Living in the present moment
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
There I was, standing at the edge of the precipice, staring over the expansive blue ocean. It had been a hot and humid day and now, in the distance, the heavy grey clouds were threatening to drench the earth with rain. I could feel the cool wind pick up and it felt refreshing against the skin of my cheeks. I held onto the rail and continued to gaze into the approaching storm. I knew my husband was waiting for me elsewhere, but I could not drag myself away from this moment. This was me. Totally immersed in the present moment. No worries of the past or future. I felt good. I felt like me.
How you had a moment like this? Where you were totally present to your surroundings? Some call it mindfulness. I like to think of it as a moment where I can truly return to the essence of who I am. My higher self. Without the worries of the past or the future. Without the burden of obligation. Without the roles we assume as our identity. In this article, I will share some easy ways to live in the present moment. (side note: as I wrote this article I unintentionally include the four main natural elements. Make of that what you will).
Also known as earthing. Whilst the science behind this practise is fairly new. It is believed that walking barefoot can positively affect a person’s physical and psychological health. On an intuitive level, I absolutely love the feeling of standing barefoot on fresh green grass. Particularly on a hot day, feeling the cool blades between my toes.
Being around water
Whether it be listening to the tricking sounds of a fountain or stream, feeling the cool breeze on the edge of a lake or pond, or even floating in the ocean. How much more present can you get than snorkelling in the ocean admiring the beauty of a reef and its inhabitants. It like being in a whole new world.
Candle gazing. To prepare for meditation, we can use this practise as our point of focus. If you have ever just stared at a naked flame, whether it be a candle or even a campfire, you may understand how much the flame can draw you into that present moment. The way the fire dances in the darkness and the flickering colours creates a trance-like state that allows you to reduce the effort it takes to still the monkey mind.
Focusing on the breath can not only calm the nervous system, but it can also be a means to bring us into the present moment. Counting our breath using our pulse rather than seconds can create awareness and also bring us back into our bodies.
It is not always easy to live in the present moment. It is sometimes hard to switch off from the trauma of the past or worries of the future. However, as Ekhart Tolle explains, ‘there are no problems in the Now, there is no fear either’. I can let my thoughts run my life, or I can learn to master my mind to control these thoughts and emotions. To me, living in the present moment is a great place to start.