Earlier today I did a 25K bike ride in beautiful sunshine with my children aged 10 and 11. It was in aid of the local hospice and as my husband was off doing a tortuous bike ride in the Welsh hills I agreed to take them.
As we reached the finish, I was so proud of them completing it without any wingeing or moaning that I wished Mike was with me to share the moment.
Then I questioned myself, why wasn’t it enough that we had this great moment, did I really need to share it with someone else or post it on Facebook for it to be complete?
Sharing moments is great but appreciating the moment as it happens is surely more important. It’s almost as if , if we haven’t got a record of a passing moment, or shared it with others, then we haven’t really experienced it.
It started me thinking about how this feeling, that a moment is not enough, could affect our lives. It means we have/are:
A constant feeling that we should be doing more or being more. Which leaves us believing we’re not enough
Comparititis – the need to compare your moments with other people, especially on social media
An inability to relax. As there’s a constant feeling that there’s more to be done
Not being present when we’re eating. Instead feeling the need to catch up online, read emails or do work. So we don’t taste and savour our food, isn’t it enough just to focus on eating?
Missing out on really experiencing the great moments in our lives. Because we’re worrying about whether we’ve captured it, or if it’s quite right or if we’re appreciating it enough
A lack of purpose in our lives. As we don’t recognise all we have experienced and achieved already. Which leads to a feeling of not yet having done enough and not being enough
What if we were to really live in the present and accept that every moment, however brief, is enough exactly how it is?
Then we would be free to, as the saying goes, “Stop And Smell The Roses”. The definition of which, I found out, means – stop stressing out, overthinking or complaining, put your troubles in perspective and enjoy your short time on earth.
So what would be the benefits of living in the moment?
We have more clarity. We’re able to focus clearly on what is happening and not be distracted
We feel relaxed. As we’re not ruminating on the past or worrying about the future we will gain a calmness from being in the moment
Our emotions are more positive. As we aren’t focused as much on the negatives of the past or the future, we can fully enjoy the positives of the moment
I love this quote:
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.
To achieve that how do we start to work towards being more present in the moment?
Start small. Begin by making small changes to your routine, such as being mindful for 3mins a day, or switching off your phone during your lunch break (take a short lunch break, not at your desk, if you don’t already!)
Learn how to bring your mind back when it wanders. The practice of mindfulness is all about redirecting your mind back from your thoughts to the present moment or whatever you’re focusing on. Success isn’t about clearing your mind but being able to draw it back when it wanders, which it will. Focusing on your breathing or eating or a sensation in your body is helpful.
Notice the small things. This can be as simple as a child’s smile, listening to music or the taste of ice cream
Realise your thoughts aren’t real. The world we create from our thoughts especially when we’re worrying about the future isn’t real, even though it seems to be. So instead of creating lots of what if scenarios, try and focus on what actually is
Stop multitasking. Not only does this mean your not doing all the tasks effectively but it stops you really focusing on each one
Be kind to others. Giving compliments to others or acts of kindness will refocus your attention on what’s happening now
Be grateful. Appreciating the things in your life which you love and enjoy helps you keep in the moment
I’m still thinking about putting a photo of my kids with their medals on Facebook, but maybe instead I should accept that the moment has past and focus on whats happening now instead.
Let me know your thoughts and ideas on how to stay in the moment.