If you’ve every read anything about mindfulness or spirituality, you’ve probably heard of the importance of being present in the moment. Learning how to live in the Now is one of the single, most powerful practices that you can use to radically transform your life, and begin living from a state of grace, peace, joy, and compassion.
In this post, I want to dive a little deeper into what it means to become present in the current moment. I’ll outline what presence is and why it’s so fundamentally important. Lastly, I’ll offer a few tips to help you learn how to live in the moment fully.
Presence is Awareness
While a lot of people talk about becoming present in the Now, this idea can be difficult to wrap your mind around.
On the one hand, aren’t you always living in the present moment, regardless of what you’re thinking, feeling, or doing?
On the other, couldn’t you always become even more present, no matter how much you’ve already practiced and mastered this skill?
This dichotomy seems to create a contradiction in what it means to be present, but fortunately you don’t have to make anything too complicated.
I think the best way to approach presence is to think about it in terms of awareness. When you are present in the Now, you are aware of what is happening in the current moment.
This means that becoming present doesn’t require you to think a certain set of thoughts or to take a certain set of actions. Presence is simply about whether or not you are aware of the thoughts and actions you already entertain.
Even if you are “lost in thought,” you can become present by being aware of those thoughts. You don’t actually have to stop thinking. This is one of the core realizations that developing a meditation habit can bring you. If you don’t already have a consistent meditation practice, check out these tips for starting a meditation routine.
To build this awareness, I recommend you practice stepping back throughout each day, taking the time to notice your breath, and to notice your thoughts and environment. It could be as simple as taking a few moments to breathe easily, stare at a flower, or simply pause between tasks.
You can read this post to learn how to step back.
Being Present Creates Joy
Now that we understand a little more about what presence is, it’s also good to know why it’s important.
Again, the basic reason is quite simple: being present creates joy.
In order to grasp this point, you need to understand that you exist fundamentally as a state of energy, and that this energy is overflowing with joy-bliss-love-light. When you become present, you gain awareness of this energy. This means that you learn to tap into your natural joy easily and on command.
Within this idea is the fact that you are already joyful, loving, peaceful, and compassionate. More often than not, however, you block yourself from this joy by thinking that life is not already as it should be. Becoming present in the moment helps you to regain the awareness of your joyful energy, and become happier, instantly.
How To Live in The Current Moment Fully
Once you break the idea of ‘being present’ down into the idea of ‘becoming aware of joy,’ the path to live full in the current moment becomes much clearer.
Your aim is simply to appreciate the joy that is already present in every moment.
If you make this aim a priority, you will begin to train your mind to look for the good things rather than the bad, and you will begin to find a more consistent state of peace and happiness as you move throughout your day to day life.
There is no single trick that is the ‘be all and end all’ to help you achieve this awareness. However, there are a number of tools and techniques that can help dramatically.
We’ve already mentioned the exercises to help step back throughout the day and the importance of developing a meditation routine.
In addition, you might want to try the following:
- Use this morning gratitude meditation by Louise Hay to develop a habit of gratitude, and acknowledge things that are going well for you.
- Use positive affirmations to focus on well-being.
- Play with different breath exercises to increase your awareness, such as this beginner’s breath technique, or the more advanced kabalabhati breath.
- Watch this video on finding peace within and apply it to your daily routine.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to remember to apply these techniques to your daily life.