I imagine if we went out on the streets and polled people that most would say they want to feel happy, feel love, and feel peace. That’s probably a fair assumption. And then if we went on to ask them how they can experience these three things, I bet we would get an assortment of how-to’s, strategies, and what not to do’s.
So what is the key to happiness? Is there just one or many? I’m not going to tackle the potential vastness of this subject today, and I am going to make a suggestion for something we can all experiment with to see what results can be realized.
I do believe that the sustained experience of authentic happiness, love and peace can only be found in the present moment. That truly we can step into the Kingdom of Heaven in a moment……in THIS moment. We really only live moment to moment, though to us it all runs together when we live on the usual auto pilot and because it’s just what we are used to.
We have all heard the term mindfulness, which is what I am describing. Being present right now, aware, with an active open attention on the present.
I encourage you to stop reading for a moment and just feel this.
Become still, quiet your thoughts and just be fully present with your senses. Listen to the sounds around you, feel your body, and notice your breathing. Notice your in-breath and your out-breathe.
How does it feel? What do you notice? How does your body feel?
I believe that everything we want and need is experienced in the NOW. That if we will live in this way, with this level of awareness, we will discover within ourselves what we thought we needed to get outside of ourselves.
Am I saying it’s a piece of cake? Easy? Simple? That simple?
Well, yes and no.
I am suggesting that being in the present moment is that simple. Yet realizing the bounty of the present moment such that it becomes our nourishment takes practice, takes the development of awareness and surrender, and requires us to trust and believe in the Goodness of the Universe.
The belief in the absolute Goodness of God.
The belief in the indisputable cascade of well-being that is always flowing within and around us.
The belief that Love is what is most natural to us and most innate within us.
Forgetfulness, on the other hand, is when we choose to live in the past or the future. When we allow preoccupation with what has happened or what could happen to overshadow what is right now. We forget how good and incredible the present is! I wonder how many minutes a day we actually live in forgetfulness unconsciously?
Like most everything I write, I’m creating an opportunity to notice the mechanisms we’ve trained ourselves to accept as normal. Not good or bad, right or wrong, just to notice so that we can then choose something new, something else. If we don’t see, then we have no power to shift.
One of the simplest ways I know to shift to living in the present is through noticing the breath. When we inhale and recognize it as the in-breath and then exhale and recognize it as the out-breath, we have just then centered ourselves right in the middle of NOW. If we spend a minute even doing this, we have re-aligned ourselves with the abundance of presence.
When you do this, add to it the feeling of love. Think of someone you love the most or your beloved pet or an experience when you felt love. Just focus on the feeling of this love while you breathe. Stoke the feeling with your thoughts of this person or images of what you love.
If you will give yourself to this even once a day you are creating new pathways. Some people like to set an alarm on their phone every hour for taking a minute to breathe and feel love. Remember we are going for sustained happiness, love and peace. This is how we are meant to live.
It’s time we reclaim our lives from all the places that don’t serve us. Time to be the masters we are created and destined to be.
So, mindfulness or forgetfulness? It’s your choice, and it’s right now.
Relax this week. Breathe deep. Tap into the wealth of now.