There is no happily ever after, just happily here and now…
– Ferris Bueller
Where are your thoughts right now? Are you able to concentrate on the words you are reading or are you ‘future tripping’, worrying about carpool rides for the kids, or maybe you are wondering if you will be okay or be unprepared and awkward in tomorrow’s staff meeting? Are you projecting into the future your thoughts and feelings only to arrive at that time and place never truly ‘be there’, desperately attempting to figure out what may or may not happen and how I will feel when I get there? This is the very definition of anxiety. Living in speculation and expectation can lead towards resentment, not only
towards self but towards others and your outer world in general. Or are you remorseful and resentful, regretting past decisions you have made? Should have, could have, would have, living in the past, torturing yourself and listening to the lies you tell yourself until it becomes a narrative that constructs who you are.
These states of being can keep us in victim mode, reacting to things emotionally as they arise, taking things always personally. These speculative states can only lead to suffering, and to what end? As our brain desperately attempts to map out the future so that we are not surprised we become risk averse, stuck in a fight, flight or freeze mode. We are unable to access higher regions of the brain and self and process our thoughts and feelings effectively. Living in the past creates doubt and second-guessing, each should, could and would is a total lie, we cannot change things in our past only learn from them. We can work on staying in the only thing that truly is; the moment you are in.
Staying present, centered and aware can be challenging, but here are a few exercises to ground
you and bring you into your true reality.
You can first start by naming things in the room, I know it sounds silly but go ahead and do it now… what you are feeling is physically being in the time and place that you are in. When we have gotten good at that, we can continue to cycle through our senses; what we are hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling, literally coming into them… The sounds of the your neighborhood coming to life, the coffee from this morning, the cushions supporting our body as we sit. All of your senses come to life; you can be present to what is in front of you and around you, able to flow on into the next indicated thing.