Have you ever been in one of those situations where your body was there as your representative but that was about it.
You were there in person but completely absent inside? It could’ve been a one-off event you endured or maybe it was a more painful experience which lasted a few weeks or even years.
You’ve only got to speak to a handful of people this time of year to realise we’re all dodging moments we’d rather avoid for whatever reason. It’s funny and it’s not.
Agreed, there are moments and there are ‘moments’, but we’re going to accumulatively miss out on large chunks of our lives if we can only be present in those we want, approaching those we don’t with at best, tolerance.
What stops us being in the moment?
Whenever we resist what is, either with our thoughts or feelings (few potentials for this over Christmas) or when we have overwhelming emotions (like grief or loss) that shut us down, we are unable to be fully present in the moment.
This also happens when we spend too much time mentally in the past or future.
Internal dilemmas create tension which may mirror itself in the body a myriad of ways from headaches to tightening of the chest or stomach; we quite literally have a physical response to our thoughts. Whilst this is rarely life-threatening at the time, years of not dealing with these thoughts and emotions build up harmful energy blockages.
Often we don’t realise the above is going on as our mind will always seek ways to skip over the situation and to get beyond the uncomfortable moment that is now. We have the drink, lose ourself in ‘busy’, put on the TV and ‘switch off’ or we maybe get our positive talk on and comfort ourselves that whatever we’re facing isn’t as bad as it could be or that others are.
Whatever our strategy, it’s a way to cope. It’s all we know but it’s the minds fault. We unknowingly create beliefs and behaviours which play out something like: “In order for my day to be good and for me to be happy, X,Y & Z, need to be in place. ‘This’ and ‘that’ need to, (or not to) happen and then all will be well.”
Setting conditions of what we need in order for the present moment to be okay is an exhausting way to live. At any moment the game can change, and then we’re into panic stations. The less we need to be certain of, the more balanced our days because we’ve settled that whatever goes down, we’ll be OK.
Who would do that?! I know… it’s bloody uncomfortable, but it’s the option which produces a greater freedom to enjoy more of our everyday lives because we’re not wasting energy resisting everything all the time.
How can I accept the moment if I’m not happy about it?
‘Accepting’ the moment can be a tough call but changing your perception to allowing it is a good place to start. Settle that you don’t need to be happy about that crummy situation in order to be ok. View your thoughts objectively as things passing by your attention that you don’t have to respond to, let them go.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.