We’ve been discussing the present moment a lot lately in our house. How do we stay more present? Why’s it so hard to be fully engaged? If the present is all we really have than why’s it so elusive?
Although I have an easier time at this point in my life staying rooted in the present moment than I ever have before, I still catch myself reliving old memories or fantasizing about the future a lot. Yet, when I put aside any worries or plans or to-do lists I’m so much happier and energized. If I can be present with myself and the person(s) that I’m with it feels much more relaxed and real.
I’ve also noticed myself enjoying the buildup to a big event more so than the actual event itself. Or even the memories after the fun can feel easier and more joyous than the real deal. Take traveling, for example, the anticipation of a trip along with the planning and packing can be so exciting. Then, typically, once the journey begins I run into many challenges along the way that can quickly change my mood. Being away from the comforts of home can be grueling (especially with kiddos) and I wish I never left my couch.
Same goes for a big birthday or holiday celebration that I dream of for weeks in advance detailing out what I’m going to wear, where I’ll be going and what I’ll be eating. Then the day comes and the event is just not as exciting as I had hoped for and my expectations aren’t met. It really bums me out. So do I try to stop having expectations or do I just know that the present will never be exactly as I think it’ll be and learn to be more accepting?
I think the solution, although easier said than done, is to not look for happiness from external events, things, people, experiences or celebrations. Real, lasting contentment and meaning comes from the inside. Exploring who you are, why you’re here and how you can improve will always create more long-term peace than anything else. The journey inward is just as important as outside adventures!
How do you stay in the present moment? I’d love to hear from you!