Have you ever noticed all of a sudden that you’re not fully engaged in a conversation or situation? You’re lost in thought, thinking about what’s going to happen with something you’re going through, daydreaming, or you’re just scrolling through your phone. You have no idea what someone just said to you or how to answer, I’ve been there-just ask my husband! How many moments have you missed? Not being mentally present as life happens makes you miss out on everything!
I love technology and social media, and am not here to tell you to turn it all off! Whenever someone mentions being present or mindful, I feel like the next thing that’s said is to get off social media. I don’t want to and I don’t think you need to either! You can be present and simply set some limits on technology as well as other things that take your attention away from the here and now.
First things first
First, take an honest look at your life and determine where you may be falling short, in terms of checking out emotionally, physically or mentally. Are you lost in your phone through every dinner with your family or friends? Do you “get some work done” at night instead of connecting with your significant other or kids? Are you so busy planning and worrying about the future that you’re missing out on this moment? Tomorrow is not a guarantee, be present and enjoy today, create joy rather than stress and worry. This not only creates happiness in you but in those around you as well.
Don’t skip this step thinking that you’re showing up in each area of your life, either! Chances are, there’s at least one thing you’re doing daily that’s taking your attention away from key moments. If you’re having trouble finding one, just ask a loved one to fill you in! Then make a list of which key moments you’d like to improve on and show up in.
On the flip side, it’s also not realistic to think you can be fully present every second of every day either. There are always things we need to do, and the time needed to refresh our minds. This brings me to my second point!
Now that you’ve identified some areas that you could improve on, let’s prioritize the distractions getting in the way of life. I realize that for me, my phone, work projects and multitasking instead of focusing on the person/people in front of me are my biggest distractions. I’ll be doing dishes, making lunches and cleaning up the kitchen while the kids finish their dinner so that I don’t have to do it after I put them to bed. Or I’ll be scrolling through Instagram while I’m out to eat with someone. Then I’ll work on writing projects or an endless list of “to do’s” while I have my family or friends with me.
People are more important than “things” just ask anyone nearing the end of their journey. I guarantee that if you were given a time limit on the rest of your days now, you’d start living differently than you are currently. The truth is, we all have a limited amount of days left, we just tend to forget, as nobody expects it to be soon. What would you do differently if you knew when your time was going to be up here on earth? What “things” would become meaningless? Write those down on a distractions list.
-Keep Key Moments Distraction Free-
We have all of these things we want and need to do and get done, but also want to be fully present in each moment, how?! Sometimes we need to multitask, or nothing will get done. Prioritize those key moments you wrote down as distraction free. Then take a look at your day and schedule which times are best for working on these distractions and to-do’s. I’ve prioritized morning time, dinner, before bedtime with kids, and if I’m with a group of family/friends as my key moments. I also have my times of self-care that I keep as distraction-free as possible, times where I’m working out, meditating, praying, etc. I try and keep my list of distractions out of my key moments.
Behold the Benefits!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” Matthew 6:34
When you’re experiencing life as it’s happening, there is less room to worry. There is freedom here in the now where your feet are. There’s something about focusing on what’s in front of you that makes you stress less about other things. This is because you’re not dwelling on the past, or worrying about what is to come, or mindlessly checking out. Live now, right here, and tomorrow won’t seem so impossible.
Last year my husband was diagnosed with a tumor in his neck. Six surgeries/procedures later, and I’m fully aware that taking things one day at a time is so beneficial! I write goals in my planner so I know what I need to do today to accomplish my priorities. When something seems overwhelming, try to focus on what’s happening right now and how you can improve the situation. If you’re not already writing daily in a journal, try it to help you focus on your goals! I recently explained some of the benefits of daily journaling!
Make your key moments matter, and use your time wisely to accomplish your “to-do’s”. When you catch yourself checking out of your “moments”, feel your feet on the floor where you are, breathe deeply and gently guide your mind back to the present. Don’t worry, you can still multitask and plan for the future, just don’t let that become your whole life. I know everyone is always saying to plan ahead for the future, but I’m going to say to live today to the fullest and create joy in the here and now! When you create a beautiful today, you’re also creating a beautiful future. Let’s go live fully now, in this moment in front of us!