The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it’s the door to all moments.
– Thich Nhat
Life gives us plenty of time to do whatever we want, only if we stay in the present moment. Most of us, spend a good part of our time, either thinking of the past or worrying about the future, forgetting to live in the present. The more we are away from the present moment, the more we are away from happiness. The past is mostly reminisced with anger and disappointment, whereas the future is full of anxiety and worry. Does this mean, we should forget the past completely and not worry about the future, just live in the present moment? The answer is No! The past and the present are important. However, what is more important is what we learn from the past and how we plan for the future, being in this present moment. It is human that we look for happiness, mostly in the future. “If I struggle now, I will be happy in the future”, is a typical thought that crosses most of our minds, at some point or the other in life. How can one be happy in the future, when there is a struggle in the present moment, the moment which is in absolute control?! The focus of the human mind is always on the destination and in the process, people actually forget to enjoy the journey, the present, the now!
The only moment one can ever be in, is “This moment”! No one can ever be certain about the next moment. So, it becomes imperative that one does the right thing in the present moment, to have the right next moment and hence a better future. Do not feel the present moment is an obstacle that one has to cross to reach the future. The future is always a conceptual reality, so one can only live in the present moment.
Living in the present moment, with active consciousness, is called mindfulness. Here are a few habits, one could inculcate, to have the right F-R-A-M-E of mind, in order to increase one’s mindfulness.
Focusing one’s attention on daily habits, will help one to be in the present moment. Put attention back on habits like brushing, eating food, driving, walking, etc, like a child. Be curious, and observe the process of how it is done. For example, while brushing putting your complete attention on brushing and keep any other thoughts away. This will help one to be in the present moment.
Changing the routine, once in a while, will help us be in the present and stay focused. For example, change the regular/daily route you take to your place of work. This will bring back attention and will help us to be in the present moment. Using the mouse with your left hand, practicing writing with your left hand, walking reverse, reorganising the bookshelf (by colour, alphabetical order, etc) are a few other things one could try, to break a daily routine and focus on the present moment.
Bring attention back to those first actions that we take early in the morning. Practices like the direction we wake up in, what is the first thing we do after we are out of the bed, etc. For the first 15 mins, let’s try to be conscious about what we do. Morning prayers, washing our face, the first few words we speak, are a few things that we are completely unaware of. Attention to these activities will help change, if there are any, wrong practices that we have developed.
There is a mention of meditation in all my articles, as I feel that, it is an important ingredient of our lives. Build a habit of meditation, the suggestion is two to three types of meditation. This will help break the routine, stay focused and be in the present moment.
Ease out and slow down. Ease your day by taking a break, relaxing for a few moments. There are a few ways one can ease out during the day. It could be by reading books, writing a journal (past, present, and future), sitting silently (watching nature, observing the thoughts, etc). I personally prefer writing, as it helps in a few ways. One, I am in the present moment, thinking and writing. Second, it helps me learn from the past and plan the future, being in the present moment. Being in the present moment relaxes my mind. The choice is the individuals, writing, being in silence, reading books or even playing some sort of sport (outdoor games).
If FRAME is practiced on a daily basis, it will help build the habit of living in the present moment. Being in the present, will help correct the past and plan for a better future. Let the thoughts of the past and future flow in, but be in the present moment to take action. Like someone rightly said, “We lose the beauty and the magic of the present moment because we are always chasing the next moment”. Take charge of now and have a great future!
Please leave your comments below. Your thoughts, experiences and other practices may benefit others. Do let me know if you have any questions. I will be happy to answer.