: with progressive baby steps.
Start by going with the seasons of life, both literal (winter, spring, summer, fall) and figurative (grief, celebration, calm, struggle). Embrace whatever is going on in your life and lean into it, rather than fight it. Live “it” to the hilt, in all its terrible glory.
When stuck, aesthetics can help you work from the outside in–clothing, home decor, food, weekend activities that match the season. Go with the season enough and next you are aware of the room, of the conversation–see what I did there? You are practically living in the moment! Accepting the inevitable and natural turns on the wheel of fortune is freeing.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” -Henry David Thoreau
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, KJV)