Six Reasons for Practicing Being in the Moment
#1. It’s just easier. The energy it takes to participate in the illusion of control, ruminating about what has already happened or worrying about what might happen, is exhausting and never-ending. Once landed in the present, being in the moment, right here and right now, is fairly effortless. That wonderful saying, there is nowhere to go and nothing to do, does come literally to life.
#2. The health benefits are ridiculously positive. Evidence based data tells us that attempting to manage emotions rather than simply experiencing them negatively impacts many of the body’s systems. Suppression of feelings increases the sympathetic activity (fight/flight/freeze), decreases a sense of connection, and impacts memory negatively. By staying as present as we can, we allow the body to enter the parasympathetic nervous system, that zone of rest and digest, where the body can rest, repair, and actually regenerate.
#3. This is where It is. It? What the heck do I mean by that? Call this “It” whatever works for you. Call it life. Call it energy. Call it grace. Call it prana. Call it God. Call it love. Call it presence. Call it Higher Power. Call it healing. That place which is greater than the mind, that place in which to savor and relax—that’s right here, right now and nowhere else.
#4. Fun is happening here. When I am so busy ruminating about that emotional bump with my boss that did or did not happen last week, I miss the magical sighting of the squirrel scampering through the woods, her mouth stuffed with something several times larger than her entire head. Spontaneous delight—yep, that’s in the moment.
#5. Living in present time and in the present tense beats the alternative. Remember that fabulous movie, Groundhog Day? Bill Murray’s poor character lives and lives again that one endless day from his ancient history. Releasing the past and living now frees us from falling into the same hole of response, over and over again. Have you ever noticed you have the same boss, job after job? Or perhaps you see that you are attracted to the same lover, despite the name, haircut, or era? Yep. That’s what I’m talking about.
#6. Not only do we owe it to ourselves, we owe our presence to other people. Our families, our children, our parents, strangers on the street, all—when we bring that place of emptiness to others, no matter how imperfectly, we leave the campsite better than we found it, in that famous (or not) Girl Scout dictate.
What do you think? Why are the benefits of this practice for you? And remember, whatever you do that quiets your mind, from yoga or meditation, to walking or hot bathing or cat hugging—as your mind quiets, the moment emerges. This is the practice.