“One day at a time- this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.” — Ida Scott Taylor
Before I relaxed into a natural life of consciousness, I was so focused on my past “mistakes” and how my future was going to go. No matter what I did, the past never changed and my future plans had a mind of their own. It was truly exhausting living that way. I had no idea that I was letting the moment I was in slip into oblivion. The growing and learning process was slow with many challenges that kept pulling me into understanding that the moment I was in was precious and the only thing that I was sure of. Now my life is focused on living one day at a time, never letting what I’ve experienced in the past or what may come in the future stop me from enjoying my life right now.
Years ago, I tried a suggested practice someone defines as living backward in time. Its not new for some, but for many people it is a different way of treating life. Living backward means living in the now as if it’s the future that you envision. Setting an intention means thinking forward in time, living in the present means being here now. A way to manage both is to combine the two. That is living “as if”, instead of “what if”and I can attest that it’s very effective. For example, instead of going on a diet to lose weight because your overweight with the potential of gaining it back, live as if you’re 15 pounds lighter, living healthier and the owner of a different lifestyle, your entire way of living and thinking will be forever changed.
Here are several suggestions that I’ve used to re-adjust my thinking to a backward way of living.
- Accept uncertainty. It’s impossible to predict the future
- Take action, talking about changing usually requires less energy than actually doing it
- Stay focused on the day. Start with letting go of planning every minute of your day and go with the flow, I do this very successfully and actually get more done
- When engaging with people, put your full attention on them and your conversation, no more half listening or allowing any distractions
- Always have a positive and expectant attitude, smile often, life has a million possibilities
- Forgive forgive, forgive past hurts, forgiving is not allowing a person to get away with something, it is about removing yourself from the situation completely and freeing yourself be present and move on
- Stop worrying, whatever happens tomorrow, happens, worrying doesn’t change anything and makes it harder for you to maintain your sanity and be present
- Let go of past accomplishments, don’t let whatever successes you’ve had in the past interfere with your present, however great they were, they don’t define you or what your capable of
- Create your intention now as if it is already successful and the way you envision your future life and dream big
To help me to stay aligned with this way of life, I practice the following habitually so I never slip back into an old, ineffective way of living. These powerful practices are simple and very effective.
- Meditate – There are lots of ways to meditate, rather than just lying or sitting still, you can walk, dance, write, listen to music while allowing your mind to go blank and just be, I do it all of the time and find myself thinking less, moving through my day mindfully and so at peace.
- No Next – imagine that there is no next event, next task, next person or next anything to get to. Invite yourself to stop preparing or getting ready for something else to come. Deliberately remove all elses. Meet now with nowhere and nothing else still to get to. This practice helps you to stay focused on what you’re doing or who your engaging with.
- See Everything as a Teacher. When you’re feeling frustrated with someone, stressed by work, upset or grieving about a difficult situation or the health of a loved one, just feeling anxious about anything, pause and see this person or situation as a teacher. I find that when you ask yourself what can I learn from what’s going on then the mind is focused on a solution for peace of mind in the moment.
- The Power of Self-Reflection – Asking yourself questions keeps you focused on self-improvement and ensures that you are as fulfilled as possible. What attachments can you see in yourself that are causing you to project to the future or relive the past? What stories are you telling yourself that are causing you to feel this way? What can you let go of? What can you appreciate about this moment that you’re taking for granted?
We create our lives, so now decide the kind of life you would like to create for yourself and what that life would look like. Then, live it now as if that life and lifestyle were yours already.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha.
Thank you for reading my post and your time.