Sometimes we get caught up in things outside the moment - bad decisions we’ve made in the past, worries over what might happen in the future – the shoulda, coulda, woulda kind of crap - and before you know it you’re caught on a spiral of what’s wrong and trying to find what’s right is completely out of reach.
How much of your day do you spend on worry, stressing over this and that, or in outright fear? Are there health concerns at play? Money problems? Job issues? How much time do you spend focusing on those concerns? Taking stock of how you feel in each moment? Are you not only concerned about your immediate problems but now also becoming concerned about the health and well being of your loved ones, your community, your nation, or the world? How much time do you spend in these thoughts, in the “What’s Wrong” place? How many minutes, or in some cases hours, do these concerns run a background dialog in your day? And if these thoughts go away, what triggers the return…. because I know they return. What does it take to get those thoughts rolling again, enough to get you back into a “What’s Wrong” place?
What we focus on expands – that has been proven time and time again.
So the question is, what do you want to expand? Problems, worries, stress, or drama? Or maybe, just maybe you can shift your thinking and focus on what’s good in your life - at this moment - what’s going well, what you more than likely are taking for granted. Think about it, how much time in any given 24 hour period do you spend in the moment, focusing on what’s right?
Easier said than done I’ve been told, and I get that. It’s hard to disconnect from the “What’s Wrong” because we, as individuals and as a society, have been focusing on it for so long that it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. But guess what, it might be easier said than done but it is not impossible, not by a long shot.
The key to being fully present in the moment is gratitude.
Now I know that gratitude might seem like a simple concept, but how much time do you actually spend there? Dan Baker, Ph.D. and author of What Happy People Know writes what is perhaps the best definition of gratitude I have read, “Appreciation, or gratitude is the first and most fundamental happiness tool. Gratitude is the purest, strongest form of love. It is the outward-bound kind of love that asks for nothing and gives everything. Gratitude is the antidote to fear. Fear is strong but love is stronger.”
To fully step into the moment you have to first stop thinking about what has happened, or what could happen, or what you shoulda, coulda, woulda done. Stop. Breathe. And think about right now.
What are you doing?
Where are you?
What’s around you?
What in this breath, and the next are you grateful for?
Repeat as necessary.
That’s the key, just stop, breathe, and focus on what’s right.
If you can’t just go there mentally, go there physically. Work in a garden, clean your house, or your car, go for a walk with someone you love, pet a cat, get a dog, fly a kite, go out and eat ice cream – something that makes you happy – something that will make you focus on the moment. And when you are in that moment, stop, breathe, and think about what’s right.
Do this at least five times a day and watch – as you change your focus – you also change your world.