What is living in the now? 

Living in the now is living in the present moment and feeling good in its natural stimuli and banality. Although for millenia before us, people had been doing exactly that, albeit with a little day dreaming here and there, only recently has this phenomenon gotten itself a word – Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is being fully present in the now with openness, curiosity and a willingness to be OK with it. Mindfulness is also how we choose to respond to the way people and circumstances have presented themselves right now.

Mindfulness is associated with eliminating sporadic thoughts that occur that are unrelated to the current task at hand. It is not. In fact, it is simply our ability to decide whether we will nurture that secondary thought or let it go. After all, an extra ordinary life is made up of ordinary moments done while being fully present. 

 

Why do most of us struggle to live in the now?

Most of us, not including those who’re lucky to be enlightened, don’t want to live in the present moment, because we don’t accept life as it has manifested itself.

We then find ourselves in conflict with the moment. When our needs and desires, as we’re experiencing them, are not met in the immediate future, conflict arises. 

Our rational mind is telling us that something must be done in the real time that we’re in. At the same time, our emotional and physical needs are telling us that we must be doing what we enjoy. 

 

Conflicts abound

Whether its an insinuating post by a friend on social media, or an off color remark by a relative at a family gathering, we often find ourselves in conflict of the moment. Should we react in anger right away, should we stay longer at the party, should we walk away from the job where our bosses don’t recognize our self respect… Conflicts abound.

When my children are about to arrive from school after a long day, and expect to have my undivided attention, conflict arises for me. I want to continue writing or rewrite a to do list from morning that has mostly not been accomplished – when I should be taking care of my babies. Sometimes, I want to read a book when I should be making dinner for the family.

 

When do conflicts arise?

Conflicts can arise

  1. When we can’t stand to be here with a person or a task and we want to escape into an alternate reality.
  2. When we want to jump into our phones or into the arms of another human being than the one we’re with.
  3. When we no longer enjoy the job we have because it doesn’t challenge our creativity enough
  4. Or when we imagine someone else’s home to be better and beautiful and come to the “realization” that what we call home is no longer what it used to be.

Then there are factors that are out of our control.

Our businesses might be collapsing. And our lives might be revolving around money that we don’t have enough of.

Or we live in a town that’s going through a major change and you no longer can keep up. Or your company has decided to move its office. Chances are you feel like you’re being forced out of your comfort zone.

I think one of the issues that we have is that we don’t necessarily recognize that a thought is just a thought. We have a certain thought, we take it to heart, we build a future on it, we think, ‘This is the only thing I’ll ever feel,’ ‘I’m an angry person and I always will be,’ ‘I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life,’ and that process happens pretty quickly.
~ Sharon Salzberg

Further Reading: 

Why should we live in the now?

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