Living fully

Wed Apr 19, 2023

Living in the Now – But How?

To live in the now, several important steps to inner peace are required.

Living in the present moment is a natural skill that we all had as small children.

As we grew, learned, and matured, so did our brains and our memory. We learned what is potentially painful or damaging to our well-being or wishes. We became fearful, apprehensive, hesitant, distrustful, and prone to choose the seemingly safe path, as there is so much more to lose with age and acquired positions. Fears, worries, hurts, unfulfilled wants and needs clutter our everyday perceptions. Worries and negative thoughts hum around in our brains. Grudges, insecurities, hatred, and self-hatred cloud our judgments. This mental garbage poisons our well-being, joy, and energy for living a fulfilling life. How to get rid of it?

We need to realize that as long as our heart is beating, the heart line (and our life) will go up and down. A steady and straight line indicates death. Learning how to live in the now and dealing with the ups and downs is hence a lifelong process.

It requires mindfulness and constant awareness of ourselves and our surroundings. To keep the balance and become highly efficient, we need to start fresh in our minds over and over again as not one hour is the same as the previous one.A fantastic technique that helped so many people I coached to be present in the now is the following breathing exercise: Breathe in (counting to three in your mind) through your nose and exhaling through your mouth (counting to four in your mind). - Doing this for three minutes and timing it will instantly center you in yourself, detaching you from your current circumstances, creating the calm and space we need for clear thinking and decision making.

  • A fantastic technique that helped so many people I coached to be present in the now is the following breathing exercise: Breathe in (counting to three in your mind) through your nose and exhaling through your mouth (counting to four in your mind). - Doing this for three minutes and timing it will instantly center you in yourself, detaching you from your current circumstances, creating the calm and space we need for clear thinking and decision making.
  • Taking responsibility for our lives and taking action by decluttering our mind, life, home, space, diet, relationships, and finances of what no longer serves us. Making and freeing up space allows for the new to arrive.
  • Trust, that the emptiness will be filled with new content and positive experiences if we focus to do so. Getting rid of fear and limitations by focusing on and daily writing down what we truly want, breaking it down into small steps to take action towards our goals, keeps us on track and committed to the best possible outcome. Taking action on a daily basis, even if it is just in the smallest of steps, keeping on track. Step by step. Eventually, they add up to big change. It is fun, empowering and truly life-changing to do so. Patience is key.
  • Don’t waste energy on thinking of what you don’t want but focus on your desired outcome instead and how to achieve it. Consistency and perseverance are key – never give up on yourself! Have faith and trust that one day, you will reach your goals with appropriate actions taken, and do more of what you enjoy.
  • Everyone is unique and has their own set of talents, skills, and passions. Discover and own yours! By listening to your intuition and following your inner truth, strive to live in balance with yourself first and only then- others. We only can change ourselves. Let's focus on that by minding our own business first.
  • Freeing ourselves of judgment and, accepting what is, letting go of negative emotions and drama are the biggest life changers to becoming present. Blaming doesn’t bring us one step closer to our goals and is always past-oriented, keeping us imprisoned and stuck in yesterday’s pain. Acceptance is instrumental to our own happiness! Being willing to forgive others and ourselves – this is a tough one – to feel worthy and deserving. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, it means to emotionally move on and consciously in our heart, leaving the responsibility for actions with the people it truly belongs to. This is only possible through letting go of our hurts and disappointments, not allowing the negative memory (yes, that is often all it is) to ruin our life any moment longer. The past can’t be changed, but we most certainly can change our attitude toward it to create our present and our future! Find meaning in events that happened in the past - it made you who you are today. Then look back and give yourself a pat on your shoulder on what you have achieved and how far you have come. You survived it all. Letting go of the past doesn’t mean it is gone or forgotten but transformed, taking only the useful lessons with us and stopping to beat ourselves up about bad experiences. It was what it was. There are no such things as instant success and no losses. Know how to let go. The future is not here yet, we create it with our daily thoughts, attitudes, and actions! Let them be good ones.
  • You always have a choice in how you treat yourself, by respecting your own needs. Teach others by your own actions! Imagine, everyone would use their energy to be their own authentic self, living life fully, and being happy! It doesn’t matter what size, shape, color, or sex you are if you beam with joy and radiate self-confidence, self-control, and self-responsibility first, things are going to change substantially for you. We are all united in life, sitting in the same boat of our human emotional turmoils. Getting rid of the drama frees up our resources, space, focus, and energy to be used in more appropriate and constructive ways. In our teenage days, we became self-conscious and judgmental about others due to our insecurities and confusion. Learning hence to love ourselves unconditionally ‘by letting our own light shine, we allow others to do the same’ written by Marianne Williamson, is crucial.
  • Another important part to become rooted in our body. Many people take better care of and spend more money, time, effort, and energy on their cars than their own bodies! If a car breaks down, we eventually can buy a new one. Yet we only have one body – treat it well! It is our own best friend and the only thing that remains with us for life! Taking care of it, doing regular health check-ups, getting it treated in case of need, and feeding it with healthy food and sufficient water and rest guarantees its and our own proper functioning. Exercise at least three times a week and find an activity for endurance and strength that you love to do brings the joy of movement and health back into your life. Keeping control of our own wellbeing is key - it is never too late to get started and to keep going again - and again if we fail. Starting over again is the key!
  • Feel worthy to ask for help when you need it and allow others to give you loving care without feeling guilty or apologizing for inconveniencing them. Many people love to help and give advice when they are asked to do so – it makes them feel valued and of importance, receiving the gift of giving back. Be careful and choose wisely whom you ask help and support from!
  • Listen and learn new things daily and create your new reality with what you truly want to live and achieve. Flexibility to make changes in attitude, beliefs, and behavior is possible regardless of your age or environment. If you decide to work on yourself, to let go of the old, and to let in the new like a fresh breeze in your inner self, it will ripple through your system. Thinking fresh thoughts, doing uncommon and unusual things, owning up to mistakes, and seeing how you start to think out of the box, feeling more alive and joyful is not always well received - let people deal with their own issues. The wonder of discovery and play finds its way back into your life and the smallest experiences become new cherished memories that are priceless. People eventually will settle for the new you - either they adapt or fall away.
  • With gratefulness comes prosperity – in your heart, mind, soul, and ultimately in your wallet. Learn from someone who has been there how to face the things that scare you, how they rebounded from setbacks and hardships, remaining positive and focused. Find a set of core beliefs that serves your life purpose.

Live the life that makes you happy and step into your full power. If you lived every day as if it was your last – what would you do differently right now? 'Just do it' as Nike's slogan says. It will bring you back to a more fulfilling and authentic lifestyle, delegating responsibilities back to where and to whom they belong. Life suddenly becomes much easier without blaming and judgment, but with healthy boundaries.

Every moment is precious and new doors open every day. Have fun discovering life - and living it fully while there is time. If it doesn’t fulfill you anymore, declutter again and set new goals, keep growing and let go. It does not mean to abandon things nor people but to make conscious decisions towards what is true for yourself and your values in the present moment, being your authentic and real self. The world will be richer for it.

Sharesz T. Wilkinson, Forbes Councils Member

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