How To Live In The Present Moment and Why It Matters

When the ocean surges, don’t let me just hear it. Let it splash inside my chest! Rumi

I think of all the times that I have missed experiencing life fully; all the times that life flirts with me, invites me, asks me to dance, and I fail to notice.  It’s hard to notice life’s invitations when we are distracted, overly busy, contracted, worried, or otherwise not present. When we aren’t in the present moment, it’s difficult to see the beauty and goodness that is here now. Even in the darkest moment, there is the possibility of transformation.

Sometimes, all it takes is an intentional breath to bring us back to this present moment. On Facebook the other day, I found a recommendation that I’ll share with you here. I wish I could credit the author but no name was given. The recommended prescription is said to help prevent anxiety attacks but its benefits go well beyond anxiety and can be helpful in experiencing life more fully and joyfully in the moment.

Here’s the prescription:

  • Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.

  • Slowly look around you and find:

    • 5 things you can see

    • 4 things you can touch

    • 3 things you can hear

    • 2 things you can smell (that you like)

    • 1 emotion you feel.

“This is called Grounding – it can help when you feel like you’ve gone too far in your head and lost all control of your surroundings.” It’s also a great way to bring yourself back into the present moment when you’re feeling stressed.

The prescription above can be useful in bringing you firmly into the present moment, allowing the storm clouds of past remembering and future imaginings to disperse and clear. You see, we have everything we need in this moment, but not for a future moment. When we fall back into thoughts about our past or reach into the future with our imaginings, we can become anxious and disoriented. We can’t find the answers we need in the past or in the future because the answer only exists in this moment.

“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” Eckhart Tolle

Take your time with Tolle’s words. Read them again. There is a great deal of wisdom there. Test it out for yourself and see if you can find the truth in his words. When I feel sad, overwhelmed, or stressed, I can almost always see - when I look - that I am stuck in the past or worried about the future. When I bring myself to the present moment, the murky waters clear and I more easily access my innate wisdom, resourcefulness, and resilience. From that place, I can find my way forward, and so can you.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.” Henry David Thoreau


If this blog post resonates with you or if you’d like to explore a new perspective on how to live in the present moment and how that could benefit you, I’m opening up a couple of times on my calendar this week for the first two people who respond, at no charge to you. We will meet for 60-90 minutes via video chat. Contact Me