What Does it Mean to Stay in the Present Moment?

Are you one of the millions of people that rush blindly through the day, fall into bed exhausted, and wake up the next morning to do it all over again?  For many of us, our lives are composed of thousands of meaningless moments, all strung together.  With some stroke of luck, there may be a sprinkling of sacred moments mixed in.  I’m sure you can think of a few sacred moments in youSusan Karimr life –  your wedding, the birth of your child or children, a reunion with a long lost friend or relative, or perhaps a heart stopping moment of connection in the middle of the natural world surrounding you.  These are the moments that fully consume us with joy and awe. It is during these moments that we are completely present in the moment. We aren’t thinking about tomorrow or trying to rush through the experience to get to the next. We are fully in the now, and the now is truly amazing.

Why do we have to wait for major events to honor these sacred moments?  Isn’t every day and every moment just as sacred?  It can, and it should be, but only if we decide to make it that way.  As I stated above, our lives are filled with meaningless moments, but they are meaningless only because we don’t honor them.  We are rushing about, focusing on other things, and not stopping to notice these gems at all. They come and they go without so much as an acknowledgment from us.

Honoring the sacred means choosing to make each moment count.  It is a tiny shift in perception that gives meaning and importance to each moment. It means stopping to notice the beauty and love around us and within us. It means being fully present in each moment, because it is only the present moment that exists.  So many of us worry about the future, hold regrets about the past, and completely ignore the present. When we give the now our full attention, even the simplest tasks can take on an aura of holiness and our lives become enriched with millions of meaningful moments. Nothing has changed except our perception, but it makes all the difference.

How do we change our perception to one of sacredness? What does it mean to stay in the present moment? Let me illustrate with the following example: washing dishes. When most of us wash dishes, we hurry through it, often thinking about the hundreds of other things that we have to get done that hour, that day, or even the next day. Our minds are scattered all over the place, focusing on everything but what we are doing. Who can blame us? Washing dishes is not the most exciting thing we have to do in our day. However, if we choose to make it a sacred experience, we will want to focus on it. We will take the time and pay attention to how the water feels on our hands, how the soap bubbles and cleans away the grease and leaves the dishes pristine, and the sense of satisfaction we get as every dish goes from the dirty pile to the drainer, sparkling and clean.

I guarantee that many of you are scratching your heads and thinking that it still doesn’t sound very exciting to wash the dishes. Bear with me for a moment and take a closer look at what else is happening. As we direct our full attention to washing the dishes, we are not only doingWE ARE BEING. Light bulb moment!  It really doesn’t matter what we’re doing or not doing in each moment of our lives, only that we become more aware of our own state of Being. It is in those moments that we are fully alive and conscious. We are connected to everything, and we are one with everything. Simply put – WE ARE.

Are you familiar with a walking meditation? This is a very simple way to help you honor the sacred in your own life. Many of us walk for health or recreation, but we can also walk for spiritual awareness. A walking meditation is a moderately paced, focused walk where you give your full attention to each step you take, the feel of your muscles working, your breathing, and your surroundings. The secret to making the walking meditation work is to stay focused on the here and now and not to let your mind wander.  It takes practice to get into this state, but once you have accomplished it, your life will never be the same.

Imagine how amazing it will be to live a full and meaningful life. Imagine the multitude of miracles happening all around you. Imagine being filled with awe and gratitude each day, and laying down to sleep each night feeling at peace and completely relaxed. This can be your life – your sacred life.  Just do it!

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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