How to start living here and now
The answer to the question, “What is the purpose of living here and now?” is quite simple. To the question, “What is the purpose of living here and now?”, the answer is quite simple. To work better, to rest better. To make our feelings brighter and thinner. To develop our abilities. To learn to really listen to others and really be present with another person. To improve our memory and become more attentive to details. To get rid of unnecessary anxiety and perfectionism. The list can go on and on forever.
Why aren’t we here? But a counter question arises: if living in the present time is so wonderful, why isn’t most of us doing it? Probably because we are not at ease with ourselves – whether it’s our own body or the country where we were born, whether it’s professional questions or relationships with loved ones. We’re used to moving away from a reality that doesn’t suit us somewhere, just so we don’t have to be in it. For example, any child can hide in an imaginary world where the surrounding reality is too scary and uncomfortable. Adults also have an extensive foothold for retreat. We can find ourselves in a world of fantasy and memories, go into the world of projects and theories, or we can occupy ourselves with fears, unspoken conversations, making a list of unbought. Nobody claims that all these things are completely unnecessary in the mental economy. But how long have we been in this virtual world, and how long have we been in real, real time? One of the explanations for this lies in modern culture, for which “to do” has become more important than “to be”. Therefore, efficiency, planning, activity, and success come to the foreground. Just to sit down and contemplate – for many it is too hard, sometimes just impossible task.
You can feel yourself ‘here and now’ if you: take a deep breath; listen to calm music; walk in nature; sit near water; pet a cat or dog; do any exercise; touch the snow; smell what your hand smells like; ask yourself: “What do I smell now?”; imagine being a little kid. Closer to the present Anyone can learn to live “here and now”. Only, as a rule, he doesn’t do it because he’s too busy. The paradox is that simple exercises to be present in the present more often will take no more than 10 minutes a day.
Start to pay attention to where you are at the moment – in reality or in imaginary worlds. You can set yourself an alarm (or a reminder in your phone) for every hour. And when the alarm sounds, ask yourself: Where am I? If it turns out that you are always not here, but in dreams, memories or plans, you need to do something about it. You can play with one tricky thought (it is not necessary to believe in it). Imagine that everything that is happening now is the only thing you have. The past is a memory. The future is imaginary pictures. Except for “now”, you have nothing. It’s a little uncomfortable, but it’s at the same time “inserts.” Everything around you gets brighter and life gathers strength. If you accept this philosophy, there is a simple conclusion: everything good in life must be realized right on the spot, here and now. Either it already exists in the form of at least a fetus – or it will never exist. So you can’t think anymore: I want love, and for the sake of that I will tolerate the mockery of my beloved. I want to live in luxury, so I’ll eat Doshirak today. At any moment you can stop, look around and ask yourself: “What do I like here and what don’t I like?” And what can you change right now (turn off the stupid radio, remove the expensive but disgusting picture from the wall, wipe the dust off, call someone). You can ask the question otherwise: how can I feel more joy right now, at this very moment, without leaving my seat? This is much more important than any grand plans.
Stop the moment It’s amazing how each of us can’t live now. And the most amazing thing is that we don’t enjoy even when it seems like God has already ordered it. One eats steak, thinking not about his taste, but what dessert he’ll have. The other, instead of enjoying it in bed, can’t get away from thinking about how it looks or how many orgasms it will reach. If pleasure exists at all, then it certainly only exists now – and nowhere else!
It would be good to ask myself the question more often: what do I feel at this very moment? – sounds, visual images, taste, smell. Attention to the sensations helps to be here and now and also increases pleasure. When we get bored, let’s say you’re standing in traffic. You mentally push the cars forward and send curses to the city authorities, globalization and everyone ahead. But unless you have the gift of telekinesis, desperate thoughts don’t accelerate anything. Or you can spend these very minutes differently: listening to music and relaxing. Or you can read a book that you don’t usually have time for. The same applies to queues, waiting for green light at the crossroads, many situations where you just have to wait. If you live now, the moments of forced idle time will be a gift, free minutes to live – all you have to do is to disconnect from impatience. If you experience unpleasant feelings: anxiety, irritation, headache – try to focus on them. How do you breathe while doing this?
How do unpleasant sensations walk around your body? Which muscles are tense? You don’t have to try to eliminate unpleasant sensations on purpose. When you just pay attention to them, they often change on their own. When it’s scary It’s an objective fact: if we live in the present, we have less chance of being the victim of an accident or an abuser. Simply because we pay more attention to what’s going on around us. In every situation, attention to detail helps. In general, moderate anxiety mobilizes the ability to live now. However, excessive anxiety can paralyze us. Most fears and anxieties are just fantasies about the future. Which will surely not be what we imagine it to be. Our unconscious does not separate imaginary fear from real fear. And that’s why the body reacts equally to the vagaries of the imagination as it does to the real danger. It creates stress – fears about all kinds of “what if?”, “what if?”, “maybe” cause a rapid heartbeat. So to be now is to get rid of fear. When we live in “now,” anxiety falls into the background. Lessons from the presence of the Pro submerged man in his thoughts say he is absent.
Sometimes it’s harmless to be absent, like in a boring meeting. But with loved ones – and with a loved one, and with children and friends – it is important to be present: to notice, react, understand, empathize. Without presence, you can only live with fantasies of great love in an uncertain future. Therefore, it is better to start loving right now and right of the one who is near. If you have lost contact with someone who is sitting next to you, go back to the “now” and restore the broken connection. Look, say what comes to mind, look into the eyes of the person you’re talking to.
Don’t think about anything else, just be with the person. Just wanting to be with someone is love. All “great love” grows from here. Real life is life in the present. Everything else – fantasies and memories are written forks on water. You can learn to live in the present. It’s worth the effort. If you learn this, you will see that you have become calmer, more relaxed, more attentive and that you are more willing to thank life for what it gives you.