All we have is this one single moment. The moment before has gone. The next moment is yet to be. We have no idea if we will even be here for one more moment. There is only now. If we can make now, this moment, a good place to be then we pretty much have things sorted. Our life is lived in moments.
It's no mistake that 'now' is known as 'the present'. It's only by being present, by being mindful of this moment that we genuinely experience life. When our mind takes us into the past, or the future or away from what we are actually experiencing right now, we are no longer present, we are missing out on our own life.
I want to live in the now. Learn from the past, plan for the future, but fully experience each wonderful moment and squeeze as much out of my precious moment by moment life as I can.
But it's not easy. You would think that we could manage to make one moment okay, find one moment of focus, peace, happiness, joy. One moment of whatever it is we need to make our now a good place to be. But our minds present us with thoughts. Pleasant thoughts, disturbing thoughts, seductive incessant chatter distracting us from the moment, leaving us absent, no longer present in the experience of our actual life. Staying in the moment is really hard. Our minds wander. It's what minds do. Gently and kindly bringing my mind back to the present to notice and experience my moment is the trick I want to master.
So, this week I started my journey on learning to be a teacher of Mindfulness. Mindfulness is fast becoming 'The Thing'. It used to live very happily in the world of spiritual wellbeing. A bit fluffy and frankly considered to belong decidedly in the 'Ommmm" camp. Lately, however, it has been gaining ground and credibility in the world of mental health where it is recognised as a valid and useful tool in managing the symptoms of depression and is being increasingly used in the business world by organisations who are enlightened enough to take care of their employee's wellbeing and want to help them to reduce their stress levels.
What I have learned so far is that Mindfulness is for anyone. It's not just for those who are on a spiritual journey of self discovery and you don't have to sit in isolation in a dark cave. It is for anyone who wants to learn to take a break from the hectic, full and sometimes stressful way we live - a wonderful tool to help us really make the most of taking a moment; stopping to smell the roses; taking a breath, slowing down the pace. A tool for making now a good place to be.
So, I invite you to take a moment: And, perhaps notice as you are sitting that you can become still and relaxed and become aware of your breath. Don't try to change it. Just notice your in breath. Notice how it feels as you breathe in through your nose. Notice the cool temperature and follow the flow of your breath down through your lungs and abdomen, noticing how they gently expand. And as you breathe out notice your out breath and how your abdomen and chest gently fall as you follow your breath out again, feeling the warm flow through your nose or on your lips. Count five more in and out breaths. 1. This is my in breath. This is my out breath. Following the breath with no need to change it, notice the sensations created in your body by simply breathing in and out. 2. This is my in breath, this is my out breath.
Who knew just breathing could create such a wonderful moment?
- Author Unknown -