I suck at living in the moment. Really. Hard core. I mentioned this a few posts ago, but I realized this even more deeply the other day while reading a book called Momfulness by Denise Roy. She has short meditations to do and a large section of the book has to deal with being present in the moment.
I get so worried. And worry is all based either in the past (guilt) or in the future (fear). Worry is not based in the present. Worry is not part of a moment. So when the present moment becomes the only moment, that worry just dissolves away. It doesn’t matter what is for dinner or how I am going to entertain MM for the next three hours or whatever. Put away the future and look around.
I looked around. While reading the book, MM was asleep and I had gone outside for a moment. The sun was shining on me, warming me up. Birds were singing–lots of birds, many songs I couldn’t recognize. I could hear wind in the leaves. Leaves! Green! And when I paid attention to the moment, I relaxed. I was happy. The moment was a good moment.
The first mediation she has you do is something like this: Breathe. Relax. Breathe. Smile. Breathe. Think: This is the only moment. This is a wonderful moment. That’s not exact because I’m not bothering to go get the book from my bedroom, but that’s what I remember.
So many moment are wonderful moments, and I skip right past them because of worry based in the past or future.
Not all moments are good. But one of the things she mentions is to not make a judgment–just notice things. So many times when I am frustrated or grumpy or whatever, I immediately make a judgment of myself. And it doesn’t help. It just makes me more frustrated or grumpy or whatever. But I tried today to just think: Hey look, I am grumpy. And that was it. No judgment. I just noticed. I didn’t get weighed down in the guilt like I normally do. I didn’t get angry. I just noticed that I wasn’t having a particularly good time, and that was okay. I kept going. I got better.
I found out when I focused on the moment that my daughter is HILARIOUS. Life is hilarious. It is hard to see the humor in things when you aren’t in the moment. Like when MM decides to help me make bread and stirs the flour all around and gets it all over herself and the kitchen–it’s a sweet, funny moment. But if I’m worried about cleaning up the flour later–about the future–then I don’t laugh. When I am present, I laugh and I smile.
I have found that MM will smile back at me. She loves to laugh. She loves to be happy. And when I am present, I can be happy with her. I can get rid of all that worry.
It’s a hard thing to do–because you do have to plan for the future. You have to worry about when the bills are due and what’s for dinner and what you need to get done in the day.
But there are plenty of moments where you can let go of the worry and just let that moment be the only moment.
And it usually is a wonderful moment.