I have lived much of my life in the future. Often while doing one thing, I’m thinking about how I’m going to accomplish the next thing. I have a hard time staying in the present moment.
Lately I’ve been trying to practice mindfulness. The word “mindful” means: attentive, aware, or careful of. Learning to be mindful means learning to be fully present and focused on what is going on around you and inside of you at the current moment.
In my personal list of quotes, I recorded: “Those who worry about the future often fumble the present.” (I do not know the author.) This is how I have lived too many of my days. I may be sitting enjoying my husband’s presence and my mind will wonder to the blog post I plan to write later or the toilet that I have yet to clean. Or I may be playing with my son and I will begin planning how I will accomplish some things for work or what I need to buy at the grocery store.
I wouldn’t be surprised if most people have this problem at some time during their week. It can be a chronic problem for me. I do not want to lose any more moments of my life to my “To Do” list or to my perpetually planning mind.
This is why I’m learning to practice mindfulness. There are 3 things that are helping me to “stay present” and focused on the task or person at hand.
First, I have made a schedule for each day. Being the creative type who doesn’t like to be pinned down, I like to call it my “routine” instead of my schedule. I know the main things I need to accomplish each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., and I don’t have to recreate the wheel every week. Nor do I have to spend as much time planning my next task when I could be focusing my mind on playing with my son or having a conversation with my husband. I leave room for spontaneity, but I make sure to accomplish the main objectives.
Second, I am trying to slow down. I usually am so focused on completing a task that I fail to enjoy what I’m doing or to do it to the best of my ability. For instance, I may be taking a walk with my husband and son while focusing on completing the walk so that I can go on to the next activity. I end up not enjoying the walk or the time I have with my family.
Third, I am using grounding blend. It is excellent at helping you slow down and stay in the present moment. I have been using it this Easter weekend while purposefully walking slower and trying to enjoy what I’m doing. I have definitely seen a difference in my enjoyment level this weekend and my mind has not been preoccupied with my task list. I plan on using grounding blend this whole week to help my efforts to practice mindfulness. I will share my results on Friday.
Do you have a problem with staying present in the current moment? Do you think practicing mindfulness could increase your enjoyment of life?