What is the most important element in experiencing true happiness? I would contend that it’s embracing the moment and staying present. Unfortunately, staying present and enjoying each moment is easier said than done, and is something I struggle with everyday. In so many situations I forget about the significance that is taking place and seem to be looking toward the next big thing or answer I’ve been waiting for. Does this sound familiar to you? What a sad and forsaken life it will ultimately be if we can never embrace the moment. A focus for me this week has been really trying to stay in the moment and not letting agitation about future goals win out. The holiday shopping sprees and busy schedule this past week offered a great test for embracing the moment, and how helpful it can be. I believe everyone is here on earth to participate in life through present minded action. Joy and happiness comes in many ways, but true value and peace comes from simply being present and living in the moment. We will encounter some inner-struggle along the way, but if we can slowly learn to find serenity in each moment, we will start to see a clearer channel to greater happiness. Below are some ideas and perspectives I have been applying in my life, and suggestions to help you work toward greater happiness through embracing the moment.
A divine encounter
If you have a spiritual bone in your body, I know you’re familiar with the notion of divine encounters. It’s the idea that every encounter we have is a part of a divine mission or opportunity to pursue a greater calling. Regardless of religion or personal beliefs, it’s tough to contend that this philosophy and outlook can’t change your life and illuminate every encounter you have. How much differently would you think about and relate to every person in your life if each moment with them was a divine encounter? How would you interact differently with your family, wife, children, and co-workers? Not only that, but what if the next person you meet is the person who could offer you the exact opportunity you’ve been waiting for? I have done my best to incorporate this perspective over the last week. What were the results? More sympathy and empathy toward others, a greater connectedness, and overall greater well-being and contentment with every encounter and interaction. All in all, focusing on divine encounters has eliminated much self-pity and increased my level of self-empowerment.
Wake-up with purpose
Someone very close to me has been consistently imparting her wisdom over and over again about approaching each day with purpose. Though, I thought I already approached each day with purpose, and my stubborn nature prevented me from understanding what she really meant. The message? Staying present means experiencing each moment with a purpose, and going forth into the world expecting every moment to have something important to offer, no matter how trivial the situation may seem. I’ll be the first to suggest we need goals for direction, motivation, and self-discipline, but if we are missing the richness of each moment because of goal-directed thinking, we are missing out on life. Goal after goal can come and go without really experiencing true fulfillment. You may feel great immediately after accomplishing a goal. You might pat yourself on the back and celebrate, and feel you’re smart and talented… but then what? Dissatisfaction and yearning for more – that’s what. How often do you miss the full joy of life because you’re sights are set on the future instead of the profound influence you have to offer in the present moment? Waking up with purpose means recognizing every moment is an opportunity to serve and improve yourself and others.
Imagine you’re a child, like you’re seeing the world for the first time. How do you see things differently? How does your view of the world change? I imagine you would view the world with more wonder and amazement. Just like a child, we can experience everything around us with wonder and amazement. This simply means observing the majesty of everyday occurrences, such as the wind blowing through the trees, watching the birds, and seeing flowers as the miraculous creation they are. The peace and serenity this offers is remarkable. Living well is dictated by our attitude in each moment and the attention we put toward the demands of the moment. We can get used to experiencing the same routine and lifestyle until it becomes mundane and boring. This is of course only a perspective. Humans are attracted to novelty, and we are consistently paying attention to what’s new and different. You can make efforts to do something new each day, or you can simply embrace the present moment, and look more deeply at what’s right in front of you. You can learn to see something amazing, fresh, and new, amongst the grind you experience everyday. A greater level of growth and personal enhancement will emerge when you experience the fullness of every situation.
The oneness of the world
I recently finished reading the book Siddhartha, and it had a very profound influence on me. It led me to reflect on what I value and the oneness of everything. In simple terms, the message offered is, when we stop resisting we begin really living in harmony. Becoming one with life means that we can traverse and move along through life’s situations without our inner core being shaken-up or disrupted. We can feel whole and connected despite external circumstances or material things. Embracing oneness means that we’re no longer on guard and putting up a defense. We can strip our armor and truly experience each moment by yielding to life when necessary. If something isn’t going as planned, maybe, just maybe there is a reason for this. We can gain great relief when we learn that tomorrow will take care of itself, and that a primary goal of living well is to embrace the moment. You can begin to see that there is a purpose in everything you do. Every task or duty offers you the chance to gain something profound and to grow. You can view yourself connected to the world, while at the same time being independent of the social influence that strips you of your natural state of being. I must confess that this is tremendously difficult task, but one completely worth the self-awareness and personal discovering that will come. I encourage you to undertake the task of embracing the moment this week along with me. Will you do it? What will help you stay present and embrace the moment? What struggles do you expect to encounter and how can you deal with these? I would love to hear from you!