We hear this phrase of live in the here and now and don’t always understand it. Sometimes it has more meaning than we realise. Live for the here and now is a really good inspirational quote to keep in mind. Words of wisdom at their best.
How can this have any kind of meaning for me?
Society has a way of influencing us in so many ways. Some subtle, almost subliminal and others almost like threats.
Depending on where we live, the moment a baby is conceived, parents are in an almost battle-like mode trying to register their child or children into the best nursery/pre-school and school they can. They try to move to the best school district and the list goes on.
The baby is not even born yet and already plans are made. That is of course the families who can afford to choose between the best possible care and education they can pay for. Most families make the best choices they can with what they have.
Children are taught to go to school, get an education, and plan out their future. What college to apply for, what course and what career.
It is as if we are in a constant state of living sometime in the future.
What about the here and now?
Yes, I agree of course a certain amount of planning is needed in managing a family. The question is exactly how much can we plan and how much are we reacting to things as they happen to us. We become so focused on the future that we don’t see what is happening in the here and now.
People seem to be thinking about next weekend, next month, and even next year.
The advertisements are non stop. E.g. Book your summer holiday for next year.
– How do I know where I want to go?
– Maybe we can’t go there.
– Maybe we would rather have a few city breaks and not another sun holiday in a hotel complex.
– Wait, we just came back from our holiday this year and would like to enjoy dreaming about all the different places we could go on holiday. Keep our minds open to other potential destinations.
Procrastination or just forgetting?
Every one of us has so many different things to do in one day and while we think we could manage them all and get through everything, we end up procrastinating and not even achieving some of the simple tasks. We end up worrying about not getting them done and feel guilty about it. Yes, we can also have just forgotten about them and when we realise our mistake we are frustrated and mad at ourselves for not completing the task when we had the chance to that day.
What does live in the here and now mean?
To explain what it means for me.
I know my list of things that need to be done and errands that have to be completed. Yeah!
Ok, so heading into town I know what is first on the list and what is next. I am feeling good.
The first stop at the post office is quick and all done. Ah! the relief of ticking that one off the list so I head to the next one, the chemist and there is a long queue.
Now instead of thinking this is ok I know why I am here and all is good. I am not even thinking about all that I need to do here. I am already thinking about the next task and maybe even the third or fourth and what was planned for dinner again?
When I am finally at the counter I forget half the things I was actually in for. Maybe the questions I needed to ask about the medication.
I was not in the moment at all.
So how can I learn how to live in the moment?
I tried to start a new routine which hopefully will become a habit.
I wrote out my list of tasks, errands and potential questions to gather information, trying to to remain focused and remember what I needed to do.
The list was made and I remembered to bring it along with me. That is very important.
While I was at the bank I had the list to ensure all the tasks were completed. No need to worry about the next thing. I was present in the moment right there. I knew what was next and all the other tasks that had to be done. Stop at the dry cleaners to drop off some items and then the toy store to buy presents for an upcoming birthday party.
I also made time to stop at the cafe that I was always rushing by and just glancing at it wondering what it was like inside. I used to make time for those moments of calm. Life has a way of making us busier than we should be.
Yes, I made time to go into the cafe, sit down and enjoy the cup of coffee in my hand. I could smile knowing I was on top of things and just savour the moment. Observe the people coming and going. I found myself smiling and thinking were they in the rush rush mentality of trying to remember what it was they were meant to do and losing time in the process.
The feeling of not having enough time to stop
If you find you are stressed and seem to have no time for yourself, you are not alone. Whether you have family, children or your own life to manage. It is all time consuming. It is time to make time work for us, not the other way around.
So if we can’t make or stop time we need to understand it and use it better.
No one can buy time, not even the elite and super rich. We all have the here and now and it is up to us to just stop and breathe. Live in the here and now.
We can only focus on the now and do what we can right now. It can lead to so many opportunities and possibilities.
Who lives in the here and now?
There are people who live in the moment. Who are they? Children, especially young children who have not been brainwashed into the rush rush mentality.
A guilty pleasure of mine is spending time with small children. They have a wonderful natural ability to stop time. Have you ever gone for a walk with a toddler? Distance is not the goal, the few steps along the way are. If you walk along at their pace or speed they are taking in so much of the world. They notice the ants scurrying across the path, some even carrying food. The bright butterfly and the colours of the flowers. The shape of a pebble or leaf.
They are the ultimate living in the moment gurus. Have you noticed how you feel when you let yourself go and switch everything off other than focusing on what the child or children see?
It is a feeling of freedom and happiness, a feeling of awe seeing the world through the eyes of the child. Stress or worry seems to melt away for those moments.
No, I don’t mean we should all behave like this all the time. However, if we take some moments in our day to stop and smell the roses, to stop and take a breath and notice some amazing things that are happening right here and right now it can be the grounding that we need to find that inner peace again. Who knows what exciting things can happen if we learn how to live in the here and now.