The picture above this article is one of a cabin that my family and I stayed in last weekend in Blairsville, Ga. as we celebrated my birthday. I was really able to live in the moment for that long weekend.
Living in the Moment
The fast paced world that we live in today really has negatives that are not conductive to good mental health. It causes us not to enjoy life as much as we could. It makes us carry many problems around with us that permeate our consciousness to the point that it robs us of the opportunity to be happy living in the moment.
I was really reminded how good it is to live in the moment while visiting some relatives in Thomaston, Georgia recently. We did a lot of reminiscing as we explored old memories as well as talking about up to date ideas that involved a variety of topics. As I sat there, I thought to myself, these really are the best of times.
Prior to this visit a few days before, I had visited with a couple of friends that I had worked with at the Upson Counseling Center in Thomaston in the late 80s. As we had our dinner at the Riverbend Restaurant.( the best catfish restaurant in Georgia I believe, overlooking the Flint River just outside of Thomaston}, it became so apparent to me that though we were talking about the good times we were living in the moment. We were making the good times as well.
Even while in the middle of that meal, I paused for moment to think of my father and the many times we had shared a meal at that same restaurant and how we lived in the moment every time I was with him there.
Why is it so hard to live in the moment? Why do we allow ourselves to become so detracted from the real things around us that really matter that can bring us so much happiness and that can be almost magical when we allow ourselves to have those special times?
At the same time I was living in the moments described above, I also at the end felt much sadness. It wasn’t because of the memories but rather it was realizing I really needed more moments in my life like these.
So what are some things that we can do to live in the moment?
1) Be on guard for those life circumstances that that rob us of happiness and the ability to live in the moment.
2) Enjoy the weather whether it is cloudy, raining, sun shining, storming. Drink in the moment around us. Listen for the sounds. Smell the smells. We can be happy regardless of the weather. We can teach ourselves to love not just the good but the bad, messy weather.
3) Take time when visiting family or friends and take a deep breath and say to yourself this is a good thing and I’m glad I’m here.
4) When shopping tell yourself, gee I feel good and this is a good day, and I like what I’m seeing in this store and the people I’m meeting. This is a fun time.
5) While pumping gas for the car, give thinks for that opportunity to be there, for your auto, for the money you have to pay for the gas, for the people around you that you might meet even it is for just brief seconds.
6) When around your children, stop and think how much they mean to you and how much happiness they have brought to you and how you are glad you are there with them right then. And just quietly say to them, you know I really love you.
7) Do the same when around your grandchildren. If they are small like mine, think of those precious angels God has allowed to come and visit with your children as well as yourself.
8) When talking to people in public take time to really listen to them and make a real effort to make a join with them in those times when you might have a tendency to be rushed.
9) Call that friend on the phone that you’ve been thinking about and take time for a real conversation. At the end of the call, simply tell them you know something, I Love You.
10) For that someone special in your life give them a special hug in person or by phone and simply say, you know I don’t say it near enough but I love you and I am so glad I have you in my life.
11) And when you are in those quiet moments when no one else is around, listen closely to that small still voice and see what it is saying. It might just be saying to you, I’m glad I’m alive right now and glad for a good family and friends and glad for those people that have enhanced my life by being a part of me regardless of how big or small. I'm glad they love me even when I make mistakes sometimes and when I mess up.
Stop and live in the moment. and drink them in and happiness shall abound.