How Can We Live In The Moment?
For me, the most important benefit that I gain when I am able to live in the moment….. is PEACE. When you stop allowing your mind to be anywhere and everywhere other than where you actually are…. You find a lot of joy and contentment in every day. And ultimately, every season.
I was not living on this earth over 31 years ago, so I cannot say what life was like then. But I think it is safe to say that it is even harder now to live in the moment of each day than it was then.
We have all heard the controversy going around about how modern technology is bad for us and causes all sorts of social dysfunction, etc. We all know we need to put our phones down more often; I’m not going to beat that dead horse……
But have you ever actually stopped to imagine what it really must have felt like before even television was a thing? Of course we all love our modern conveniences, but I have to be honest and say that it sounds pretty darn nice to not have them hanging over my head all the time.
What others things would I fill my mind with? What other things would I spend my time on? (On a side not, in the 1900’s they used to make tapestries by hand that took them years. I believe this talent and commitment was a bi-product of not only their physical free time, but even their mental free time).
Does that mean I am going to cut myself off and stop enjoying all of technology? No, LOL. But I absolutely can and WILL have authority over them in my life, and not let them have authority over me. I can and will always practice the balance of them, and learn when to turn them off when necessary.
I have been practicing this for some time now, and I have talked to Lord about it a lot. And these are the steps that I feel He has shown me.
SO…. HOW CAN WE LIVE IN THE MOMENT NOW, IN OUR DAILY LIVES?
Step #1: Make the choice and commit to it
Step number one is simply just to decide that living in the moment is something that will be good for you, and make the choice that you’re going to commit to implementing it in your life.
Don’t make it another new-years-type goal:
“I wish I could….”
“One day I will….”
“I know I need to….”
Just start. It’s not going to require you to change anything about your actual day or schedule right away. *Gasp*
Also, don’t just commit it to yourself… commit it to God too so He can help you!
2nd Timothy 1:12 says:
“….for I know who I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day (when I stand before Him).”
Talk to God, tell Him about your desire to commit to this and ask Him to help you. The Holy Spirit will literally keep you accountable if you ask Him to. He can remind you all throughout the day when you are getting off track, and also give you the strength to stick with it.
All you have to do is decide, and ask. It’s not going to happen on it’s own.
Step #2: Take one day at a time
Don’t get overwhelmed. This is not something that is going to change overnight. Just make the decision every morning, before you start your day, that you’re going to stick with it again, and again. And every day that you have even one success, is a step forward!
You can literally be “living in the moment” one second, and not the next. It takes a conscious effort.
But also, it’s a matter of renewing your mind, your thought patterns, and the way you think. And this can just take some daily practice. The more you do it, the more naturally it will come.
And, once again, God will help you.
YOU WILL find yourself unconsciously slipping back into old habits. And that is OKAY! Do not be discouraged or think it is too hard. The Holy Spirit will remind you again, and again. (He’s so longsuffering that way). And you will start to recognize it quicker and quicker, and get right back on track.
Step #3: Practice controlling your thoughts
There are two actual “parts” to living in the moment.
Part #1 is to actually put the technology away at the right times, and pay attention to who and what is present in front of you.
Part #2 is your thoughts.
There is a saying I’ve heard before that says:
“If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re fearful and anxious, you’re living in the future. And if you’re at peace, you’re living in the present”
Obviously, there are probably a few exceptions to that rule, but I thought that was pretty darn accurate. And it can really be used as a measuring tool to figure out why we feel the way we feel.
We don’t need or want to be depressed. We don’t need or want to be afraid and anxious. So, the only real place we should be thinking and focusing on, is NOW.
Think about it for a moment….. You may be someone who struggles with anxiety and/or fear. The next time you start to feel that way, stop and ask yourself what you were just allowing your mind to focus on.
Do the same thing when you feel depressed about something.
I myself have struggled with low levels of anxiety most of my life. But more recently, I had a season of sever anxiety and panic attacks. And I KNOW that when that happened, I was or had been thinking about something in the future that I was really nervous about. Or even afraid that bad things “could” happen IN THE FUTURE.
How can we ever actually live in the moment if our thoughts are constantly living in the past or the future? You could be worried about something coming up, or anxious about all the things you have to get done today.
But, Jesus Himself said, in Matthew 6:34:
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about it’s own things. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”
Wow, that’s wisdom. You will have enough things to worry about tomorrow, so figure it out when you get there, not now! You have other things to think about right now. What if we would actually implement that into our daily lives?
If we really want to have peace and live in the moment, we have to learn to control our thoughts. We can’t let them run us rampant and tell us what we’re going to think about! We have to tell them what to think about. And we can choose to think on exactly what we are doing in that very moment. (The Bible tells us that we can and should do this).
If we’re not focused on what is in front of us, then the only other thing we should be thinking about is God’s goodness and His word. This will also make us grateful and give us peace.
Once again, this takes practice.
Step #4: Find the positives in every situation
The last step I want to talk about is being thankful. If we are so busy being annoyed or complaining about how everything is not going the way we wanted or planned….. then we are NOT living in the moment of what IS happening. We’re focused on what should have been.
Let me give a personal example to help clarify…..
Recently I was on my way to an early morning spin class at my gym. This was the first spin class that I had taken in about two years, and it just seemed that everything wanted to be as annoying as is possibly could be!
Let me give you a little bit of back story. I love spin classes, and I used to take them once or twice a week. After a long stretch of emotional and physical issues and setbacks…. I was physically unable to take spin classes anymore. Fears and lies in my head tried to make me worry that I would never be able to take one again. (For those of you who have taken a spin class, you know that they are not just a class that you jump into for fun if you do not have any cardiovascular practice at all).
So… for me to be going to this spin class that morning was a BIG deal. Buuuuttt….. I had to wake up on one of the days I normally got to sleep in….. It was storming terribly outside that morning, raining and lightening….. Traffic was extra bad because of the storm….I kept getting stopped at every light on the way there…. And there were several people who kept getting in front of me who were crawling down the road and causing me to get stopped at the lights!
I was determined to go. And because this was my first class, I was almost MORE annoyed because it seemed like the world was against me getting to this spin class. Instead of being grateful for this moment I had hoped for, I was getting frustrated because of how much emphasis I had put on this moment.
I was about to complain out loud, (even though no one could hear me), and I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of exactly what I was telling you about previously. I was not even living in the amazing moment of actually taking and ENJOYING my first spin class because of a bunch of stupid stuff.
This is where I had a choice to stick to my commitment, or not.
So, when I wanted to open my mouth to complain…. Instead, I opened my mouth and thanked God.
I said, “God, thank you that I am alive and healthy. Thank you that I have the freedom of time that I can take a spin class on a Wednesday morning instead of being somewhere else. Thank you that I have the money to afford a nice gym that offers spin classes. Thank you that my health has been restored so that I can even be going to this spin class at all! Thank you that you are keeping me safe in this storm and that I’m not in a car wreck.”
My perspective changed so quickly. My agitation lifted, and I was able to be happy and excited about my class, and enjoy it. AND…. While I was in my spin class, the storm cleared up, the sun came out, and was hitting my back through the window. 😊
It turned out totally different than it could have because I made a decision to live in the moment, asked God for help, received His help when He offered it, and stuck to my commitment.
Guys, it’s really that simple.
I didn’t say easy…. I said simple. *wink*
I am not writing this from the position of having it all figured out. I have just recently been starting to practice this, and these are the steps that God put on my heart when I asked Him.
I hope this causes you feel motivated to make the decision to live in the moment each day. And also, that it will help you feel encouraged that you CAN do it!
I know I am the kind of person who loves to know a step-by-step process for everything. (Unfortunately, God doesn’t always give me that. These steps are something that He gave me over a period of time). And if you are like me then this will make the whole process seem attainable.
I would love to hear your stories as you begin to put this into practice. Drop a comment here, or over on my Instagram page. ( social button at the top of the page).
As always, until next time…. Take one day at a time.
Her Life In Season