Last week we discussed what it means to “live in the present moment.” What does this mean? In a nutshell this is whether you are spending time in your mind that is obsessive thinking of the past and future projection or actually spending time experiencing the now… we used 5 heading to illustrate this meaning which are… taking time to smell the roses, illusion of time, mindful awareness, prejudging, and knowing the difference between psychological time and clock time…. you can check out last week article here… your reality is in the present moment (part 1)
Today I will discuss the benefits of living in the present moment…
What are they?
(1)Maintains good relationships
The more present you are, the more connection you have with other people. People who are present can tell when you are not, no matter how good you are at faking it or pretending. There is a difference in how it feels emotionally to be around you when you are present and when you are not. To some people, when you are mostly in your head it seems like you are colder and disinterested, regardless of whether you say the right words and make the right moves. Being present when you are with people is an important factor in establishing and maintaining good relationships.
Presence can also help you to be an active listener remember last year I did a topic on listening differentiating between hearing and active listening. Being present helps you to decrease the bad habit of thinking about the future and what you should say next while trying to listen. If you are present and really there while listening then that will also come through in your body language, which gives the person talking a vibe and feeling that you are really listening to what s/he has to say…Most people don’t know how to listen because the major part of their attention is taken up by thinking of what to say next… Being present also improves your focus and allows you to better tune out possible interruptions or distractions in your surroundings while actively listening.
(3)Better observation skills
When you are in the present moment your observation skills are stronger, you no longer see things through the mind, but experience things in the here and now. Noticing everything around you with your full senses… smell, touch, sight, hearing, taste. It helps you in the future to recollect things, your memory skills are sharpened… awareness level grows, you are more productive and engaged at the task at hand…. Food tastes better, you are aware when you are full, you savour every moment… you aware of sensations in your body…
This increased awareness gives you more feedback that allows you to make better decisions and take more effective actions.
If you write or do some other creative work you may have found that your best work flows out of you when you are not thinking that much. You just write, paint, play and so on.
Writing is for instance similar to a conversation. When you are present in a conversation or while writing things it’s often best to not think too far ahead or you start to get self-conscious and second-guessing yourself. You create mental blocks that stop your creativity from flowing unhindered.
The more present you are, the more confident you are and the easier it is to recall and use your skills and talents.
One of big advantages of becoming more present in your everyday life is that you decrease the amount of analysing and labelling you do to the things/people in your surroundings. You don’t judge as much. This might sound strange but in the moments when you are present the ordinary world becomes more interesting and wonderful. Colours can seem brighter. Your see more aliveness in trees, nature and in people. You see the wonder of all your man-made gadgets and stuff. Things that most often seem common, routine and boring become fascinating and something you can appreciate.
It’s like you are observing your world with more clarity and curiosity. Like a little kid again, discovering things while they still feel fresh before labelling and attachments come into play.
(6)You stop putting your happiness on hold
As soon as you honour the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out of present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the simplest action. The moment your attention turns to the Now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace. You no longer depend on the future for fulfilment and satisfaction – you don’t look to it for salvation. You are not attached to the results or outcome.
When you are living in the present moment you are less stressed as your attention is not split between past and future… you are where you want to be fully engaged with the here and now… Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there,” or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It’s a split that tears you apart inside. To create and live with such an inner split is stressful… if you do not split yourself into 2 you enjoy the flow of the energy
(8)Gratitude and prosperity
Gratitude for the present moment and the fullness of life now, is true prosperity. It cannot come in the future. If you are dissatisfied with what you have got, or even frustrated or angry about your present lack, that may motivate you to become rich, but even if you do make millions, you will continue to experience the inner condition of lack, and deep down you will continue to feel unfulfilled. You may have many exciting experiences that money can buy, but they will come and go and always leave you with an empty feeling and the need for further physical or psychological gratification. Wanting what you have right now creates joy and prosperity in the now…
(9)State of Grace
The challenge is staying present when you are going through traumatic experience like death, your own impeding death, ill health, loss, loss of a job, business and so on…. when you stop resisting and accept the situation without any labels or judgement as to what is happening in the now… it just is… in other words you surrender by letting go and letting God…
I do not mean to say that you will become happy in such a situation. You will not. But fear and pain will become transmuted into an inner peace and serenity that come from a very deep place… Like the Christians will say “the peace of God, which passes all understanding.” The miracle of surrender transmutes deep suffering into deep peace. This is a state of Grace…
Food for thought
End the delusion of time. Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops – unless you choose to use it.
“To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honour and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be.” Eckhart Tolle
watch out for the finale next week how can we learn to live in the present moment?