Lesson 2 in the Steps to Happiness Series: Live in the Moment

Happiness Quote
The second lesson in the 10 Steps to Happiness series deals with living in the present moment. This is something that was a challenge for me - and actually still is a challenge sometimes. How many of you can say that you actually live in the moment every second of the day? Are you fully aware of what's going on right in front of you at any given moment in time?

Stop Living in the Past

Like most adults I used to constantly live in the past. I would go through the "What if's" and "I Shoulda's". There were things I regretted doing or not doing. One of the things that really gnawed at my soul was the circumstances surrounding my mother's "death" (I don't believe anybody really dies. That's why I put the word in quotation marks). My mother passed in a drowning accident and I would always think, "What if I had been there? Would she still be alive? Is it my fault?" These are the questions that I kept asking myself as I replayed that summer day over and over in my mind. I was living in the past and never living in the present moment.

Do you find yourself constantly thinking about the past? What have you done to stop re-living any painful memories?

What we have to realize is that there is nothing we can do to change the past. What’s done is done. Replaying the past over and over in our minds depletes us of energy – the energy that’s needed to live a full life right now.

Stop Thinking About the Future

If I wasn't living in the past, I was worried about the future - especially in regards to my financial situation. In my early 20's I spent a great deal of money supporting a guy who didn't love me like I thought he did. In essence he used me to get what he wanted while seeing other women behind my back. I always worried about money and this mentality stayed with me up until a few years ago when I first started this blog.

Why worry about something that hasn’t even happened? As I reflect back on all those times that I worried about something, I see now that everything always worked itself out somehow. I worried for nothing!

The Past and Future Are Illusions

Realizing that the past and the future are illusions was the big lesson I learned when I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. If you’ve signed up for the Monday night webinars on "A New Earth" with Oprah and Eckhart Tolle, you’ve probably already learned this powerful lesson.

All that matters is right now – this very moment. There’s nothing you can do to change the past and the future hasn’t happened yet, so what’s the point of always thinking about it? When I started living in the now, I became more energized and happy. Remember how it was when you were a child hanging out with friends, riding a bike, or playing a game? Young kids are very good at living in the moment.

How to Live in the Moment

Living in the moment is going to take some practice, as is everything new that we learn in life. An exercise that worked for me was to stare at an object for about five minutes and just really notice it. I’d make mental notes about the object’s color, the shape, whether or not light was reflecting off of it… I just gave that object my full attention.

Related Posts:
Book of interest: Secret of Letting Go by Guy Finley

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