Living In The Moment - Learning How To Live In The Moment
Living In The Present Moment
We have 365 days in a year, and 24 hours in a day, so that is equaled to 8,760 hours in one year. So how many hours have you been living? I am 19 years old so that means I have lived more than 166,440 hours in my lifetime. It seems like a lot doesn't it, but think about how fast it has gone by? Seems like just a blink of an eye and its gone.
Can you think back to when you were a kid and you were dreaming of becoming a rockstar, an astronaut, or a ballerina. Then you grew into a stage where you just wanted to grow up, because you were sick and tired of people treating you like a child. Finally that day came when you finish school, and move out of home. Then came the weight of adulthood. Suddenly you have bills to pay, responsibilities to attend to, bits and pieces that your parents had sheltered from you, leaving you thinking "Whoa this isn't what I signed up for".
You are then left wishing you could go back in time, back to when you were a kid and your biggest worry was who you were going to choose as your best friend or which toy you were going to play with. Back when you used to play Heroes with your brothers and sisters, and used to make bow and arrows out of sticks and camp out in your tree house at night until you got too scared and ran back to the safety of your parents open arms.
Time flies by so quickly and we spend so much time wondering what we are going to do tomorrow, the next week or even in a couple of years time. We finish school and we think about which University we are going to go to, and then the job that we are going to have, the house we are going to buy or the car we are going to drive. Our heads are so busy deciding and planning what is going to happen in the future that we forget to live and appreciate the moment we are currently in.
Where are most of your thoughts situated?
"Dolce far niente", is an one of my favourite Italian phrases, which means "The sweetness of doing nothing". Have you ever just gone to a place to just sit there, to take in your surroundings, and just to relax your mind? Or even just a day where you stay the entire day in your Pyjamas, and just hang around the house, watching movies or reading a book?
Most of us get so caught up in our daily lives, worrying about work, our friends and family and everything else that we forget to just take a step back and just relax our minds. You don't need to go on holiday to some far away island with sandy white beaches and sparkling blue waters to relax your mind. You can be in the comfort of your very own home.
I used to find myself getting overloading myself and feeling constantly stressed, leaving me feeling exhausted and tired. One day when talking with my dad, he suggested that I should try meditation. My thoughts of meditation at the time were a bunch of yogi's sitting in a room making strange umming and ahhing noises. I didn't really think about it again until the stress began to get worse. It was one Friday afternoon when I was sick of screaming kids and demanding people that I stepped away from everything and locked myself away in a quiet room.
To be honest with you, I wasn't exactly sure how to do it, I was even considering googling "how to meditate". But how hard could it be? I crossed my legs in a comfortable position and closed my eyes, resting my hands on my lap. "Ok time to clear my mind, I can do this..." But still 5 minutes later my mind was fuller than ever. When I tell myself that I have to empty my mind, I tend to begin to think of everything and anything. I then remember reading somewhere that it is good to concentrate on one thing like your breath. In, out, in, out, in, out. I felt my body relaxing and my mind beginning to clear. I was quite pleased with myself, "I think I can actually do this". Next minute.... I am asleep. Hmm somehow I don't think this is quite how you are supposed to do it. Over time I managed to improve my skill at clearing my mind (without falling asleep). I found that when I was stressed or under pressure and in need of an escape, meditation helped me clear my head and then give me space to re-think my strategy.
Why do we always get so caught up in having to get somewhere? In having to have "something" to do, or someone to see? Why do we have trouble with just doing nothing. I suggest one day, or even just a couple of hours, to just do nothing. Go sit in a park and just take everything in. Clear your head. Trust me it does wonders for your mind as well as your general well-being.
I was reading this story about this guy who used to travel, but instead of flying or taking trains from country to country, he (along with a group of other people) walked. I'm not talking walking for just a couple of weeks, but for months on end. People would often look at them like they had completely lost the plot. They would receive questions like "why don't you just fly or take the train, it is so much quicker and you can save so much time". In reply they would say "because you don't get to appreciate what is around you". From walking, yes it may take 10 times as long, but you see so much more and really get to appreciate the land and the moment you are in. The extra time gives you the chance to appreciate things that when on a plane or train you would usually miss.
I find when I travel (as much a I enjoy tripping around for a couple weeks and fitting in as much as I can) I prefer to be in a place for a longer period of time, which gives me the chance to truly experience it. I have lived in 4 different countries (including New Zealand, my home country), and even though I didn't live there for that long (Germany, one year. England, 7 months. And now Italy for 9 months), it gave me the chance to immerse myself in the culture, to learn the language, and to really experience that place. When we are in a place for just a couple of days we miss so many things, and usually just get around to seeing the main touristy sights.
"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving" - Lao Tzu. We get so caught up with "the where", in which we are going, and forget about the journey in between. Life is too short to skip the little details. Wouldn't you rather come to the time when you are 80 years old and being able to recall so many details of your life (in specific moments), or just recalling minimal memories because you were too caught up fussing about what was going to happen in the future.
There are people in this world that are here just to "exist". They go about their lives, in an automatic routine, the same, day in and day out. Whilst there are other people that are here to "live". They push themselves to try new things, to step outside their comfort zone and to live everyday as though it's their last. Ask yourself this, what would you rather be doing?