Live in the Moment

sad woman“We crucify ourselves between two thieves:  regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.  ~Fulton Oursler

Every moment that we are alive is an opportunity for healing. When we live in the moment, we can let go of our suffering and let joy enter our lives.

People suffer because they want things to be other than what they are. It is impossible to live in the moment and suffer, because suffering is by nature a function of either attachment to what once was (loss) or desire for what we wish would be (yearning.) When we live in the moment we do feel pain, anger, sadness and confusion– the normal spectrum of emotions that remind us of who we are.  But it is only when we forget to stay  present with our experience– when we allow ourselves to forget the truth that this too, shall pass — that we become overwhelmed with longing for something else. Staying in the moment frees us from longing and this frees us from suffering.  Staying in the moment allows us to experience our pain without fear.

For the next few days, make a mental note to stay in the moment. When you feel yourself dwelling on painful memories or remembering the happiness of the past with yearning for what is lost, pull yourself back to the present. If you find yourself in fear, wondering if the pain that you feel today will still be with you tomorrow, come back to the moment. Breathe deeply, stay present and feel your emotions shift. This moment to moment living is where healing takes place.

Journaling exercise

As you work on keeping your awareness on the present moment, pay attention to where your mind tries to take you instead. Is it pulling you into the past,  where old wounds ache and  resentments linger? Or is it drawing you towards the future, with its nightmares and daydreams that will never come to pass?
Whatever the answer, the force that is drawing you away from the present  is your subconscious mind. Pay attention to what it is saying to you, for it is showing you where your life needs healing. Let these insights point you towards ways to bring the healing power of joy into your life.

“It’s such a paradox for them to say, “Oh, my God, I’ve thrown away my life,” and continue to do that for the last month of their life. I shake them, physically shake them, and say, “What about now? What about now?” ~Dr. Hunter ‘Patch’ Adams

Next exercise: Live With Awareness

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