‘Live in the present’ is a catch cry in recent well being blogs that stems back over time. It means that we often dwell in the past or look to the future rather than living in the moment. Once I was made aware of this I saw in myself, and others, how our past shaped our lives – often in surprising ways.
When I was a child I was swooped by a Plover. To this day I hate Plovers. When I hear them nearby calling to each other I remember – I hate Plovers. Thinking about this logically I have encountered many Plovers since I was swooped. None of them have attacked me. That one off experience, so long ago, has stayed with me to this day – shaping my future.
We all have examples like this. Often they are nowhere near as obvious or silly as my Plover example. They are often also very well hidden from us – because they are entrenched in our belief system. To us this feeling is how it has always been. Without our investigation into the basis for these feelings we just live them over and over again. Actually even when you do identify them you still live them over and over again – it is just after you have identified them they have less of a hold on you.
So what does living in the present look like? It is taking in the world around you – right now. What do you see? What do you hear? Are you fully present and listening to those around you? Are you aware of the wind and the temperature? Can you feel the texture or the materials around you? Are you tasting the flavours and enjoying eating what is in your mouth?
Writing and reading about being in the present is one thing. Actually doing it is another. Inside our heads we are going over past events – either from the day, or last week, or ten years ago. Alternatively we are thinking of the future events – planning our holidays – thinking about retirement or the weekend or when we get married and have children. Inside our minds we zoom off in every direction.
The issue with having our lives shaped by the past is we fail to notice that the circumstance around us are not the same as they were in the past. The Plover is not actually swooping – but still we are scared.
The issue with spending our time day dreaming about the future is that we may be wishing our lives away – thinking I can’t wait for my holiday in November – and forgetting to appreciate what happens between then and now.
Appreciating the journey is a great way to experience our lives. Too often we are only focused on the final destination. Remember to stop and smell the roses is another way to say the same thing. I especially like this saying because I love the smell of roses. So often we rush from one place to the next – passing by wonderful places and glorious natural wonders with the focus of getting a green light – zooming right on to the next ‘important’ thing.
For us online daters this shows up when we gather up wishes from past Adams – The Adam who wanted us to:
- wear a certain perfume
- walk 10,000 steps a day
- shower twice a day
- drive them back from the shops
The list is endless – You will have your own examples.
The issues arise when we bring our endless list into our current relationship – forgetting that our current Adam has a brand new list. If you clear out the old lists when you leave one Adam and find another it will better for everyone. You can spend your time finding out how your new relationship can flourish without using your time carrying out Ex Adam’s wishes.
Look into your life and see where your past is shaping your present. The more you look the more you find. This is one of the side effects of being human.
Enjoy the wonder of your life – right now!
Let me know what you discover about your past and how it shapes your present. Smell the roses.