Tag Archives: Slow down

Live in the Moment

As I sit on a bench looking out at Lake Washington, my thoughts are scattered. I think about my past. The relationships I’ve had and the things I could have done to change the outcome, but I also think about my future. Starting a new job and finding ways to push myself to become who I want to be.

It’s interesting though, that even when we are physically present, we can be living in a different time in our mind. Whether in the past, replaying memories; or in the future, planning our next steps to success. Yet living in the past or the future, can prevent us from truly experiencing the present moment we are in.

It is true that reflecting on the past can be beneficial, helping us learn from both our mistakes and success’. But reflection is merely a visit to the past. It is when we are living in the past that it can become dangerous. Maybe we are living in the past because we believe we have already had our best moments and that the future can’t compare. Or we have regrets. Things we wish we could change. So we replay the situation over and over trying to change the unchangeable.

Looking at the past

Yet we mustn’t get stuck living in the past. Memories, often times, are distorted. The further we go back into our memory the hazier our memories become, making it difficult for us to see those moments, whether good or bad, without bias. As they truly were. We tend to either remove all the negative and see only the positive, or remove all the positive and see only the negative. Neither interpretation which is accurate. We need to learn to leave the past in the past, where it belongs. What is done is done. By living in the past, we are preventing ourselves from moving forward, holding us at a standstill. Just like a train stuck at the platform, we aren’t reaching our full potential.

Past calls

However, living in the future is no better. Where we are always concerned about the next step. Our next career goal, who we want to marry, what age we want to have kids, where we want to live. These are all good things to think about and aspire to, yet sometimes we get carried away. We think once we reach a certain point in the future we will be happy. Once we have this job, we’ll be happy. Once we’re married, we’ll be happy. But once again this kind of thinking just steals away from our present sense of peace and contentment. Because we are always looking ahead; to what is just beyond our grasp. This anxious, goal driven mentality creates a cycle where we are never satisfied with the present and are always looking to the future to make us happy.

Past and future

So I’m going to stop letting the past have power over my present and stop borrowing troubles from tomorrow. Because in this very moment I have so much to be grateful for. The liquid movement of my pen, the sound of the waves lapping the shore, the seagulls flying around calling to their friends, the fresh air tickling my lungs, and the sunlight warming my face.

I would encourage you to start letting go of your past and stop trying so hard to control your future. Live in the moment. Right here. Right now. Be present where you are. Because this very moment is where you are. Embrace it. 🙂

To be alive

The past is the past and the future is the future. But I am going to be present. I’m going to live in the moment.

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Wonder of a Child

I often miss this little girl...

Remember when you were a child and the world was your playground. Everything around you was magical, from the stuffed koala bear you carried around, to the doors that magically opened when you stepped in front of them. Every day was a new adventure, filled with excitement and new discoveries. You ran for the joy of it, you truly believed you could fly, and your favorite nights were movie nights.

Yet as you’ve grown older, somehow the magic dwindled off. You’ve become cynical. Life didn’t turn out the way you expected; trust was broken, dreams seemed out of reach, and you had to take on more responsibility. Essentially you were told to grow up and make something of yourself. With your inner child pushed aside, you had to get a job, pay bills, and become an active member of society.

But who told us that we couldn’t be both serious and silly, both responsible and playful. At what point did we change?

Everything to nothing

I encourage you to go for a walk by yourself. Leave your phone at home; eliminate distraction. Breathe in the fresh air. Watch the butterfly as it dances in the wind. Soak up the sunlight. Dance in the rain. Enjoy the simplicity of the world around you.

In a world full of things to do and places to go, maintaining a sense of wonder and curiosity is imperative. Don’t let the disappointments of the world take away your sense of wonder. Never give up your childlike awe…

Girl at the beach