Stay In The Moment

As we bring spiritual practices into the pattern of our daily lives, we become ever more aware of the forces that intrude into our balance. Perhaps relationships with dysfunctional people. Perhaps worries about what we did yesterday or what may happen tomorrow.

Every ancient wisdom and religion I have studied up to and including modern social science has taught the importance of living only in the moment. T.S. Eliot said in Burnt Norton, “At the still point of the turning world is the dance. And there is only the dance.”

That brings me to one piece of practical advice that just happens to be supported by a scientific study as reported by Matt Killingsworth in this TED Talk on Happiness. He found that happy people tended to focus more on the present and bring their thoughts back from their wanderings.

Science “proves” ancient wisdom

For years scientists have uncovered the many benefits of meditation. Here’s on on remaining in the moment. I discovered this many years ago. My hair stylist at the time said that we were worriers due to our German heritage. Don’t know about the truth of that statement, but I know I got it from Mom (didn’t we all get our phobias from mom?).

Then I discovered techniques such as when I caught my mind wandering into all manner of weird thoughts and worries and fears of what tomorrow may bring, I would consciously bring it back to the present moment. If necessary, I would consciously choose to focus on something else–usually something much more pleasant. In that way, I could change my mood.

Our pastor in a recent talk mentioned three Laws that he uses. Trust me, they work.

Law of Attention: Become aware of what you are focusing on.

Law of Exchange: As you become aware that you are focusing on negativity, exchange that thought with a positive one.

Law of Reversibility: If I don’t like the way I’m thinking, I can work my way out of it.

We must first be aware of what we’re thinking. Don’t go through life reacting to every passing thought. That’s a definition of insanity. Become aware of yourself. Then you can change yourself.

 

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