Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present - Alice Morse Earle
All we really have is the present moment. When we focus on the past we either have regrets or yearn for better days. When we are constantly thinking about the future, we become anxious or simply miss the gift that is in the present. The secret of happiness is being in the moment.
Just as the sunrise greets us each morning, every moment is a new opportunity to shift our perspective and make new choices. When we don’t pay attention to the present moment, we miss the gift.
Of course, we have to review our past so we can learn lessons, but, ultimately, we have to let it go. When we stay focused on the past we regret what we did, blame others or ourselves. In addition, we tend to over analyze. Our mental mind goes over and over the same thing and we end up missing the opportunities to heal and move forward.
At times, we all crave the nostalgia of yesterday and often want to recreate it. But, it’s not possible. Controlling the outcome or other people’s behavior doesn’t work. It only brings more suffering and disappointment. We can’t expect or force a specific outcome. Instead, we must let go and accept what is.
How can we plan for the future, while living in the present?
Certainly, we are co-creators in this life. By all means, we have to make goals, plans and take action. It’s trying to control the outcome that’s the problem. Be in the moment. Be in the flow of life. We can learn a lot from sailing. We know the destination and we can map out the route, but we have to take our cues from the wind. If we fight it, we won’t get as far or we will only encounter more challenges. As Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can change my sails.”
Pain is inevitable, but we cause more suffering by wishing things were different. Especially in these uncomfortable moments, we have to accept what is. Avoiding pain leads to addictions, anger and more suffering. Whatever happens, we must stay in the moment, observe, listen and trust that we will be guided in our next step. It’s in the moment that we will find the answer. When our minds are elsewhere we won’t see the synchronicities or the signs that will help us find a solution and the lesson.
Tools to help us live in the present moment:
Accept what is
Let go of the outcome
Don’t have expectations
Trust that it’ll all work out
Believe that all your needs are met
Go with the flow
Release emotions, stress and anxiety
When you’re living in the present moment, you’re truly in the flow of life.
As I give up attachment to knowing how it all comes out, or of knowing how it all works, then the actions come into harmony. – Ram Dass