A Unique Perspective on “Living in the Moment”

Guest Post by Melissa Reyes

“Presenting Myself Positively and Living to My Full Potential is What Living in the Moment Means to Me.”

I discovered this when I realized that I wanted to be called a writer. I have been writing all my life, in journals, and I knew that I could do it. I am an accomplished executive assistant and have worked for very high level business executives for whom I wrote documents and letters without a hitch. I have published hundreds of newsletters for banks, church groups and schools with articles that I wrote and edited. I had a blog where I posted reviews, articles, interviews, poems, songs, and memoirs for years before I would even consider calling myself a writer! Why? The reason is because it was my perception that I could not be considered a writer since I had not been published by a certified publisher. I have not submitted my work to any magazine or publishing house. Yet, I write. I am a writer. Right here, right now. I am a writer. In this moment, this is who I am.

In every moment only I can define who I am, what I want, and how I act. I am who I am.

I asked my friends on Facebook what “Living in the Moment” meant to them. I received varied responses which fascinated me and made me think. I frequently say that I believe in living in the moment. I tell others to practice living in the moment. It is a monumental realization to me that it means very different things to different people. I realize now that I must be careful to clarify what living in the moment means to me. First, I will take a look at what others think. . .

The Artist:
Faith Ringgold

The Caldecott Honor winner is best known for her painted story quilts, which include “Dinner at Gertrude Stein’s” and “Dancing at the Louvre.”

“Back when I was starting out, someone at a party asked me what I did, and I said, ‘I’m an artist.’ And a friend of mine said, ‘Faith, would you please stop telling people you’re an artist? You’re not an artist. You’re an art teacher.’ I thought: ‘That’s interesting that she thinks she can tell me who I am. I’m the one who determines when I’m an artist. And that’s right here, right now.'” (Read more here)

“Living in the Moment Means Not Thinking About the Future.”

I was surprised at this reaction, but oh, so grateful to have received it. I honestly think this represents what my kids think I mean when I say that I choose to be “living in the moment.”  This comment made me consider, do people think that I don’t care about what happens in the days ahead when I proclaim that I am living in the moment? In fact, it is quite the opposite. I am most concerned about not obsessing needlessly about the past! I am trying to let go of the baggage and the perceived expectations and the self-imposed pressure of doing things right. By doing this, I may be projecting an attitude of carelessness.

Living in the moment does not mean not being concerned about my actions. It does not mean that I do not care about what happens in the future. I do not live with reckless abandon. I know my friend did not mean that when she said, “not thinking about the future.” But that is what I immediately processed. In fact, I believe that living in the moment is about thinking about the future.

Living in the moment is about being responsible and true to yourself in the present, which can result in a very positive future.

“Living in the Moment Means Being Present to Fully Drink Up Life’s Gifts.”

I believe that “living in the moment” can be celebratory. I believe it is important to celebrate the everyday moments. Let’s recognize the little milestones and accomplishments along with the big blessings in life. A friend commented on that note quite beautifully when she said, living in the moment means “being present to fully drink up life’s gifts.” When we become consumed with the minutiae in our life, we check out. We become distracted with over thinking everything we have to remember and everything we have to do. We become absent. So, remind yourself to be present.

When you “check in” you can experience, process, absorb and “drink in” all the little miracles in your day to day life.

“Living in the Moment Means Focusing on what is Around You at the Time- Minus Media.”

For some people, constantly and consistently checking the pulse of media influence is vital to their everyday focus. They are the speed readers, the multi-taskers, the skimmers of information, the keepers of statistics and the trend setters. They know what is happening and they set the tone for the rest of us. To someone like this, I can see how “living in the moment” would mean taking a breather to be available and present to what is actually happening to them.

Another friend put it this way, “Focusing on now, appreciating the blessing that moment is.” Tearing yourself away from the thoughts buzzing around about the next big idea and thinking about the many commitments that are being made can be difficult. It takes a little extra effort to stop and focus on the people and the events that are happening now. To live, really live, and enjoy a moment – with your family, your friends, your significant other, anyone who is important to you – is what it means to live in the moment. Bless each chance you get to break away from the fast life. Slow down and soak in the real people standing before you. Give that person the gift of your time. Give yourself to them. You can get right back on the information highway and you will be stronger and filled with the very zest you need to keep that pace.

Live in the moment and bless it. Focus on what is around you. Pump life into every chance you get to give of yourself.

“How Do You Apply, ‘Being Fully Present’?”

When I break it down and examine what “living in the moment” means to me, I compare it to “being fully present.” I asked my friends how they apply being fully present. One person stated that being fully present means, “To not think about what could happen or what should happen, but just hold on to the power of the human spirit to embrace how beautiful life is.” Another friend said, “Being present means being aware of the moment.”

I love the idea of embracing how beautiful life is. Life is beautiful! My mantra for 2012 has been to embrace and experience every moment. I believe that awareness is immediate. Being in the moment is now. To some, living in the moment is spontaneous. Just being. Just doing. Not thinking. To me, it is not overthinking. To me it is taking things in just as they are and not manipulating them to suit my needs or desires. It means letting go of preconceptions, letting go of control, accepting things as they are and as they are happening. Some call this going with the flow. Some relate it to the process of unfolding. I call it living in the moment.

“Living in the moment involves acceptance and appreciation of life’s imperfections and simplicity. Live, be, do.”

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About Melissa Reyes

Melissa Reyes (Miz Meliz) is a writer and currently works as the administrative assistant to a middle school principal. She lives with her husband of twenty years, their three sons, and three cats in Southern California. Read more of Melissa’s observations on her life, her loves, and her journey at http://mizmeliz.com Follow Melissa on Twitter
  • Ben

    Awesome post Melissa,
    I love the idea of defining and creating who YOU want to be and not listening to other people. It’s not up to them who I want to be!

    -Ben

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