I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote lately. Its a good reminder to be in the moment and not think about all of the goals and “destinations” we create for ourselves. I find myself getting so caught up with all of the things I have to do that I forget to enjoy what I’m doing right now. Parenthood really highlights how not in the moment I can be and how often I think about the destination and not what’s around me right now. Lately my destination has been my son’s bedtime! I’m always thinking about what I need to do to get to the next step with my son that I forget to enjoy him. “Breakfast, then playground, lunch, Sesame Street, then coloring and puzzles, dinner then stories and bedtime…woohoo I made it, now I can relax!” I realize this is a horrible way to think, it’s ok sometimes to just get through the day but I feel like I’ve been doing that a lot lately. And they grow up so fast so it’s really apparent to me when I haven’t taken the time to really enjoy his company. All of the sudden he’s taller, doing more things on his own, looking a little more like a little boy and less like a toddler and I don’t know where the time went. I’ve been caught up thinking about our “schedule”, today we go to the museum, tomorrow the aquarium and then story time at the library the next blah blah blah… going through the motions trying to get from this day to the next when I need to enjoy what’s happening right now.
This weekend all my son really wanted to do was spend time with me and his dad. So instead of thinking about all the things I needed to do, laundry, dishes etc… I made a point of really enjoying my time with him. Taking my shoes off, getting on the floor, playing and laughing; rolling around and being goofy. We don’t need to go to the Museum of Science for him to have a good time all he wants is a little of my time and focus. And I actually really enjoyed it instead of thinking of it as a “task”. After all soon enough he’s going to want nothing to do with me and his father!!
Benefits of living in the present
- Improved concentration. As we focus more on the now we become more focused and our concentration improves greatly, we are able to absorb and respond effectively to information much easier with this practice.
- Improved effectiveness. We think we’re being more effective when we try and multi task and have a thousand things on our to do list, truth is we are much more effective and get more done when we concentrate on one thing at a time.
- Increased relaxation. Less worrying about the future and the past leads to less anxiety and more enjoyment and relaxation of the present which is what really matters.
- Direct-felt experience of reality. Reality is that the only reality is what’s happening right now, so when you focus on the reality of the moment you become less likely to try and label and judge things in a negative or positive way. You are experiencing life as it is and not as you are creating it to be in your mind.