Now or the Future?

July 1

Ever been frustrated waiting for something or someone?  I have!! Often… It must be a lesson I have yet to learn well enough as I keep being blessed with opportunities to learn more about it. I am doing my best  to sprinkle the waiting with Grace and season well with Gratitude.

The problem with waiting is that it is all about the future. That could be tomorrow. Or next week, next month, next year… It is NEVER now. By putting all my energies and effort into waiting I’m missing out on big chunks of now. They  will fade into yesterday, last week, last month, last year…

I could be missing out on seeing the most awesome sunset ever. Or enjoy watching a funny movie with some friends. Or any number of other fantastic things that are happening around me NOW while I am fretting – about waiting; and waiting. For a tomorrow that will never come.

That seems an awful waste, doesn’t it?

Of course it’s reasonable to plan for the future. Especially the big, important stuff. Once the plan and the steps to achieve it are in place, perhaps the way forward is to take it one step at a time in the Now Moment. With Grace, Gratitude, and trust that you will get there. Not the future. To whatever it is you have planned for.

I think the trick to the whole mindfulness/Now Moment stuff  is to focus fully on whatever is happening in each moment. Do it with full attention and enjoyment. Whether it be a challenging situation or a joyful one, be totally immersed in it. You just might be surprised at the things you learn and discover. At least that is what I like to think will happen. It is said to improve life satisfaction.  Add improved performance, and reduced stress performance and you have the condensed formula for mindfulness benefits.

Mindfulness training has emerged as a powerful, evidence-based tool for enhancing psychological health. It has been clinically proven in a wide range of clinical disorders, including chronic pain, anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, OCD, substance abuse, and borderline personality disorder.”

So just what needs to happen for this whole mindfulness thing to work? It is possible to dip your toe in and sample or jump in the deep end and really give it a good bash. As in all new things, practice, practice, practice until it becomes a daily routine.

There are many simple ways to sample and practice mindfulness. For example, you could start by just focussing on your breath to the exclusion of everything else. Follow the in breath as it enters your nose, feeling how the air changes from cool to warm as it flows down and fills your lungs. From there imagine accompanying it on its journey through your body to your cells and back out again as it piggybacks toxins out of your body.

Slow your breath down as you do this, pausing slightly between the in and out breath. If you find it difficult to keep your mind from wandering, try counting as you breathe. Create a pattern of breathing that is comfortable for you, for example 4(in) 6(hold) 7(out). You could then try slowing it down even more. As you do this, you will find your body automatically beginning to relax and slow down.

Meditation is another good tool to use.  Eating in a mindful manner is very healthy too!

This site has lots of free  stuff – worksheets, book chapters, MP3 recordings, YouTube, Pod Casts.

©  Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
– Dalai Lama
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16 thoughts on “Now or the Future?

      1. Actually at the moment I have a whole half hour of “meditating” I can do when I put my eye drops in for my glaucoma. Unfortunately it’s interrupted by the timer every ten minutes. That’s how long I have to wait between the three drops… But it makes for a great prayer time!

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