Do you like Gretchen Rubin? Me too! Everything she preaches is simple, logical, doable and fun. No moving to Himalaya for the long meditation practice, no ultra marathons or trips around the world. Gretchen talks about tiny things that each one of us can try in order to have a happier life and better habits.
Back in the day, I was going out a lot. Clubs, parties and that stuff. That was not particularly pleasurable for me, but I figured that’s what young people do.
I tried watching a few popular TV shows that cool people were watching. Listening to the music cool people were listening. I tried to make myself more relevant. And then I gave up.
We all have innate desire to fit in, to belong, to be members of a tribe. In the process, we slowly forget who we are and what truly lights our fire.
May I propose a creative project that will help you know yourself better? Continue reading
I came home on Thursday afternoon exhausted and happy. The 3 day weekend was about to begin. We have decided to stay home, since my husband has finally joined me after six months and we’ve just moved in new place. I took the shower and opened my laptop, willing to send newsletter when… I saw yellow triangle with exclamation mark in lower right corner. Wifi wasn’t working. I restarted the router. Nothing. I connected my laptop to a cable. Nothing. Waited for a while. Nothing. Internet connection was dead.
We tried everything. Went to my office for the new cable and it didn’t help. I called to submit the claim tomorrow morning and they promised to send someone. At 3 pm on Friday no one came and we’ve realized that we will spend 3 days without Internet. My newsletter wasn’t sent. I planned to call my parents. Had tons of other online plans for the weekend. Everything. Canceled.
Do you know how I felt? After short period of anxiety… peace overwhelmed me. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted. But it might be exactly what I needed. Universe has funny ways of reminding us of our needs.
I realized how much time I actually have. I wrote new content. Made new visuals. Read a couple of papers. Helped my husband with his studies. We went shopping, enjoyed delicious food, went for bicycle rides. We listened the forgotten musics from discs. I read. A lot. Free from internet buzz. It was lovely. We found joy in it.
The topic for following few weeks will be JOYOLOGY. And today’s Bombastic Question is:
HOW CAN I FIND JOY IN THIS?
A Course in Miracles says that miracles happen when you find joy in joyless place. It is easy to find joy on your Hawaiian vacation. When things work out well. When everything runs smoothly. But when times get tough, when your boss starts bitching, experiments get stuck, dishes pile up and internet gets broken on the day zero of 3 day weekend, then what?
Enjoy. Just enjoy.
Majority of pain originates from our expectations. “I should have Internet/car/better job/this much money/partner/been better by now.” Who says so? It is what it is. You are where you have to be. Accept. If you are struggling against this moment, you are struggling against the entire Universe. ((Tweet this!)) Say yes. And enjoy.
Be grateful for the warm water you use to wash your dishes. For all the books at your bookshelf, you finally have time to tackle. For having long and lazy afternoon with your friends, without updating your Twitter every 30 seconds. For being healthy. For being present in this marvelous moment. It is what it is. Choose joy instead of grief.
Your turn. What is one life situation that bothers you right now? Why is it good? How can you find joy in it? Share it with me in the comments bellow.
Do you have a friend who could benefit from finding joy in a joyless place? Share this post with him or her.
P. S. The Cookie of Wisdom: “Joy is what happens to us when we recognize how good things really are.” Marianne Williamson ((Tweet this))
Why are we emphasizing the importance of life in present moment, anyway? It’s simple: for it can change your life forever. If you are currently facing quarter life crisis (or any other kind of crisis), living in present moment will lighten your burden. I know, you might be thinking: “Hey, I don’t have time for that present moments woo-woo, I have a work to do. I have to think about my future, I have to figure out what the hell to do with my life. How will it take me anywhere?”
Actually, it can and will take you anywhere you want. You’ll kill many birds with one stone. Begin practicing it, and everything else will start falling onto place. We have already shared some powerful techniques. WHERE ARE YOU NOW? Writing about present. Making photos is another excellent practice of being present. Meditation too. As well as yoga, or any other kind of exercise. And dancing. Choose whatever you prefer. Just stick to present . And enjoy all the fruits and benefits it will bring you.
Here are 7 of my favorites goodies, that life in present moment will bring you.
1. You’ll be happy
Living in present moment, along with the attitude of gratitude, will help you see great thing that surround you. I know, maybe it doesn’t seem that way. It is very important to focus on good, functional parts of your life. What do you have on your plate right now? What is good in your life? What is actually working? What do you like about your life and about yourself? What can you appreciate today? Open your eyes and count your blessings.It will make you instantly happy. Happiness happens here and now. Not tomorrow, not when you get the job X or loose Y pounds.
2. You’ll kill regrets from the past
Our failures and mistakes from the past (the past events that we consider “mistakes”) are haunting us and moving us away from the present moment. How many times have you caught yourself thinking why the hell did you go out last night when you were supposed to study/work out/fill in the blank? How many times have you regretted choosing one company over another, one guy over another, chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla? Yeeeeah, welcome to the club. We, human beings, often tend to think that grass is greener on the other side. We also tend to think that if only we have chosen XYZ, our lives would have been perfectly fine. And that is perfectly not true.
Life in present moment will help you turn your inner chatter about the past off. Regret is nothing but the waste of time and energy. We cannot possibly change anything that has already happen. So why exhaust yourself with endless mental movies, analyzing and what-ifs? Being right here, right now is much more powerful position. You will not only save tons of energy, but also come up with new creative solutions with the resources you have on the hand.
3. You’ll stop worrying about the future
Take care about today and tomorrow will take care of itself. Big juicy truth. Unfortunately, the future is big trap for all of us. It bring us anxiety, uncertainty and discomfort. And no, we don’t like it. We know we cannot control and predict the future. It makes us feel helpless, rather than free and trusting.
There is another catch. When we think about our future, we think about ourselves as good looking, rich, cool people, who eat healthy food, exercise regularly and do all the kind of great things in the world. My future-self is wonderful lady, I would be delighted to hang with. The painful truth is that if I don’t do something today, my future-self will be fatter, more nervous and less fulfilled version of myself today. It is valid for all kinds of ventures.
If you want to change something, start small today. Do the best you can this day, this hour, this moment. Set the foundation and get ready for the future. Because, as Gandhi said, the future depends on what you do today. All you can do is use the present in best possible way.
4. You’ll notice new opportunities
If you spend your time stuck in the past, future, negative self talk, or whatever that keeps you away from the present, you will very likely miss many opportunities. So, open your eyes and your ears. Look around you. Listen to people. There are countless ideas and chances all around. There are many wonderful people, waiting to hear from you. There are like-minded people that you haven’t met yet. If someone tells you about his problems, you maybe able to help him and create a new relationship. People’s problems are the foundations of the most successful businesses.
Also, if you are in crisis, you can look for hidden opportunities packed inside of your problems. Still don’t see it? Look more carefully. Dig deeper. While I was working in my home town and living with my parents (after 8 years of life in Belgrade), I was desperate and thought that it was total disaster. But actually, when I learned to focus on present, I used my free time for creating, writing, making photos, blogging. I have returned to myself after many years of running form one party to another. It was a huge gift, wrapped in a shitty paper.
Don’t wait for aliens to come and save you in the year 2525. Tune in. Focus on opportunities that you have today. Be opened. Offer your help. Ask for help. Dive into present moments.
5. You’ll be attractive
Ahem, excuse me, you are endlessly attractive, but only in present moment. If you learn the skills of presence and focus, you will instantly get tons of self esteem. Result: You will be hundred times more attractive. If you are focused, centered, if you live in your body, if you enjoy the present moment, if you look around yourself, if you’re listening others, guess what……you’ll be irresistible. I know, we were all convinced that being attractive is about skinny jeans, muscles and big boobs, but it is not. It is all about presence. Presence induces confidence, sense of humor and creativity. Try it out and you’ll be surprised. (Not to mention those around you.)
6. You’ll be efficient
Multitasking is super inefficient. (Read my confession here.) Half an hour of work without distractions is as worth as 3 hours of distracted work. Next time you sit to work, kill email, social networks, stop thinking about what you will make for dinner on Friday. Work for a half an hour only, but with full focus and presence, and see the results. Marvelous!
Focused work is quicker and more accurate. Efficient. Don’t waste your time and energy. Do the work in the most productive way. “Genius is ordinary person with laser focus, ” said Bruce Lee. “To be everywhere is to be nowhere, ” ((Tweet this!))Seneca said. In his awesome book “Time Warrior”, Steve Chandler stated that you can never ever be overwhelmed if you focus on one single task that is in front of you right now. You’ve got the point. You cannot do everything at once. Don’t even try. Be present and focused, do what you can now. Optimization!
7. You will enjoy the life
The last but not the least- enjoyment. It is simply not possible to enjoy outside of the present moment. OK, maybe you can invoke some of your sweet memories, or look forward to your holidays, but it is not enough. Real pleasure, real enjoyment happen right here and right now. If you practice living in present moment, you will enjoy your life significantly more.
Start with a cup of coffee. Enjoy its smell and its color. Take a first sip slowly. Feel the taste. Think of its origin, think of its homeland and the sunshine that made it grow. Feel the cup in your hand. Don’t rush. Feel all of the components of the experience. That is the way to feel the pleasure. You can do it with all kinds of food and drinks. (Good news is that you will very likely eat less as soon as you start eating consciously.) You can enjoy your walk, sunshine, music or whatever, only if you are present. It will enrich your life.
The short bottom line: If you want regret, live in the past. if you want anxiety, live in the future. If you want to be happy, efficient and attractive, live in the present. Can you afford not to? 🙂
Now it’s your turn. I would like to know if you are living in present moment. Have you tried to be focused and present? Was it difficult? What good things has being present brought to you?
P. S. Cookie of wisdom: “Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely.” Kay Lyons Tweet this!
For the next two weeks we’ll focus on a juicy topic, named HERE AND NOW. And this is Bombastic question #2. It will bang- bang all day long. Today’s question is a powerful technique for a life in a present moment, that I learned from the Josh Pais, creator of The Committed Impulse. (If you are an actor, or a speaker, if you are interested in learning stage presence, Josh is the person to follow.) Today you don’t need to do brainstorming, make lists and stuff like that. Today you just need to ask yourself simple question:
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
Do it as often as you can. Hundred times a day. And once again. Do it today. And tomorrow. And next week. Do it whenever possible. Do it while you walk, while you work, while you cook, while you wait in line.
What kind of conclusions will this bombastic question bring to you? First of all, more often than not, you’ll conclude that your mind is not where your body is. In other words, yo’ll conclude that you are not there. You’re away, lost in thoughts, listening to many inner voices speaking to you about the regrets from the past and worries about the future.
Don’t listen to those gremlins. They’ll tell you many lies about other people and about you. They will seduce you and corrupt you. They’ll criticize your ideas, your art, they will tell you that you’re a looser. They’ll take you to Hawaii, to Siberia or to Alcatraz. And you? You’ll be stoned and surprised, you’ll stare to whatever that is in front of you, while watching the movie in your head. Onion will burn in a pot. You’ll read a whole text, without an idea what was written there. Some gorgeous guy/girl will smile at you on the street, and you won’t notice. Life will pass by you.
Thus, ask yourself as often as you can: “Where are you now?” Locate yourself. “I’m on the street/in the line/at my workplace/in my bed/at the beach.” And than say a magical mantra: “I’m back.” Bang! Turn your five senses on! Look at everything around you. Hear, taste, smell, feel. Feel your body. Breathe. Come back to the present moment. Turn your thoughts off, turn your perception on. And everything will change. You’ll perform better, you’ll be more efficient, you will enjoy the life more.
When you walk, walk. When you eat, eat. The shortest definition of happiness. Present is longing for you. Open the present.
It is not possible to be in present moment absolutely always. But when you wander away, make a notion and come back. WHERE ARE YOU NOW? I’M BACK! Make it your mantra. Repeat and repeat. You’ll love it.
And now it’s your turn. Try this powerful technique out and leave me your impressions in comments below. How does it feel to be back in present moment? Did you notice something new in your environment? How has your mood shifted?
P. S. Cookie of wisdom: “In the hopes of reaching the moon men fails to see the flowers that blossom at their feet. – Albert Schweitzer Tweet this!