"Live the moment for the moment." - Michael Jordan
Many of our New Year`s Resolutions may be to more appreciate the moment and live the moment. How today`s world is structured, it doesn`t surprise if we sometimes, or often, have the feeling that our life has just passed by. That our vacation was too short. The weekend just gone. The time after work to relax gone out the window. We all know time is limited, our currency, and so precious, yet there seems to be forces that make living our lives intentionally really difficult.
These forces are the current rules and paradigms of how our world works. This includes information overload from more devices than before, more social media and FOMO ("fear of missing out"), and more emails, WhatsApps, texts to make sure we never forget others` expectations. In addition to this, there are additional side-effects aggravating the status quo. Social media, for example, leads us to look for more images and stories, that we can finally post ourselves. Apps on our devices and smartphones are intelligently manufactured to be our best friends and, thus, hard to put away. "Likes", "hearts", and messages make us feel important even if don`t admit it.
But as with anything - however our world outside may look like, whatever external challenges we may face - we can always come back to us, shift our focus within, look at our own resources. We can claim back our power deciding on our time, attention, and energy ourselves. No outer force, as smart as they can be, can take control of our lives if we don`t allow it. At the end, we are smart ourselves, if not smarter. Nevertheless, don´t be harsh on yourself if you have let outer factors consume your energy. These forces are smart and they have studied your needs, desires, and behavioral patterns over years.
Here is how we can gently take back our power and more appreciate the only moment we have:
1. Detect your "energy vampires"
Observe yourself how you go through your day. What is the first thing you do in the morning? Is it to check your phone and be pulled by others´ lives, or is it with a morning routine to first take care of yourself? How many times do you check your emails, WhatsApps, text messages? Does this really move you forward or, if you admit it to yourself, has grown more to a habit? How often do you surf on social media? How do you feel afterwards? How is your feed like - who are you following, for what reason? When you work, how often do you instantly react to your emails or chat messages, while you know you could free up the space and focus on your actual work? How can you make time to be truly creative (this often means e.g. less meetings / calls)? What food are you putting in your body and how does this leave you afterwards? How can you use your body to work for yourself rather than against yourself? What is going in your mind? Is it rattling, judging, looking out for "problems"? Do you perhaps need short breathing breaks or body stretches? The number of these questions already show you how much the world is grabbing for your attention and energy.
2. Define your values
Even if you now know what your pitfalls are, it may not be powerful enough to take back control of your own life because stopping doing something can feel like a restraint, esp. if everyone else is on social media, writing emails, and benefitting from this #1 app. Your mind may fear to miss out on all the apparently important things on the world. As we may also have heard, what can help is not only to reduce something on one side, but also to replace the resulting hole on the other side with a nourishing activity (this can also include an "activity" in your mind). For this, it is crucial to know YOUR values that are important to YOU. It is your responsibility and opportunity to make sure they are honoured, because if they aren`t, either from you or others, you will feel depleted, disrespected, and drained.
Often a meditation to think back of your peak experience can reveal your values. For example, if one of your favorite experiences was when you went hiking at this beautiful green coast alongside the ocean, and you experience all the emotions in your body again, your values may be nature, freedom, adventure, life (you were probably very much in the moment ;-)). Don`t think too much about this exercise, there is no right or wrong, there are just your personal values that speak to your truth. It is only important that you listen with your heart rather than your mind, because your mind may suggest values to exactly meet the outside expectations and put your needs behind.
3. Commit mindfully
The last part is to practice mindfulness throughout the day. Mindfulness is not only the key to life as it helps us, e.g. via our breath or body awareness, to come back to this moment, but also to observe our thoughts, emotions, and situations less with judgments, but more curiosity and kindness; and to observe the many small things that life always has to offer (such as a single flower in the middle of a garden, or the taste of chocolate after a long day, or a message from a friend when you felt lonely). Mindfulness also helps us step on the brakes, to stop, when we feel stressed and trapped in our hamster wheel. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don`t, and that`s ok. The mere fact that we have our intention to do better makes all of a difference. And know that we have lived in a world, that was grabbing for your attention your entire life, so it takes patience and practice to counter-balance this force towards our own wellbeing.
How do you make sure that you appreciate your life more? Let me know by sending an email to email@example.com – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Shauna Niequist - Present over Perfect
Reflection: What and who are my "energy vampires"?
Intention: I observe what is claiming my attention, while I commit to honour my own values, because I know if I don`t, no one will.