Being in the moment, for me, is incredibly difficult. I have an extremely busy mind and, for this reason, Mindfulness Meditation is a complete challenge for me. (I also appreciate that this is the reason I need to practice it!) My mind is constantly flitting from one thought to the next, to the next, to the next…It can be really exhausting, sometimes, and it takes a lot to get me out of my head, into my body, and grounded in reality. This is why running is so important to me – it’s probably the one thing I do where I am able to switch off my thoughts long enough to mentally drop back into my body and be in the present moment.
When I was a teenager, I had a terrible issue with looking back to the past and wanting things as they were ‘then.’ (Those Rose-tinted glasses definitely had their fair share of wears…) However, as I got older and much more optimistic about the future, it flipped – I was much more concerned with what was next, what was happening next, the next goal to achieve, the next job to work toward…etc.
The present moment has never really had a chance to be rooted in my life but, turning 28 this year and with 30 just around the corner, I feel I need to learn how to be present. Be here now. This has been a running theme in a few of my blog posts recently so I’m tuning into this vibe and paying attention.
You see, the problem that I have is that I am constantly wishing for the weekend, or wishing for payday, or wishing for the next social engagement, or the next holiday…I have always tried to avoid living for the weekend but, nowadays, I find myself doing just that. It’s fucking tragic and I’m kicking myself for falling into this trap. In waiting for the weekend, I’m wishing away my life and it’s just not worth it anymore. I mean, it’s June. It’s fucking JUNE! When did that happen?! Where have the last six months gone?! Life just seems to pick up speed as time goes on and it’s intimidating…
The other aspect of my personality is my want for everything now. As my friend said one day, “I want everything Amazon Prime!” I’ve always been this way but, in a society which encourages this, my microwave-mentality is given ammo and I’m finding myself ever impatient for the good things in life and the things I want.
The problem with this is that the time I spend wishing away my life, and avoiding being in the present moment, I am failing to listen to myself in the mean time. For example, you all know – and if you know me in person, you definitely know – how much I struggle living in a city. Good god, what was I thinking? I’ve spent two years here and they’ve passed by in a blur of constant whinging about other people and how hard it is and how expensive it is and how boring it is (ironically) and how I can’t wait for the day to leave! But…how can I give myself the chance to enjoy it if I’m constantly wishing to leave? In particular (and this is very important for me), how can I learn and grow from this experience if I’m avoiding being fully here?
In fact, this applies to anything – how can I feel my present emotions if I’m avoiding living in the now? How can I focus on what I truly need today if I’m forever dreaming of tomorrow? How can I possibly discern the steps needed right now to achieve my future goals if I am too busy daydreaming that distant future place?
Because life, when you think about it, is all about those small moments that contribute to our contentment and joy. It’s the first sign of Spring, it’s the hot days spent reading in the sunshine, it’s the late evenings watching Friends (thank you, Netflix!), it’s time spent with friends over a coffee, it’s the hot cup of tea after a long day, it’s the afternoon spent with family eating rapidly melting ice-cream, it’s just little Lego bricks of momentary pleasures that build a satisfying existence. I just want skip the construction part and go straight to having the ready-made thing. It’s good to have goals and it’s great to have things to look forward to but, when I’m sacrificing the small moments that contribute to each and every day, I ultimately miss out. And the only way to truly appreciate these moments isn’t by taking them for granted or wishing them away in place of bigger, spectacular events (or the fucking weekend) but just being absolutely present in each and every moment. Taking it for face value, not predicting and planning, not anticipating or pre-empting, but just showing up and being fully absorbed in whatever you are doing at that time.
That way, I can truly drop into my body and my present mind. I can feel how I react to certain moments – for example, if I find myself wishing for the weekend, why? Do I enjoy my job? If not, why not? What about my career makes me want the week to be over? If I find myself daydreaming more and more about that next holiday – what about my present situation makes me feel so uncomfortable that I feel I need to take a two hour flight to Italy to escape this? What do I need to change in my day-to-day living that allows me to have those moments of relaxation? If I’m finding myself fantasizing about the day I get into a relationship – what’s the cause of my discomfort and boredom with being alone? Do I feel incomplete without a significant other in my life? Is this desire even mine, or is it born out of pressure from my friends/family?
I think this is going to be my challenge for the next few months. Just simply being in each moment, taking in each sight and sound and smell and taste and my own fucking feelings. Loving myself enough to be thankful for my life and not wishing it away for some future goal/dream/Saturday-goddamn-morning.
…Does any of this make sense? I hope it does…
It’s helped me, anyway.
Thanks for listening and being here with me now.