“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” -James Thurber
This is the essence of living in the present moment.
The past has gone, the future has not yet arrived, but the present will always be here. You can create something out of nothing when you “look around in awareness.”
Don’t worry, the future will get here.
It’s great to strategically plan for future difficulties, but be careful not to place fears in the future and create those difficulties. When we worry about the future, sometimes we imagine what might happen, and sometimes our images are negative. What if everything we imagined came true? Of course that isn’t true, but it is true that we tend to gravitate toward what we focus on. So if you do imagine the future (even if there is a difficult situation coming up), imagine it in a positive light.
It’s important to be at peace with the past.
It is sometimes necessary to recall events from the past, but be careful not to invite the negative feelings along with them. Those feelings should have no space in the present moment, no room to breathe and spread like wildfire. If you don’t come to peace with those past events and people, they will continue to control your present and future. If you need to confront someone in order to come to peace with it, do so. It’s not worth carrying around with you, and it’s inhibiting your growth.
There truly is nothing but the present moment.
The past and future exist only in our minds, but the present exists in every part of us. Take a deep breath and let it out, feel the chair you’re sitting on and the clothes you’re wearing, smell the aromas around you, and really take the time to taste the food you’re eating and the beverage you’re drinking. Quiet your mind, highten your senses, and breathe. Just for a moment – do it now for 5 breaths. No matter how busy you think you are, you have 15 seconds available right now to do this.