Living in the Moment


A major part of mindfulness is living in the moment.

Right here, right now. This moment. Nothing exists but this moment. Not striving to change anything but simply recognising and paying attention to what is going on now. Not just recognising it but paying attention to it without judging, and being compassionate with yourself about what this moment is like for you.

Whatever is here, in this moment, is enough. Even if it’s not pleasant it’s still enough.

Living in the moment is one of mindfulness’ foundational attitudes. Shifting from a stance of “doing” to “being”, the unfolding of life without agenda. We’re not trying to fix a problem or reach a goal. Whatever is here, right now, is enough.

Calm is often the result, but sometimes it isn’t. It’s actually about staying with your experience and not strive for peace.  The more you strive for peace the more distant peace will actually be.

When you become mindful of this moment, you realise that you are not your thoughts, you become an observer of your thoughts without judging them.


This is another reason mindfulness leads to happiness.

For if we’re living in the fullness of any given moment, we are not worrying about the future nor are we fixated on what has happened in the past. All that matters is what is happening right now.

I desperately needed to be really intentional about this practice recently.

Our family is in that space that exists between when something might happen – a something that would equal a massive change for all of us - and that moment when it hasn’t actually been confirmed.

You know those spaces? Spaces pregnant with the potential of being fraught with anxiety, worry, panic, fear… all those stressful powerful emotions.

In the past I would have been a major stress-head at times like these. I would be so overwhelmed about the details of what if and so stressed about all the potential pitfalls and things to do. I’d be so lost in the potential future and worrying about every detail that I wouldn’t see what was right in front of my eyes.

This wasn’t great for my family nor for myself.

How can the mindfulness practise of living in the moment help us in times like these?  When I recognised that the old familiar “overwhelmed” sensations were lurking for me I became aware of the emotions and thoughts and was then was able to put the brakes on them before they escalated too high to stop.

I popped out of my emotions and thoughts, as it were, not being led by them but returning to the present moment.

I did this by being particularly intentional about pausing throughout my day to take several deep, slow breaths. I feel stress and anxiety in my body like an agitation that threatens to explode. So, by taking those deep breaths, especially at moments when that agitation loomed, my mind cleared, I again noticed my thoughts and I could then remind myself that I am not my thoughts.

Then I intentionally shifted my focus to what’s going on around me what I hear, what I smell, what I can feel. In other words, I grounded my body to the here and now so that my mind followed. When I do this I am actually drawing my thoughts away from “what if”, stressing about “what might be” and returning them to “what is”, here and now.

I must add though, that this does take practise. It’s not automatic. Popping out of your thoughts into the here and now can be as difficult as shifting a massive ship with a tiny dingy if you’ve not exercised your mind muscles. Just like you can’t run a marathon without practising first, it’s a challenge to try shifting powerful emotions right from the start.

When you practise this attitude though, in moments when there isn’t any stress then, when you need them most, those “mind muscles” are well formed and it knows where it needs to go.

And the peace & joy that follows as the that’s worth practising for!


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!

Leave a comment