In writing this blog, I have often been hesitant to write about my life philosophy because who am I to tell anybody else what is a good philosophy of life? Well I have one plus in that I have lived almost 67 years and a few things have seemed to work for me. Would they for anyone else? Now that's where the rub comes in.
The next couple of blogs will be about one of the things I work on in my own life-- living in the moment. Living in the moment is not just about not remembering the past nor not anticipating the future, it is about being truly and fully where I am at that moment.
Really, no matter how we worry or fret over what is yet to be or feel regrets for what was, we can't change anything but the moment in which we are living. We lost someone? We will grieve the loss but we have to let it go as it does us absolutely no good to keep holding on to what was. The moment is all we really have.
Sometimes I feel like my mind is running a thousand miles an hour somewhere. I might not be one to think much about the past but a bevy of other things do pull me this way or that; so when I stop and remind myself-- live in the moment-- it's like something clicks in my head. I realize I haven't really been here at all. At that moment, my whole perspective changes to me and what is around me.
Living in the moment doesn't mean we cannot plan for the future or learn from the past. But if our moments are taken up with either, we are not experiencing the here and now fully. It's easy to become anxious about what is coming. Our culture works on us to do that, but what good does it do?
When I went looking for something online about this living in mindfulness, I found some tips for living this way in Psychology Today:
It's not like remembering the past is bad; nor is imagining some event in the future, like when we will be on a great vacation but we aren't living in those moments. We are experiencing the emotion of them (maybe), but we cannot relive them nor can we anticipate for sure what they will be like when they unfold. If we aren't careful, they can make what is happening right now of less value.
At my age, when I do think back on things I did, which actually I am not one prone to do, those events, that woman, it doesn't seem connected to me. Yes, I did that. The experiences go together to make me who I am today but today is what counts. Sometimes if I am asked a question, I will summon up a memory but to do it more often, what would it accomplish for my today?
Actually letting go of the past or releasing what might yet happen in the future is not the hard part of living in the moment. The hard part is living mindfully, being aware of all we are feeling and seeing right now and not letting our minds wander haphazardly to the last news program or something we need to get done or something we have decided not to do or what someone said to us yesterday. The mind is an unbelievable tool for how it operates, but it can get in our way of actually living where we are.
One morning I woke up thinking about this, about the blog I planned to write and had already laid down a few ideas, and it occurred to me that there were some elements to it that I'd enjoy expanding on; so more coming on the topic of living in the moment.
Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.
Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).
Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.