Updated: May 2, 2019
The mental health guest blogger, Simone, has written a compelling article about living in the present moment, why meditation is key, and how to practice mindfulness by living in the now. Her personal story involving mental illness helps others find the support and encouragement they need to properly live in the moment!
If you enjoyed this article by Simone, check out her author biography below and comment your thoughts. Everyone could use a little encouragement, so share this post on social media to spread the love and enlighten your friends and family.
I’m scrubbing the counter as fast and as roughly as I can.
Finally the little spot of caked-on tomato sauce gives, and I stand up with pride.
Whack! I banged my head on the cabinet door. Hard. So hard I had to pull off the rubber gloves, set down the spray, and rest my head on the table for a second.
I was dizzy…my head was throbbing…and I was going into my shadow (a bad mental place) about past head injuries I’ve head. “Great! One more bump to my poor head.” And from there, my unchecked mind went into a tailspin. I’m going to have to get brain scans. What if I’ve done irreparable damage. Blah blah blah.
Let’s backtrack a little bit!
I’m Simone. I own a blog that’s all about mental health & meditation, and even though this is stuff I talk about on my blog every day….on this cold winter day, I found myself caught up in those easy-to-fall-into slippery mind slopes. Why did I bang my head? Because I was hurrying to clean the house… Why was I in a hurry to clean the house?
…Because I only had a two hour window to clean the house…because I had to get a lot of work done on my blog…because my mother-in-law was stopping by later…because I didn’t want her to see the house with even a spec of dust…and…well you get the picture. I was rushing to clean the house because of my deep-rooted fears of not being good enough.
Okay sorry you might be thinking: how did she make that leap? Let me explain. My biggest worry that day was my mother-in-law would think me incapable of keeping a clean house. Or translated down: I’m not good enough to be loved even if I have a messy house.
Or translated WAY down: I’m not good enough. Whew. A lot to say about just accidentally hitting my head I know, but it’s actually a simple cause and effect. If that day instead of giving into my fears, I knew in my heart that my mother-in-law would accept and love me no matter what, maybe I would have slowed down a little bit. I could have decided to only clean one thing that morning, instead of the whole house. And MAYBE I would have taken the time to look above my head before standing up.
We Are Seeking Freedom
As the spiritual creature that you are (or you wouldn’t have been drawn to this post) you are seeking something. There are lots of different labels people put on “it” like:
Connection to the Universe
In a Meditative State, or
Feelin’ real good :)
Whatever you call it….”it” is what we want. We want to ditch the fear and live in the present moment! To be free of the shackles of indecision, shame, anger, fear, and everything else that lives within that negative “ego” category. We want to be free and happy and manifesting our true desires from life.
Why is Living in the Present Moment Important?
Living in the present moment is important for two reasons:
The opposite state kinda, like, really sucks
We inadvertently hold ourselves back from the greatness we deserve and desire
Living in the present moment means breathing into the difficulties you face, allowing your mind to clearly see your habits, patterns, and owning up to the difficult emotions and moments. I think this is an important point. A lot of meditation apps or online courses want you to practice meditation but not many offer you the chance to really watch the negative emotions that arise.
When I hit my head, it was because I was cleaning too fast trying to get everything done. Why? One of the reasons was because I felt like I HAD to commit a certain number of hours to the blog. I was afraid of my income dropping.
Why, why, why? Because of limiting money patterns I learned as a child. Dad always said, “we can’t afford that,” “that’s too expensive,” “we have too much debt.”
Every moment is a decision. Even if we don’t think we’re making one. Even if it feels like we’re just cleaning the house. What is actually happening is the moment unfolding, and we have the decision to show up for ourselves or not (it’s okay if sometimes you don’t).
To sum it up:
It’s important to live in the present moment because in the present moment we have the opportunity to heal ourselves. Why do we want to heal ourselves? So we can move on to bigger, better, and more peaceful things. You deserve those things.
How to Know You’re Out of the Present Moment
One of the clear signs that you’re out of the present moment, and living in the past or future or fear, is banging into things! Just like in the example above, times that you whack into things can be reminders that you’re not living fully in the present moment.
Other hints that we’re not in the present moment:
We feel numb or bored
Stubbing your toe, hitting your head etc.
Arriving somewhere and not remembering how you got there (i.e. driving to work)
Feeling like you're on "autopilot"
Forgetting your keys or phone
Not remembering if you shut off the stove
You get to the end of a Netflix TV series and realized you binge-watched four seasons in one day…not speaking from personal experience or anything…
Hopefully you get the picture with the examples given above. Any time that you feel like you’ve lost track of the moment, like you’re not fully there, or if something physical happens, you’re likely not “in the present moment” Do you ALWAYS have to be in the present moment?
Generally, and especially when you’re first starting out, we get taken out of the moment. That’s OK, don’t judge yourself. Just pick back up where you left off as soon as you realize it by taking a big deep breath.
A Meditation Exercise to Get You Back to the Here and Now
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath.
Open your eyes.
Note 5 things you can see in the room around you.
Close your eyes.
Note 4 things you can feel.
Note 3 things you can hear.
Note 2 things you can smell.
Note 1 thing that you can taste.
Open your eyes.
Quick. Easy. Brings you right back to the moment.
Some Tools to Help Your Journey of Becoming Present
I’m not going to tell you exactly how to start living in the present moment, because I’ve tried this myself… a million times. Sometimes they work for a while, but what REALLY got me onto the path of living in the present moment was following my own guide. My intuition. So instead I’m going to give you some options, look them over, and follow what your gut tells you:
The Calm App – Free meditations, for all occasions. Some are free, or you can opt for the paid option.
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein – A book about a how unhealed emotions and limiting beliefs can stop you from manifesting your desires.
The Seat of Soul by Gary Zukav – A book about our connection to our soul, and its true desire: to heal.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – A book about living in the present moment, and all of the hurdles our mind presents on our path to enlightenment.
Also yours truly has created a course which will walk you through this process called “heal your pain, live the now” and it’s free :)
Thank you so much for your attention, I hope this article has served you and that it sparks even the smallest, tiniest bit of change in your life.
About the Author- Simone Clement
Simone is the owner of https://www.simoneclement.com/ a blog about mental health, meditation, and spirituality. Her purpose is to help people discover their connections to their souls, their God-given talents, and how to heal the pain that no longer serves them. She offers coaching services, courses, and a weekly newsletter for people who are interested in moving along in their spiritual journey. You can join her Facebook group “Your Imperfect Spiritual Journey” here.
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