Episode 5: Living In The Present Moment
What is it in us, as we move into adulthood, that takes away the joy of living in the present moment as we did when we were children? Happily, though, we can learn from children. Young children are masters at living in the present moment. They are also such wonderful teachers.
Even in the Old Testament, through the Book of Proverbs, we are encouraged to live life one day at a time. Yet who better to learn from than Jesus, who lived for the day and wants us to do so too. Live one day at a time.
Listen to the episode below, or continue on to read the transcript.
What is it in us, as we move into adulthood, that takes away the joy of living in the present moment as we did when we were children?
I can’t recall whether it was a gradual process or an “overnight” happening. But, somewhere along the way, in “growing up” I lost the ability to live in the present – at least for a time, and a lengthy time at that!
Life became about being mature, responsible, of thinking about, planning for and building for the future, putting the foundations in place. It became about goals, achieving, being successful in endeavours, a desire to give our children more than we had as children – at least in the way of material things. It was this quest that drove me, and in so doing, led me to forget the joys and richness of my own childhood. So much for getting older and wiser!
Young children are masters at living in the present moment. They are also such wonderful teachers. Children in their innocence and purity are powerful mirrors that show us what is innately within, and what we long to reconnect with — a force that has never left us. They help us release a familiar spark from within that says, this is who I am, and always have been, deep inside. To remember what life is about, we need only pause to observe children for a few minutes. It doesn’t take long before we appreciate the joy, simplicity and presence that children exude.
Living in the present means letting go of past baggage and preoccupation with the future. When living in the past, there is a tendency to hold on to painful memories of times others hurt us or of failing to succeed at something that seemed important at the time. Carrying negative memories around feeds them, giving them the power to continue to impact on the present.
When we invest excessive time dwelling on the past, we can define ourselves by what happened long ago, instead of enjoying who we are today. It stifles our opportunities to grow and move forward.
Changing how we think about the past is a start. Instead of holding on to the past, we can learn from it, use it as an opportunity to grow stronger, and move on. Being in the present moment is our natural state – we have merely spent too much time denying it, living in our heads, disconnected from the now! We have allowed ourselves to become obsessed about the past and the future – making it a habit. Happily, habits can be changed!
Whatever the goal we’re pursuing, No matter how rugged the climb, We’re certain to get there by trying our best, And taking one day at a time [Emily Matthews]. Life is today and my life is now. As I take in the beauty of the day, I am encouraged to look at everything as if seeing it for the first or last time – to live in the NOW!
Even in the Old Testament, through the Book of Proverbs, we are encouraged to live life one day at a time. “Do not congratulate yourself about tomorrow, since you do not know what today will bring forth”.
Yet who better to learn from than Jesus, who lived for the day and wants us to do too. “Do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” He taught us to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread…” not for tomorrow, not for yesterday, but this day!
American author Og Mandino suggested: “Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day… Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”
Live one day at a time.
Life is a gift to you and look for the silver lining.
This is Terry Lees
[Music: Living in The Moment – Jason Mraz]