The Art of Awareness: How to Live in the Moment

how to live in the moment

What if I told you nearly half of the time you exist, you’re unaware of it?

What if I told you we spend nearly 50% of our lives on autopilot, distracted by our thoughts, never really living in the moment?

It sounds outrageous, but stop and think about it.

Ever drive home only to realize you don’t remember the last leg of the drive at all? Ever reread a page of a book because you didn’t at all take in what you read? Ever fail to remember chunks of the previous day?

It happens all the time. We are surrounded by distractions. We are surrounded by reasons to remain on autopilot

The question is, is there a way to learn how to live in the moment?

Sit, Observe, and Breathe

The first step of learning how to live in the moment is to simply stop and allow yourself to sit in silence. We must stop distracting ourselves with all of life’s amazingly bright and flashy things.

It sounds overly simple, but it’s harder than you might think.

Turn off the music, TV, or any other distraction. Sit down and breathe. As you are sitting, take inventory of your body, starting with your toes and working your way up.

Take a moment to feel and experience the sensation of each part of your body.

  • What does the pressure of your seat feel like?
  • How do your clothes feel against your skin?
  • What temperature are you experiencing?
  • What aches and pains do you have?
  • Can you feel your blood flowing through your veins?
  • Can you feel your heart beating?
  • What does it feel like as your lungs fill and deplete with oxygen?

Once you’ve taken inventory of your body, just sit and breathe for another 10 minutes. Allow thoughts to cross your mind, but don’t engage or get lost in them. Simply acknowledge their presence and return your focus to your breathing.

Exercise Dominance Over Your Thoughts

An easy practice to help teach you how to live in the moment is as simple as being aware of your thoughts.

After awareness of thought comes the hard part – controlling them.

It’s not so much about not thinking certain things, we can necessarily control what pops into our heads. It is, however, about controlling what we dwell on. It’s about dominion over self-destructive paths we let ourselves go down.

Practice Unbiased Awareness

Unbiased awareness is the art of observing without judgment.

This is an important step in learning how to live in the moment. Learning to observe, yet not judge allows you to experience people, places, and events without bias. It gives you a fuller experience.

Next time you catch yourself judging someone, take a second to accept that you don’t actually know anything about them or their situation. Enjoy them for who they are, even if you don’t know them or ever talk to them.

Master “Un-Self-awareness”

Self-awareness is one of the most valuable of all human assets. It is the height of consciousness. However, so is the opposite.

Let me explain.

When we are overly-aware of everything we do, every movement we make, it alters our experience, our performance, and our perception.

For example, when you’re speaking with someone and start focusing on your own insecurities, you lack focus with whom you are speaking. You aren’t paying attention to them, nor are you giving 100% of your effort and attention into the conversation, instead, all you are able to focus on is your insecurity.

Think about it next time you’re walking. Think about how your arms are moving, how your hips sway, how your feet hit the ground, etc. It makes you walk awkwardly doesn’t it?

Don’t Drown Yourself in the Past

Learning how to live in the moment means letting go of what’s already happened. You can visit your memories from the past, but don’t live there.

It’s important that we learn from our mistakes, our successes, and our failures. However, if we are too busy regretting or romanticizing the past, we forget to live in the present.

Tarot readers can help us make sense of our past and our present. They can even offer insight into paths we should take in the future. Simply understanding why things are can help us to move past them.

Don’t Consume Yourself with the Future

Similarly, we must learn not to live in the future. It’s intelligent to plan ahead and set ourselves up for success, however, there’s a limit to how much of our energy we should put on the future.

Consuming ourselves with things that are yet to come leads to distraction, worry, anxiety, and a lack of focus on the here and now. People who live too much in the future often find themselves missing the past.

Let Go

Just as we are to let go of the past, we need to let go of control.

The more we try to implement control on people, situations, surroundings, and events, the more stress will accumulate in our lives. The simple fact is, we have very little control over anything but ourselves.

Stop resisting these happenings of life and flow with them. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a voice or go along with things you don’t agree with. It just means you need to stop fighting uphill, uncontrollable battles.

Learning to live in the moment also means letting go of negativity in your life. Negativity presents itself in various forms such as hate, jealousy, guilt, shame, anger, resentment, and fear.

Embrace Your Feelings

Now, just because we are meant to let go of the negative feelings, it doesn’t mean we should never have them. We should feel those things, we should embrace them.

Part of learning how to live in the moment means allowing ourselves a safe space for feelings, all feelings.

However, just like memories of the past, we can’t set up camp within those feelings or they will consume us. Hate, anger, and resentment are toxic and will do more harm to us than those we direct those negative feeling towards.

Perfect Gratitude

One thing none of us do enough is practice gratitude. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we spend so much of our time begrudging what we don’t have, what we don’t look like, or what we haven’t accomplished yet.

Drop all of it and just live in gratitude.

Sure, you didn’t get the apartment you wanted, but there’s something better around the corner. The same can be said of nearly every disappointment in our lives. The universe knows what it’s doing, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Above all us, be grateful. Do you have any idea how many things had to happen just as they did so that you would be born? Do you know the odds of you existing as you are right now?

How to Live in the Moment and Continue to Do So.

Finally and most simply, learn how to live in the moment by reminding yourself to do so.

It doesn’t take much – a bracelet, a ring, a tattoo, a rock in your pocket, anything. Give yourself a cue that will remind you to take a breath and focus on the here and now.

When you stop noticing your cue (and you will), get a new one.

Finding Answers

Practicing self-awareness, consciousness, and learning how to live in the moment are vital practices in our human experience.

However, sometimes, we need a little extra help. Fortunately, this life has blessed us with many gifted people who are here for that exact reason.

For example, many people wonder why they are the way they are. They question the validity of nature versus nurture. Astrologers can help us understand these questions.

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