Do you think you are living in the moment or find yourself often saying that you are "...trying to be in the moment?" Either way, here's a few things to think about that I've found helpful.
FOCUS. Pay attention to whatever it happens to be that you are doing. Whether you're washing or waxing your car, polishing the silver, gardening, or watering plants - think about how it feels right now. You're probably spinning some dialogue through your mind that has nothing to do with what you're doing, aren't you. Try this. Let go of it all and focus on what is...not what was or what could be. Mindfulness is about complete awareness of your senses - touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste. Do you remember being so engrossed in something you were doing that it seemed like everything else around you disappeared, didn't exist? That's what it feels like to "be in THAT moment". If you can re-create that feeling or state of mind at any time, you have discovered how to live in the moment. Slow down...savor the present.
ZONE IN. Minimize activities that are distracting your awareness of the moment. What are you doing that makes your mind stray from the present? Is this a pattern for you? Is it chronic? For most, watching TV pacifies your mind, and before you know it the time slips away. Daydreaming and watching a good movie or reading a good book isn't bad, but it's not living in the moment. All it does is makes you concentrate on something that isn't right here in the now. It's a form of escape. If you want to be in the moment, zone in, not out. Get active, look around engage the world in that moment. Gardening, playing a musical instrument, singing, playing a game, sewing, dancing - these are all activities that lend themselves to mindfulness. Choose one of these or make your own list and pick an activity. Then get off the computer after reading this article and do something mindful!
PLAY WITH KIDS. They're not concerned about tomorrow. They play and enjoy every moment for what it is. They haven't mastered the art of thinking ahead or mulling over the past. Learn these lessons from the kiddos.
FORGIVE. We carry grudges from our pasts that haunt us. Those grudges keep us from opening up our hearts to others because we're afraid of getting hurt again and preventing us from moving on in life. Give yourself permission to forgive someone or those who have hurt you in the past. Make a list of those people, then forgive them one by one. If you want to make it really powerful, forgive them in person or in writing. Or write it down and burn it, tear it up in little pieces. But give it up to the universe and stop carrying it around in your heart. Then give yourself permission to love someone with abandon. It is a risk, but one worth taking over and over until you get it right!
BREATHE. Notice your breathing pattern. Close your eyes and take a few long, slow breaths. Just for the heck of it, count the number of seconds on the inhale, then on the exhale...just for something to focus on. You will immediately feel quieted down and become more "mindful" of the present moment.
SMILE! Open your eyes and smile with your whole face! Or, if you dare, get wild. Smile with your whole body! Stretch out both arms and your neck and lift your head up high. Then let that smile encompass your whole being. You are alive and well, and enjoy living in the moment!