The Secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.- Buddha
How often do you find yourself living in the past? Wondering what might have been, or even regretting the choices that brought you to this point?
Every single person in the world has felt this way at one time or another at some point in their lives, but it’s how you choose to deal with these feelings that makes or breaks you.
I know, it sounds very dramatic. And, truth be told, it is.
The fact is that when we focus on the past and dwell on things we can’t change, we are cheating ourselves. And, when we worry about the future, we cheat ourselves. When we’re so concerned with what was or what might be, life passes us by.
It all sounds so simple: just live in the moment. And it should be easy…but as it happens, life can occasionally throw you a curve ball. How can one live in the moment when so many difficulties present themselves? How can one avoid worry and stress?
Maybe you can’t avoid everything, but remember this: life is all about perception. So, for example, when you get out of bed and trip over the cat, you might think, “Oh great, the whole day’s going to be bad.” And, you can bet that it will.
But if you laugh it off and think happy thoughts instead, you’re more likely to have positive experiences.
Even if you don’t believe in the law of attraction, I think we can agree that it FEELS better to be happy and to have a positive outlook. That alone should be enough to give today’s challenge a shot. 🙂
So, bottom line: live for the moment. Feel good. Think happy thoughts!
1. When you find yourself imagining fearful scenarios ask yourself, “Is this the only possibility?” Search for what else could be true, rather than what you fear.
2. Remind yourself that worrying about the future or regretting the past isn’t going to change what has or is going to happen.
3. Do you have a fundamental trust that whatever happens you’re going to be ok? Can you find times from your past that serve as evidence that this is true? If so, draw on that experience.
4. Are your basic needs met, does your life work? Often we move into the future because we think it will be better there. Consider addressing what ever is not in balance so it will become desirable to be more in the now.
5. Practice the power of the present. Focus on something positive or beautiful right here and now and breathe it in. Let yourself fully feel it.
6. Then, be willing to let go of that too and move on to the next moment.
Today, I challenge you to live for the moment. Just for today, look around you and find the beauty and wonder that is in your every day environment.
Breathe…appreciate life…and think happy thoughts.
Want what you’ve got, and you’ll always have what you want. It’s all about this moment, right here, right now.
Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What’s it all about for you? Be it, do it, have it.
I leave you with a final thought, a quote from Henry Drummond.
“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.”
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” ~Ronald Reagan
A few years ago, I drove to a different town to do a series of political candidate interviews I’m working on for one of my local news writing jobs.
The first interview was with a candidate who called himself a Reagan conservative republican. I’m not very political by nature, but I think in general, some of my beliefs and ideas would be considered pretty liberal. Even so, I could definitely identify and connect with this man.
The Definition of Soulmates
In addition to all of the political stuff, the candidate talked a lot about his wife, who unexpectedly passed away more than a decade ago.
He told me that he hadn’t changed a thing in the home she decorated, and then he told me the story of their epic love.
Even now, more than a decade later, the love shone brightly in his eyes as he spoke of his beautiful wife. He showed me pictures of her and talked about their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Since they’d married young–he was 20, she was 18–they had planned to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary together.
Goodnight, Sweetheart, It’s Time to Go
They were married for nearly 40 blissful years when his wife had a terrible headache one night and went to bed.
The candidate said he tried to take her to the hospital because the headache seemed so severe–in fact, he tried three times, but each time his wife refused, preferring to stay in the comfort of her own home.
She wasn’t even sick, as far as they knew, and the next morning, he left her to sleep as he went about his morning routines.
One of his daughters called him that morning, around 7:15 am. She asked after her mother, and the candidate told her she was asleep.
His daughter then asked him a question that, to this day, he has no idea why she’d ask–was her mother breathing?
The candidate said of course she was, but when he hung up, he thought about how strange it was that his daughter would say something like that. He went into the bedroom to check on his wife and found her there, unresponsive. He said she couldn’t be moved.
He called 911 and the paramedics, fire department and police arrived soon after. He said that much of the rest of the day was a blur, as he was understandably quite traumatized by the whole situation.
But he did remember that he tried to go into the bedroom to see her again. He was not allowed into the room, so he paced the floors of the family room where they’d spent so many happy hours together. He waited, and finally learned that she’d been declared dead.
One True Love: Soulmates are Forever
Since the death of his beloved wife, the candidate hasn’t even had the desire to date anyone else.
He said there was only one true love for him, his soulmate, his wife. He also mentioned that he had grown closer to his children since then and told me that his wife had done such an amazing job raising them.
She had been the primary caregiver as a stay-at-home mom while he worked to support the family.
The look on his face as he talked about his wife was indescribable. He was clearly still in love with her, even thirteen years after she’d passed away–theirs was a love that truly transcended even death.
Honestly, I was moved almost to the point of tears by the depth of his love for her.
In addition to getting a glimpse inside of an amazing love story, the thing that really struck me about this man is that, even though he lost the love of his life so unexpectedly, he was still so very grateful for everything that they’d been given in life.
He made it very clear that even now, he feels very grateful for the life he has been given, he is all about love. Love is the answer, he said, to everything.
That day, I found myself feeling grateful that I had the opportunity to meet such an amazing man with such an incredible outlook on life and that he was kind enough to share it with me.
And that night, when I kissed my husband good night, I kept this political candidate’s love story in my heart and remembered to be grateful for every moment we have together.
Do you believe in soulmates? Have you met yours yet? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!
As you continue on your quest to create personal change in your life, the next step is to start removing negative influences from your mind.
One of the biggest “negativity magnets” most people have seems to be a part of human nature–judging other people.
The habit of judging others can be so toxic to our own well-being. While it’s very difficult to completely quell the notion to judge the world around us, making concerted efforts to minimize it can significantly improve our ability to move past negativity and live in a more positive state.
For example, traffic has been a constant source of stress for me over the years. A couple of months ago, I started trying to change the way I think about other drivers.
Instead of exclaiming loudly to myself (and any other unfortunate passengers in my car) about the inability of the state to properly test drivers, the lack of concern (of other drivers) for their own lives–let alone mine, and other less kind things, I changed my mind.
It occurred to me that I didn’t know that person’s circumstances. Perhaps something horrible had just happened in their lives and they were just distracted. Maybe they weren’t feeling well, or honestly didn’t see me before jerking over into my lane going thirty miles an hour below the speed limit…
But I digress.
The point I’m making is this: after a week or so of changing my mind, avoiding traffic judgment, and trying to empathize with others instead of focusing on what they were doing wrong–I felt much less stressed about traffic in general–and it actually spilled over into the rest of my day.
So, I ask you all to try this experiment. If traffic isn’t an issue for you, you can do this with the subway, people at work, or any other place or event which causes you stress. For one week, don’t judge. Instead, try to focus on the positive.
Don’t beat yourself up if you find this task difficult. Like I said, it’s human nature to judge others. Just notice it each time you do it, and literally change your mind. If you’re cut off in traffic, for example, take a deep breath and smile. Be grateful for your own great driving skills, and leave it at that.
The bottom line is that we do not know what people around us are going through, and we do not have the right to judge them. If we avoid or belittle people who are different than we, by choice or by design, we might as well put ourselves into a tiny box full of other people just like us.
In my opinion, part of what makes this world such a beautiful place is that whole “snowflake” effect humanity has going on–no two are alike. Variety is the spice of life, and all that. What do you think?
I’ll leave you with an old Native American proverb: Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.
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