Live in the moment?

What does "living in the moment" even mean?

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In yoga class, you hear the instructor saying things like “be in the present moment, pay attention to your body” and all of that…but have you actually ever stopped to really think about this? I haven’t. Until recently, that is. I am (seriously) probably worlds biggest worrier. I literally will be thinking or worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet/might not even happen when I should be focusing on whatever it is in that moment that I’m doing. This also goes along with the idea that “enough is never enough”. I know other people, like me, that will accomplish something they’ve worked really hard for, but instead of being proud and happy in the moment- they’re thinking of what it is that they’ll do next time…and how they’ll do it better. Whatever they just accomplished is no longer enough. I’ve recently stopped to think about how incredibly sad this is. If we’re always striving for something more, but no matter how much more it’ll never be enough, then how can we ever be happy?

The only way to answer that is to change the thought process. I recently had a revelation that I’m three years away from thirty (yikes), and while that might not seem old to some, I can’t believe how quickly time has passed. Do I want to be 60 and in the same place, saying “what did I do the past 30 years besides try and one up myself so much so that I don’t remember enjoying anything?” No. I don’t. I’m pretty sure no one does. And you don't have to feel that way.

“Living in the moment” has changed meaning for me. I’ve started to change my habits to get into a new pattern. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have chilled out with the excessive amount of daily exercise and to be honest it actually feels a little like a break up. It's like giving something up that you’re so used to and comfortable with, so it’s hard, but you know that there’s a reason you need to do it.  I still have been working out (because, shelbfit, duh ;)), but I go to a structured class or environment where I can do a set workout and leave. I still have the voice in my head telling me it’s not enough, but I push it away because I know it is. I've realized that the "not enough" mantra isn't only in the athletic portion of my life though, it can sometimes creep in anywhere.

The only way for me to change something is to actually change it and realize that the change is better than what I was doing before. If I want to eat a lot at night due to habit (but I’m not hungry), I’ll do a short yin yoga session or meditate (yeah…I’ve become one of those). I never in 10 million years thought I could meditate or that it would work, but it actually has been super helpful in keeping me focused and grounded. I downloaded an app on my phone called “Insight Timer” (there are even 5 minute guided meditations) and it’s been life changing, I definitely recommend trying it. I know that this all seems easier said than done, trust me. But it is so necessary to remember why you are doing what you’re doing and to stop just going through the motions. Also, I have a new sense of accomplishment for NOT accomplishing everything and anything. Weird.

I'm telling you this because I want you to know there is a better way. I know firsthand that it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of life. Life is unpredictable. The important thing, though, is that despite all of the chaos, you have to be able to enjoy it. If we only have one life to live, why would we waste it being miserable and disconnected from everyone and everything? My “mindfulness” is definitely a work in progress, but I wish someone told me 8 years ago just how important living in the moment really is.

Shelbye SchlangeComment