I feel like everywhere we turn, there are clothes, mugs, posters and decorations boasting the idea of “living in the moment.” And even with this insignia on so many of our products, it’s one of the most difficult things to achieve.
Why is it so hard to teach our minds to live in the moment rather than just tell it to?
Because it is.
I think that a huge part of being able to live in the moment is to accept things as they are. I’m not suggesting becoming complacent. I’m not suggesting giving up on moving forward. I’m suggesting quite the opposite in fact.
For example, since embarking on this new adventure called graduate school, I’ve noticed that I get easily overwhelmed. There are a myriad of new obstacles to overcome and things to accomplish. It can get to be incredibly overpowering. I have no money, no time and little freedom. Everyone has this, whether it is your environment, relationships, body image, occupation, etc. There’s always something we’re working towards or obsessing over.
However, accepting your situation is really the only way to live in the moment. Obsessing over restrictions will only build more restrictions. Understanding your life and appreciating what you have and what you’re working towards will allow you to live in the moment and enjoy the people around you.
And it’s also important to remember that each opportunity to live in the moment won’t look the same, and it’s certainly not the same for each person. Sometimes living in the moment means working hard and putting the pedal to the medal, so to speak. And sometimes it means giving yourself a guilt-free break and participating in whatever your world has to offer. This gives me the perfect opportunity to call attention to my favorite quote, which perfectly describes the idea of living in the moment:
“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.” –John Steinbeck