Living in the Moment
I've tried to live in the moment as much as possible. Whenever I feel upset or worried, I try to bring myself into the present. And whenever it occurs to me, I take a few mindful breaths, look around my surroundings, and become aware of the moment. I still have a long way to go, but I'm living less in my head and more in the moment now than ever before—and I can feel the difference. Here are some practical tips to help you get mindful now.
• Meditate. Meditating is nothing more than focusing on the present moment. The easiest way to meditate is to simply focus on your breath—not because your breath has some magical quality, but because it's always there with you. The challenge is to keep your attention on your breathing. Inevitably, your mind will wander and thoughts will arise—and that's fine. When it happens, just let go of the thought and bring your attention back to the present by focusing once again on your breath.
•Use a reminder of the string-around-your-finger variety. Wear your watch upside-down, put a quarter in your shoe, or put a smudge on one of the lenses of your glasses. When you notice it, let that serve as a reminder for you to notice your surroundings, become aware of your senses and your bodily sensations, and bring your focus into the present. If you get to the point where you're going entire days without noticing it, switch up the reminder.
•Practice slowing down time by attending to the subtleties of experience in the here and now. Take a minute and go get a handful of raisins. Now eat one—but don't just pop it in your mouth. Instead, imagine you've never seen a raisin before. Look it over carefully. Consider its shape, weight, color, and texture. Rub the raisin gently across your lips, noticing how it feels. Now put the raisin in your mouth, and roll it around slowly with your tongue. Notice how it feels in your mouth. Take a small bite, noting the flavor. Next, chew the raisin slowly, focusing on its taste and texture. Then swallow, and follow its path down your throat as far as you can. You can have a few more—but remember to focus on what each one looks, tastes, and feels like on your lips, in your mouth, and down your throat.
•Make it new. When you're performing music, giving a presentation, or even just recounting a favorite story, try to make it new in subtle ways, delivering it in a way you've never done before. Rather than performing it by rote, take a risk and try something different—use different words, add a pause, try to express a particular emotion to the audience. Not only will you enjoy it more yourself, but studies find that audiences prefer such performances too. Somehow mindfulness seems to leave an imprint on everything we do.
•Mind the gap. Whenever you find yourself waiting—for the checkout line to move, for the traffic light to change, for the Web page to load—get present. Instead of being impatient and wishing things would go faster, be grateful for the gift of a respite—for the 30 seconds or a minute or two minutes during which you have no obligations. Take the opportunity to mindfully breathe in, breathe out, and savor the moment.
•Focus on the soles of your feet. Here's a good trick to return to mindfulness if you feel angry or aggressive. Shift all your attention to the soles of your feet. Move your toes slowly, feel the weave of your socks and the curve of your arch. Breathe naturally and focus on the soles of your feet until you feel calm. Practice this exercise until you can use it wherever you are and whenever you find yourself feeling verbally or physically aggressive.
•Focus on your senses. When you observe your surroundings without judging them good or bad, you naturally nudge your awareness into the present moment. Close your eyes and focus on your sense of scent and mentally list all the smells you're aware of—the restaurant downstairs, the wet pavement outside, the perfume of a nearby co-worker. Next, list all the different sounds you can hear—the ventilation system, cars in the distance, the hum of your computer, typing, footsteps. Then open your eyes and list all the things you see—the rustling of the trees, the faces in the crowd, the wrinkles on your palm. Finally, list all the things you can sense that you appreciate—the way a beam of sunlight hits the brick building across the street, the welcome sight of a friend's smile, the smell of cookies baking. Remember, you're not looking for things to appreciate—you're appreciating the things you sense. With luck, this exercise will put you in a state of relaxed attention that reduces anxiety and makes you feel more fully alive.
Isn’t that funny. We expect and demand someone to give us what we are unable to give to ourselves. Unconditional love. If we expect that from someone to make us feel safe and loved, wanted and desired, don’t we have to understand what it is? Don’t we have to feel it for ourselves before we can accept or expect anyone else to give it to us? Unconditional love: loving without limitations, conditions, or reservations. If we don’t provide that for ourselves, what is our point of reference to measure the love that is to fulfill our lives. How would we know what we are searching for or what we expect someone to give to us? How do we express to someone what we need?
In order to know that there is such a kind of love, we had to have read it somewhere, seen it in a movie or somewhere, sometime, someone showed us a glimpse of it. Right? Wrong. We were born knowing unconditional love. It is a gift, a birthright given to us from the very beginning. It’s the conditioning once our souls take on the human form that limits our belief in unconditional love. It’s erased and replaced by conditioned thoughts of the world. We learn our actions cause reactions. We learn that we are either good or bad. We learn What is acceptable and what is not. That becomes our point of reference, removing us far away from what we were born with. After time and experiences it almost seems hopeless to return.
It is true that seeing glimpses of it in movies and books confirms in our hearts that it does exist. We are told that it is only fantasy. That it is the fantasy we are craving. Not true. Our spirit is craving what we knew from the beginning.
We need to take the time to find out what “unconditional love?is for ourselves instead of Depending on someone to do it for us. If we aren’t clear on what it is how will our needs and desires get met? We expect someone to give us something but we aren’t clear as to what that “something? is. Following that path, we will always be disappointed. We will always place people in position to let us down; all the while they have no idea what we are expecting from them. If we are unable to express our need in a clear manner there will be no one that will understand. If it is not clear to us it certainly will not be clear to them.
Finding your true unconditional love means finding the true you. When was the last time you really focused on finding out who you really are? So in reading this, the answer sounds easy but how do you begin? Where do you start to begin this path of finding unconditional love?
You must work through painful experiences that create anger or bitterness in you. Why did it happen? What was the lesson to be learned in it? Be grateful for the people that were put in your path to help you with that lesson, rather than resenting them for hurting you. It is absolutely impossible to unconditionally love yourself if you harbor bitterness, anger, guilt or any other feelings that are not love.
When looking through your “looking glass? you see things as you have been conditioned to see them. That woman smashed into the back of your new car because you feel you don’t deserve to have a new car. The kids are disobeying you because they don’t care about you. Your partner is angry because you blame them for things and it’s not their fault. It’s all bad luck; if it weren’t for bad luck you’d have no luck. Hear that before?
It’s how you look at the lessons that will make your journey easy or difficult. Clean off your “looking glass?and let’s get started.
1. Focus on who you are. Write down all the qualities you know about yourself. For example; (You love helping people, You love working with children, You are creative and so on.) Write them down so you can actually see the wonderful qualities about yourself that you know are there.
2. Practice speaking out loud all of the things you deserve. You deserve that new car, you deserve people to respect you, and you deserve unconditional love. This is called affirmation. When your subconscious hears the words it starts to believe them. But you must do the work because no one will do it for you. You are in charge.
Find a way to return to times and places that bring up resentful, fearful feelings where your needs were not getting met. If you don’t feel like you can do it alone, find a “coach?or therapist, or a friend that will help you feel safe and loved during the times of recalling these events. Talk about them. Get honest, healthy, and safe feed back. Your ultimate idea of a bounce back partner is your life partner who is in your life to help you grow and heal these areas. The idea here is to recall them, feel them (pain and all), and then release them, let go to open up another room for unconditional love.
3. Recalling the event or person will give you a starting point. Recall the people involved, recall how you felt, and what should have happened instead to meet your needs. How would you handle it today, knowing that you deserve to get your needs met, knowing that you deserve unconditional love, and knowing that in order to receive unconditional love you need to give it.
4.Feel the pain that the event and people caused you. Go deep inside, feel the anger, feel the hurt, feel the rejection, feel the disapproval, feel how alone you were at that moment in your life. Cry.Cry. Cry. And when you are through crying all of the tears you have over it, think for a moment how that situation would be handled today, knowing that you deserve to get your needs met, knowing you deserve unconditional love, and knowing in order to receive unconditional love you need to give it.
5. And finally, release the past, release the pain, and forgive. Forgive means to stop being angry about or resentful against, to relieve from payment of. To relieve from payment of the past is the step that will bring you to unconditional love. The world owes you nothing. You were born deserving it, so was everyone else. We are here on our journey’s to help each other heal.
Learning how to love yourself unconditionally, creating your dream love by being clear on what you are looking for and be sure that you are able to provide that for yourself before expecting someone to provide it for you, that’s where you will find unconditional love.