Shifting our consciousness to get into the present moment is the necessary foundation for creating a life of our dreams. The present moment is everything. Literally.
People meditate, climb mountains, surf the ocean, listen to music, and dance the night away all to feel alive in the present moment.
But we’re not always meditating or on an awesome adventure. Most often than we’d like to admit, the cycle of life keeps the present moment hidden from our view. Monday arrives… and we can’t help but think about Friday.
We need to get in the present moment in our daily lives – at work and around the house. That’s where we spend most of our time, and where the power of the present moment lies. It’s where true concentration and enjoyment of life resides.
Here are 4 unusual and highly effective ways to live in the present moment
1. Pick one positive thing you enjoy and make it conscious
Using the trigger, you continually anchor yourself in the present moment. Practice makes perfect.
For example, let the next time you drink coffee (and every time after that) forever be different.
Make it into a magical experience.
Use your senses fully.
Pick the fresh cup up… watch the flowing steam rise.
Close your eyes and take a deep whiff.
Feel the gratitude for that delicious coffee.
Don’t just drink it. Feel it.
Let time stop as you appreciate that special moment… that special coffee.
Take a deep breath. Let that gratitude expand. Allow yourself to drop into an overall sense of “Wow. This is awesome. I’m so happy to be alive. Right now. Thank you.”
The coffee becomes a trigger: You anchor yourself in the present moment every time you drink coffee.
But it doesn’t have to be coffee.
You can do it with anything: tea, food, a light jog in the neighborhood, or any action you repeatedly take. With practice, your subconscious mind will associate that trigger with the experience of being in the present moment. And voila! You’ll find yourself in the present moment without even trying.
I’m ALWAYS drinking tea while working. I’ve trained myself to do so. I instinctively reach for the cup, raise it, and then everything is in-breath, out-breath–and a deep need to smile.
2. Notice when you’re NOT present
You’re driving down the highway, excited for the plans with your friend. Suddenly – he sends you a puzzling text that leaves you without a clue on how to interpret it.
‘What does that mean? Is he mad? Angry? Should I turn around? Did that driver just cut me off?’
Your total mental and emotional state shifts to confusion. The mind takes you down a cascading river of thoughts until you realize:
‘Wow, I’m totally not present.’
Now. Don’t get mad at yourself. Don’t beat yourself up cause you weren’t in the present moment!
In fact, do the opposite: celebrate!
Why? Because the realization that you are not present is a great success. That realization itself IS presence.
At that moment, know that your awareness means you are IN the present moment. Here’s what to do next:
- Laugh! At how ridiculous the human mind is.
- Take a deep breath through your nose.
Choose to focus: “what’s going on in front of me right now?”
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3. Find the white spaces in life
Most people know what being present is like when absorbed in an activity.
What about the moments in between activities? The white spaces of life?
Waiting in line, on the way to the bathroom, going to the bathroom, closing the car door, turning off the lights, printing the document, putting your stuff in the backpack, locking the front door–whatever the case may be — a large portion of our lives consists white spaces.
These moments are easy to slip out of the present moment:
- In times of stress, our minds take our thoughts in all different directions.
- In times of boredom, we instinctively reach to scroll through our devices.
But undeniably, these white space moments are ripe for the present moment. All you need to do is make those white spaces conscious.
Make a list of those idle moments. Start to notice them.
Then the next time you’re waiting in line and feel an urge for your mind to wander… Snap out of it!
Fair warning: you may feel a weird need to smile. It’s a common side effect when you wake up to the beauty that’s always going on around you.
4. Ask this question
Whenever you ask a question, your mind will find the answer – at whatever the cost.
The best question I have EVER found to get yourself into the present moment comes from Eckhart Tolle’s classic The Power of Now:
“Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing?”
The beauty of this question is that, immediately upon asking it, you invite more joy, ease, and lightness into your actions.
Negativity has no place when you live in the present moment. When you act with joy, ease, or lightness, you are fully present. When you ask this question, it will not only alert you to your current state but also initiate the necessary components to get in the present moment.
You automatically become more present.
Try it for yourself right now and see what happens! ☺
Get into the habit of asking the question regularly.
How do you know if you’re really living in the present moment?
Gratitude will naturally arise whenever you are in the present moment.
You will be grateful for what you have and what you are doing – for merely being.