Leave a comment

Best Moment Award ðŸ”–🏆


Moment Matters

A spiritual outlook with a minimalist perspective on life that is conducive to happiness is often predicated on living in the present moment through mindful awareness emancipated from the vagaries of the subconscious and the itinerants of the mind.

🕰 Best Moment Award 🏆‍

Best Moment Award, web awards, blogging awards, winners, nominations

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered ―
Savouring the experience of quality time.

RULES:

Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded.

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a NEW set of people/blogs worthy of the award; and winners notify them the great news.

RESOURCES:

  • What makes a good acceptance speech?
    • Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way
    • Humour. Keep us entertained and smiling
    • Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives
  • Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches, compiled in MomentMatters.com/Speech
  • Display the award’s badge on your blog/website, downloadable in MomentMatters.com/Award
[Note: MomentMatters.com seems to be defunct.]
🔖 Acceptance Speech‍ 🎙
Introduction

It was early Friday morning. SoundEagle woke up and found a new comment posted on the “About” page barely an hour ago:

Hi, how are you?
Good news, we are giving you the “BEST MOMENT AWARD”. Congratulations and enjoy the rest of the day!

On the basis that no specific reasons were provided to explain why SoundEagle has been chosen to receive the award, one could perhaps presume that the musical magic of the filmic logic must have worked its charm:

Nothing comes from nothing,
Nothing ever could.
So somewhere in my youth or childhood,
I must have done something good.

Or rather, in keeping more to the spirit of Moment Matters, one could perhaps conclude that SoundEagle must have been awarded for living in the moment, for being noble in writing and capturing the best in life, for being so bold as to remind “us what really mattered ― Savoring the experience of quality time.”

SoundEagle is certainly very grateful for a lot of reasons. And yet, how should or could an Acceptance Speech be reasonably delivered regardless of the specific degrees or details of an awardee’s achievements or contributions? Perhaps one should or could take a moment to fathom the fabric and interconnectedness of life amidst all its trials and tribulations, and throughout its course of evolution bolstered by systemic interdependencies and resiliencies.

“If I can do it then anybody can.”

There have been the myth and romanticization of the self-made person succeeding against all odds. The brilliance of certain accomplishments can be so blindingly bright that some people may fail to recognize that many things and conditions have to fall into place for someone to achieve success. Even the greatest heroes, rulers or tyrants need thousands or millions of supporters and followers, plus good climate and sufficient natural resources.

Certain high-flyers, champions or celebrities may utter “If I can do it then anybody can.” On the surface, their statement may seem to suggest that they are modest, democratic, inspiring and down-to-earth individuals who have succeeded through sheer effort and determination, and that they are encouraging others to do so in order to realize their dreams and potentials.

Yet, one cannot help wondering that these successful people are selling an idea or image of success based on the belief that an individual can transcend or overcome any obstacle. They seem to think that everyone has the same chance and is on a level playing field. They have forgotten that many conditions, peoples and infrastructures have to be present within an environment or a society for certain pursuits, successes or achievements to take place.

If one were to put those same high-flyers, champions or celebrities in a more disadvantaged socio-economic or socio-demographic area, or in a third- or fourth-world country saddled with poverty, crime and other social and cultural issues, then the utterance “If I can do it then anybody can” could be readily exposed as being vain and vacuous. Also, had they been born into a world in which they have to face poverty, corruption, delinquency, famine, disability, disease, discrimination, slavery, war, anarchy, exploitation, marginalization, despotism, ostracism, obscurantism and so on, none of them would go very far or have the opportunity to enter their chosen professions.

Many people can have a strong tendency or proclivity to overestimate the ability and autonomy of the individual, and to underestimate the role and influence of the social. They also tend to evaluate situations based on their assessments, experiences and outcomes of their own prevailing circumstances. Overall, people characteristically commit or experience attribution bias:

In psychology, an attribution bias or attributional bias is a cognitive bias that refers to the systematic errors made when people evaluate or try to find reasons for their own and others’ behaviors.[1][2][3] People constantly make attributions regarding the cause of their own and others’ behaviors; however, attributions do not always accurately reflect reality. Rather than operating as objective perceivers, people are prone to perceptual errors that lead to biased interpretations of their social world.[4][5]

Hence, even at the exalted moment of celebrating one’s foremost achievement or major milestone, one should be vigilant about championing or glorifying certain feat, goal or quest, whose accessibility, feasibility and desirability can often far exceed the fundamental purview and spirit of fairness, practicability and sheer determination. In that regard, and in accepting this award, let it be repeated that SoundEagle is certainly very grateful for a lot of reasons, including being spared so far by stray bullets and comets, by the deadliest academics and epidemics, as well as by the apocalyptic revolt of our fellow nonhumans and Mother Nature forevermore affected by mounting anthropogenic forces, living, as we are, on borrowed time and resources.

From the perspectives of social sciences such as sociology, anthropology and archaeology, the putative personal freedom to individualize, the aspiring determination to accomplish, the ambitious resolve to succeed, and the career trajectory to pursue, are all tightly bound to social upbringing, cultural capital and collective empowerment as well as socioeconomic reality and demographic profile, not just to individual aptitude, capacity, competence or intelligence. Practising an “anti-capitalist eco-philosophy that’s a blend of existentialism, Zizek and Buddhism”, a graduate “from Temple University with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Religious Studies and Environmental Science” gives “a short critique of identity”, according to which both the environmental dependency of social outcomes and the situational primacy of human development are the dynamic results of people’s lives being embedded in, and moulded by, class structures, social stratifications, cultural reproductions and communication frameworks, as propounded in social constructivism, social constructionism and symbolic interactionism:

…Being an individual seems to be the daily life of people living under capitalism. This insistence on being an individual, a self-made man, is a double-edged sword. On [the] one hand, you are allowed to claim all of your achievements as a result of your own sense of self, but on the other hand all of your failures and shortcomings are yours as well. It’s within this context that the self-help and mental health industry positions itself: helping individuals [to] fight their demons alone. Good mental health is living happily as an individual. Bad mental health is dissatisfaction from living as an individual. But this is how you help people, on the scale of individuals.

But we are not individuals, or if we are [then] the term needs to surrender a lot of the power associated to it. We are people born into situations. Suburbanite parents on the hill say of young African-American boys “Well if I was born in the ghetto I would refuse to sell drugs.” No, you wouldn’t, because you wouldn’t be you then. The very act of saying “I” invokes your entire upbringing. Your very identity is constructed out of society. Society furnishes you with the raw materials out of which you make yourself. The proof of this is that we all identify with the word “I” but none of us invented it. We had to be taught it. At best, “I” refers to a mixture of your will and the larger environment, a compromise between the world you were born into and your desires for yourself that would have come true had it not been for the world. At worst, “I” is an amputation, a denial of the world that they exist in. This is where people like to play the same game as those suburbanite parents did: they like to imagine themselves as divorced from their circumstances, and able to jump into anyone’s life at anyone’s moment to cast judgment…

A Meditation on Life: Delayed Gratification

In pondering the meaning of life, mortality, purpose and time, Frank J Peter expresses his longing for living in the moment versus the uncertainty of the future in his post entitled A Meditation on Life: Delayed Gratification:

Wouldn’t it be nice if living in the moment was a simple matter of living for the moment?

Alas, life is not that easy for a creature who knows that tomorrow often matters more than today…

… so much so that today’s pleasure, comfort, ease, and safety must be sacrificed for a possibly better future…

… a future that may never come.

There lies a perennial confrontation of reality and a contradiction of expectation, etched in the faith, belief or conviction that tomorrow matters more, and in the fear, anxiety or apprehension that the conceivably nicer future may never eventuate. Faced with such an existential incongruity, one could be forgiven for showing a sign of resignation or a sense of acceptance, and for choosing to live in the moment for the moment, albeit momentarily, if not from time to time or even from moment to moment, “so that today’s pleasure, comfort, ease, and safety” can be remembered and appreciated in acknowledgment of their transience and finitude, and in anticipation of their coming into better fruition through delayed gratification. Moment matters as the respite, retreat or punctuation in a hurried life beset with vicissitudes.

Scientific Account of Living in the Moment

Could some novel approach to conducting scientific experiments provide tentative inklings or solid confirmations on the pragmatic, utilitarian, emotional, psychological, existential, phenomenological, spiritual or metaphysical aspects of living in the moment? Such experiments should ideally reveal that living in the moment is actually beneficial to the human psyche; that being in the moment calms the wayward mind and curbs its desire to revisit the past and project into the future; that the mind focussing on the moment is one that is less prone to ruminating on what is or is not happening; and that staying in the moment promotes harmony, peace, geniality, benevolence or contentment and reduces conflict, anxiety, aggression, malevolence or unhappiness.

Born out of a scientific research project investigating happiness and what makes life worth living, the innovative survey app (coded and designed by Visnu Pitiyanuvath) called “Track Your Happiness” was conceived by Harvard psychologist Daniel T Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth as part of the latter’s doctoral research at Harvard University, after having majored in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Economics in his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Duke University, and having worked as a product manager in the software industry. As a Health and Society Scholar of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Matthew Killingsworth “studies the nature and causes of human happiness,… His recent research has focused on the relationship between happiness and the content of everyday experiences, the percentage of everyday experiences that are intrinsically valuable, and the degree of congruence between the causes of momentary happiness and of one’s overall satisfaction with life.”

Stay in the Moment and Stop Wandering

According to the abstract of their research paper entitled “A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind”, the “Track Your Happiness” app allows people to report their feelings in real time by using “smartphone technology to sample people’s ongoing thoughts, feelings, and actions and found (i) that people are thinking about what is not happening almost as often as they are thinking about what is and (ii) found that doing so typically makes them unhappy.” The research outcome indicates that a mind focusing on the present is more conducive to happiness and better for people’s moods than a mind wandering or daydreaming. In other words, people are often happiest when they are lost in the moment. In contrast, the more their mind wanders, the less happy they tend to be. According to Lauren Schenkman who reported the survey results in her 2:01PM 11 Nov 2010 entry entitled “Daydreaming Is a Downer” published in the Science magazine of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):

Snap out of it! That daydream you’re having about eloping to the Bahamas with Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie is leaching away your happiness. In a new global study, researchers used iPhones to gauge the mental state of more than 2000 volunteers several times a day—even when they were having sex. The results indicate that, if you want to stay cheerful, you’re better off focusing on the present, no matter how unpleasant it is.

The human mind is remarkably good at straying from the moment. That ability allows us to remember the past, plan for the future, and “even imagine things that never occur at all,” says Matthew Killingsworth…

…The daydreaming was not good for people’s moods: Volunteers were unhappier when their thoughts were elsewhere. Statistical tests showed that mind-wandering earlier in the day correlated with a poorer mood later in the day, but not vice versa, suggesting that unhappiness with their current activity wasn’t prompting people to mentally escape. Instead, their wandering minds were the cause of their gloom. Mental drifting was a downer for subjects during even the dullest activities, like cleaning, the researchers found.…

The findings “challenge the foundations of psychology,” says Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist and neuroscientist at Northeastern University in Boston, who pioneered data gathering with Palm Pilots. Psychologists assume that the mind responds to a stimulus out in the world, but in this study, “it almost looks like the stimulus is irrelevant.”

For people who are non-technically minded and unfamiliar with research methodology and statistical procedures, the one-page research paper of Daniel T Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth entitled “A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind” can be abbreviated as follows:

Unlike other animals, human beings spend a lot of time thinking about what is not going on around them, contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or will never happen at all. Indeed, “stimulus-independent thought” or “mind wandering” appears to be the brain’s default mode of operation (1–3). Although this ability is a remarkable evolutionary achievement that allows people to learn, reason, and plan, it may have an emotional cost. Many philosophical and religious traditions teach that happiness is to be found by living in the moment, and practitioners are trained to resist mind wandering and “to be here now.” These traditions suggest that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Are they right?

First, people’s minds wandered frequently, regardless of what they were doing. Mind wandering occurred in 46.9% of the samples and in at least 30% of the samples taken during every activity except making love.…

Second, multilevel regression revealed that people were less happy when their minds were wandering than when they were not [slope (b) = –8.79, P < 0.001], and this was true during all activities, including the least enjoyable.…

Third, what people were thinking was a better predictor of their happiness than was what they were doing.…

In conclusion, a human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.

As can be seen, the research paper begins with the premise that the intellectual ascent of the human species through the process of evolution is a double-edged sword insofar as the evolved mental capacity in humans to organize themselves for complex social life necessitates significant cognitive demands and social proclivities for perceiving, processing and predicting behavioural controls and intentions by mulling over past and future events, or replaying real and imaginary scenarios, all of which lead people to become perpetual mental captives wandering from thought to thought independent of mental stimuli and physical activities, as much as their nomadic hunter-gatherer ancestors had been wandering from place to place independent of the environmental potentials for settling down. Whilst the paper does not prescribe any remedy, it does suggests that the itinerant mind with its haphazard terrains can turn into the blissful mind with harmonizing landscapes when it can be reined in by philosophical disciplines, calmed by meditative practices, or settled by spiritual traditions. The research has been showcased on numerous media channels, including New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, Good Morning America, TEDxZaragoza and TedTalks, the last of which is shown bellow:

Stop Facebooking and Smell the Roses

Considering that billions of people are using social media and smartphones in one form or another regularly, and thus surrendering themselves to the addictive trappings of digital life, virtual reality, gaming fantasy and other instantaneous online interactions whilst also multitasking and concentrating amidst various distractions in their real-life activities such as eating, drinking, driving, walking, talking, reading and so on, there are compelling reasons to heed the words of Jesse Hawley (a biologist, a freelance science writer and illustrator as well as a communications advisor at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)), who wrote imaginatively and persuasively in his essay entitled “6 Ways Facebook is a Life Leeching Succubus” as follows:

A mainstay of Eastern philosophy is living in the moment. It’s difficult to argue with the healthiness of this practice.

Basically, if you’re constantly thinking about the future ‘what’s for dinner’, ‘it’ll be so cool when the new Smash Bros. comes out’, ‘life will be much better when I have a real job’, then you will never experience the present — and thus you’ll live a virtual life. The ‘ideal’ life that you’ve always dreamed about can never be tasted in the present.…

That’s why it’s nice to eat slowly and clearly perceiving a nice meal. To ‘stop and smell the roses’ is both literal and figurative. Do it.

Enter: Facebook – **PHWOOOOAAR** – it stomps down the street, leaving a puddle of pus and garbage juice in its wake. It stomps over and throws the flower-smelling hippy into its gargantuan, gaping face orifice.

Maybe I’m exaggerating for the sake of illustration, but Facebook is certainly efficient at stopping people from living in the moment.

I’ll admit, sometimes FB users are living in the moment, but it’s someone else’s – like: what that someone else is eating for dinner right now.

Instead of experiencing a live show, the FB-possessed are too busy taking blurry, pixelated photos. Instead of enjoying nature, these people are scouting out ideal profile picture angles. Instead of thinking ‘how lucky we are to have the chance to even experience reality’, we are thinking ‘how can my current situation be synthesised into a status update?’

In other words, people who are overly fixating on what is supposed or expected to happen in the future (or the past for that matter) are missing out on the present, thus cocooning themselves in a prolonged state of suspense, expectancy or anticipation, and entrapping themselves in a mental bubble of unrelenting momentum, as if being in the present or living in the moment is synonymous with stagnation, procrastination, unproductivity or apathy. In a figurative sense, they are already living a virtual life, even without immersing themselves in the vast digital edifice of virtual reality and social media. Yet, this existential dilemma has been further intensified and exacerbated since contemporary modern lives have become increasingly mediated by the trappings of technology, readily causing interminable intrusions and unsustainable disruptions wrought by update overdrive, information overload and multimedia overdose, let alone engendering addiction, superficiality, narcissism, status anxiety, estrangement from reality, and alienation from Nature.

Conclusion

Living in the moment can have far more urgency and currency nowadays, given that the pace of population growth, social change, technological succession and information explosion have caused everything to be even more likely to be cramped out of existence and to recede into the past, into oblivion, into historical junkyards. It would seem that even authors have to build in obsolescence in their stories and characters. “Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece”, according to Vladimir Nabokov. In that case, may the mystery of reality and the machinery of existence occasionally permit extraordinary mental clarity and vividness when we inhabit the moment!

Perhaps the moment will be a very special one to remember and treasure, as it materializes at the serendipitous arrival of an epiphany; at the critical juncture of making a discovery; at the long-awaited instance of reaching a milestone; at the unique occasion of gaining an insight; at the precipice of losing the ego; or at the rare summit of attaining enlightenment.

SoundEagle in Art and Paramusic

Best Moment Award Winners
First Best Moment Award Winner

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered ―
Savouring the experience of quality time.

THE WINNERS OF THE BEST MOMENT AWARD ARE:

  1. Caroline Bakker
  2. Swati Atul
  3. Alexandra
  4. Christina
  5. Inside the Mind of Isadora
  6. Pragati
  7. Motivational Rants!
  8. Sigoese
  9. SoundEagle
  10. A World Traveler Who Is Spiritual
  11. anilraheja
  12. Sylvie Ashford
  13. George Hayward
  14. Liesl Gordon
  15. N. Hülya Yılmaz
[Note: The winners listed above are originally designated by MomentMatters.com]

Don’t forget to celebrate with your followers! Tweet your success with hashtag #MomentMatters. Congratulations, winners!

Please kindly be informed that SoundEagle has also been given the same award by Melanie Jean Juneau at http://themotherofnine9.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/best-moment-award/, where her excellent “speech” or “confession” oozes with an intimate account of her personal journey into the world of blogosphere, which has enabled the blossoming of her creative side and nurturing quality. Melanie‘s gift and that from Moment Matters have turned the BEST MOMENT AWARD into a double honour.

[Note: MomentMatters.com seems to be defunct.]
🕰 Moment in Perspective‍ 💠
The Best Moments Involve a Loss of Control
First you look for discipline and control. You want to exercise your will, bend the language your way, bend the world your way. You want to control the flow of impulses, images, words, faces, ideas. But there’s a higher place, a secret aspiration. You want to let go. You want to lose yourself in language, become a carrier or messenger. The best moments involve a loss of control. It’s a kind of rapture, and it can happen with words and phrases fairly often — completely surprising combinations that make a higher kind of sense, that come to you out of nowhere. But rarely for extended periods, for paragraphs and pages — I think poets must have more access to this state than novelists do.

 â€” DON DeLILLO

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

One of the best, unforeseen consequence of simplifying our lives is it has allowed us to begin living our lives in the present. Eliminating nonessential possessions has freed us from many of the emotions associated with past lives that were keeping us stuck. And clearing our home has allowed us the freedom to shape our lives today around our most important values.

Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, it robs you of truly living. The only important moment is the present moment. With that goal in mind, consider this list of ten tips below to start living your life in the present:

  1. Remove unneeded possessions.
  2. Smile.
  3. Fully appreciate the moments of today.
  4. Forgive past hurts.
  5. Love your job.
  6. Dream about the future, but work hard today.
  7. Don’t dwell on past accomplishments.
  8. Stop worrying.
  9. Think beyond old solutions to problems.
  10. Conquer addictions.

― Joshua Becker (becomingminimalist.com)

Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what’s past. “We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence,” says Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace. We’re always doing something, and we allow little time to practice stillness and calm.

We need to live more in the moment. Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. When you become mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them. Mindfulness involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.

Living in the moment involves a profound paradox: You can’t pursue it for its benefits. That’s because the expectation of reward launches a future-oriented mindset, which subverts the entire process. Instead, you just have to trust that the rewards will come. There are many paths to mindfulness—and at the core of each is a paradox. Ironically, letting go of what you want is the only way to get it. Here are a few tricks to help you along.

  1. To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).
  2. To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savouring).
  3. If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe).
  4. To make the most of time, lose track of it (flow).
  5. If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).
  6. Know that you don’t know (engagement).

― Jay Dixit (psychologytoday.com)

Being present is the only way to enjoy life to the fullest. These realistic tips turn everyday activities into opportunities to be mindful.

Are you living in the present?

The idea of being mindful—being present, being more conscious of life as it happens—may seem contradictory to those who are used to sacrificing living for pursuing their goals, but cultivating mindfulness will help you achieve your goals and enjoy life more. In fact, you’re more productive when you’re mindful, among other science-backed benefits.

But more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the only way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more. Anything. Even things you might think are drudgery or boring, such as housework, can be amazing if you are truly present. Try it: Wash dishes or sweep or cook, and remain fully present. It takes practice, but it’s incredible.

  1. Do one thing at a time
  2. Act slowly and deliberately
  3. Do less
  4. Put space between things
  5. Spend at least five minutes each day doing nothing
  6. Stop worrying about the future
  7. When you’re talking to someone, pay attention
  8. Eat slowly and savour your food
  9. Live slowly and savour your life
  10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation

― Leo Babauta (rd.com)

Living in the moment is not always easy. Sometimes our thoughts are overwhelmed by regrets about past events or anxiety about the future, which can make it hard to enjoy the present. If you are having a hard time living in the moment, there are some simple strategies that may help. There are little things that you can do throughout your day, such as creating a mindfulness cue, learning to meditate, and performing random acts of kindness. Keep reading to learn more about how to live in the moment.

Method 1: Developing Your Awareness

  1. Start small.
  2. Notice sensory details about routine activities.
  3. Redirect your mind when it wanders.
  4. Choose a mindfulness cue.
  5. Change a routine.
  6. Learn how to meditate

Method 2: Incorporating Mindful Activities

  1. Be grateful for breaks.
  2. Focus on one part of your body.
  3. Smile and laugh more often.
  4. Practice gratitude.
  5. Do kind things for others.

― (wikihow.com)

What does it mean to live fully in the present moment? It means that your awareness is completely centered on the here and now. You are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When you live in the present, you are living where life is happening. The past and future are illusions, they don’t exist. As the saying goes “tomorrow never comes”. Tomorrow is only a concept, tomorrow is always waiting to come around the corner, but around that corner are shadows, never to have light shed upon, because time is always now.

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

Why living in the present will change your life.

If you’re not living in the present, you’re living in illusion. That seems to a be a pretty good reason to live in the present, doesn’t it? But how often are we worrying about things that have yet to come, how often do we beat ourselves up for mistakes that we’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? The answer is too much. Not only will living in the present have a dramatic effect on your emotional well-being, but it can also impact your physical health. It’s long been known that the amount of mental stress you carry can have a detrimental impact on your health. If you’re living in the present, you’re living in acceptance. You’re accepting life as it is now, not as how you wish it would have been. When you’re living in acceptance, you realize everything is complete as it is. You can forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made, and you can have peace in your heart knowing that everything that should happen will.

“If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” -Unknown

  1. Don’t try to quiet your mind
  2. You are not your thoughts
  3. Breathe, you’re alive
  4. Music for meditation
  5. Practice mindfulness

― Dominika and Cedric (paidtoexist.com)

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. — Denis Waitley

We’re always worrying or planning for the next “big” thing, never just living in the moment.… overall, the general state of affairs in peoples’ lives is that of worry, grief, anxiety, and fear. Simply put, we’re not happy, we’re not present, and we don’t live in the here-and-now.

Now, the difference between being present and being happy is miniscule. Truly happy people are able to live in the moment, all the time. They’re able to be present, and simply enjoy the journey of life, and not just worry about the destination.…

  1. Daily Gratitude
  2. Physical Activity
  3. Limit Distractions
  4. Find a Way to Give
  5. Find the Beauty in Something

― Robert L Adams (wanderlustworker.com)

Wonder and curiosity chase the future. Reflection and contemplation encompass the past. The present, however, is often lost on us. Living in the moment could change your life for the better, so why do you lose yourself to your thoughts on what’s next or worry about what’s happening elsewhere? Looking to the future can provide hope, especially through difficult times. Reflecting on the past can also provide healing and closure. Focusing on either one obsessively, however, quickly becomes deteriorating to our mental and emotional health.

Simply put: the mind doesn’t like to be still, it likes to be engaged through this constant absorption of surrounding stimuli. Due to the mind’s nature, it can be a challenge to solely reflect, sit in stillness and just think. If we’re constantly thinking about somewhere we are not, the subconscious mind will focus on this without us even realizing it. In choosing to actively concentrate on the present, we direct both our subconscious and conscious minds back to reality, surrounding people, and present opportunities. However, this often involves an active decision on your part to focus on the present moment.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “What you put into an experience, you get out of an experience”. In order to glean more from daily life, much more effort is required when it comes to actively focusing on the present. According to Psychology Today, “Living in the moment—also called mindfulness – is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present”. In reality, the present is all that exists. For a successful, bright future to be possible, we must live for today, both recognizing the possibilities and seizing the opportunities we have today.

  1. How “savouring the moment” is a fantastic way to begin an active way of thinking
  2. Active Engagement
  3. Practice a “Do Nothing Moment”
  4. Learn to Let Go

― Kelly-Grace Struble (thoughtcatalog.com)

Instead of living for the moment, it is better to live for the past—as you’d prefer to remember that moment, and your life in general. Indeed, time is fleeting. The present moment barely exists. The moment you become conscious of it, it’s over.

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday. Are you living today to give your tomorrow-self something to build off? Will you have momentum tomorrow based on your choices today? Or are you just putting off needed change until some future day?

Living for the past is really living in the present. It’s realizing that—as a forward thinking person—you’re living in the past right now. What you do right now determines the future you hope to create.

  1. Living for the past informs how you live in the present.
  2. How you feel about your past determines your confidence in the present.
  3. Living for the past allows you to design your ideal future.
  4. Living for the past empowers you to make harder and better choices.

― Benjamin Hardy (greatist.com)

Very many of us suffer from a peculiar-sounding problem: an inability to properly inhabit the stretch of time we call ‘the present’.

Maybe we’re on a beautiful beach on a sunny day, the sky is azure and the palm trees slender and implausibly delicate, but most of ‘us’ isn’t actually here at all, it’s somewhere at work or in imaginary discussion with a rival or plotting a new enterprise.…

What is it that makes the present, especially the nicer moments of the present, so difficult to experience properly? And why, conversely, can so many events feel easier to enjoy, appreciate and perceive, when they are firmly over?

― The Book of Life (thebookoflife.org)

A moment without thought
And the background noise ceases
And I can suddenly hear
The silence between sounds
The silence beneath sound
From which all sounds emerge
Like waves from the sea.

A moment without thought
And the fog disperses
And the world is filled with translucent light
New dimensions of detail
And sharpness and colour and depth.

A moment without thought
And these suburban streets
Are a pristine new world
Like a garden glistening with dew
The morning after creation
As if a husk of familiarity
Has cracked and fallen away
Leaving naked primal isness.

A moment without thought
And I’m no longer standing separate
No longer an island but part of the sea
No longer a static centre
But part of the flowing stream.

A moment without thought
And the train has stopped between stations
And there was never any motion, never any track
A moment like a wormhole
Infinitely expanding
Like stepping through a narrow gate
To find an endless open plain
The panorama of the present.

And this new world of no-thought
Is neither alien nor unfamiliar
But a place where benevolence blows through the air
And soft shimmering energy fills every space
And the sunlight is the translucent white light of spirit
The deepest, closest, warmest place
The ground where I am rooted.

― Steve Taylor (stevenmtaylor.com)

You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!

In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. We may call it presence, awareness, the unconditioned consciousness.

Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don’t think about it – don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of “the one who observes,” the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence.

Through self-observation, more presence comes into your life automatically. The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.

Presence is the key to freedom, so you can only be free now.

― Eckhart Tolle (eckharttolle.com)

The following is a series of quotations extracted from the long conversation between Oprah and Eckhart Tolle:

…trading our autopilot existence for intentional awareness; recognizing how we create our own suffering through obsessing over our past history; and learning how to be present, for ourselves and for the people around us, in a compassionate, nonjudgmental way.

…In my case, and in many people’s cases, the voice in the head is a predominantly unhappy one, so there’s an enormous amount of negativity that is continuously generated by this unconscious internal dialogue.…

…I was talking to a Buddhist monk who said that Zen is very simple: You don’t rely on thought anymore; you go beyond thinking. Then I realized that was what happened to me. All that unhappy, repetitive thinking wasn’t there anymore.

The sense of self that is derived from our thinking—which includes all one’s memories, one’s conditioning, and one’s sense of self—is a conceptual one that is derived from the past. It’s essential for people to recognize that this voice is going on inside them incessantly, and it’s always a breakthrough when people realize, “Here are all my habitual, repetitive, negative thoughts, and here I am, knowing that these thoughts are going through my head.”

I see it as not believing in this or that, but as stepping out of identification with a stream of thinking. You suddenly find there’s another dimension deeper than thought inside you.

I call it stillness. It’s an aware presence, nothing to do with past or future. We can also call it “waking up.” That’s why many spiritual traditions use the term awakening. You wake up out of this dream of thinking. You become present.

…who you are cannot be defined through thinking or mental labels or definitions, because it’s beyond that. It is the very sense of being, or presence, that is there when you become conscious of the present moment. In essence, you and what we call the present moment are, at the deepest level, one. You are the consciousness out of which everything comes; every thought comes out of that consciousness, and every thought disappears back into it. You are a conscious, aware space, and all your sense perceptions, thinking, and emotions come and go in that aware space.

…When you step out of identification with that and realize for the first time that you’re actually the presence behind thinking, then you’re able to use thought when it’s helpful and necessary. But you are no longer possessed by the thinking mind, which then becomes a helpful, useful servant.…

…I recommend that people bring a conscious presence to the everyday activities that they do unconsciously. When you wash your hands, when you make a cup of coffee, when you’re waiting for the elevator—instead of indulging in thinking, these are all opportunities for being there as a still, alert presence.

That’s a continuous refocusing on what really matters—what matters most in anybody’s life, which is the present moment. People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.

Start by entering the present moment so that you find that space in which problems cannot survive. In that moment, you contact a deeper intelligence than the conditioned thinking mind. That is the place where intuition, creative action, knowledge, and wisdom come from.…

See how you relate to this moment. When you do that, what you’re really asking is, What is my relationship with life? The present moment is your life. It’s nowhere else—never, ever. So, no matter what the situation is when you align yourself with the present moment, find something to be grateful for. Gratitude is an essential part of being present. When you go deeply into the present, gratitude arises spontaneously, even if it’s just gratitude for breathing, gratitude for the aliveness that you feel in your body. Gratitude is there when you acknowledge the aliveness of the present moment; that’s the foundation for successful living. Once you’ve made the present moment into your friend through openness and acceptance, your actions will be inspired, intelligent, and empowered, because the power of life itself will be flowing through you.

…In fact, you are more passionately alive when you’re internally aligned with the present moment. You let go of this inner resistance, which on an emotional level is negativity and on a mental level is judgment and complaining. People have an enormous amount of complaining going on in their minds.…

…by planning for the future, you won’t need to lose yourself in the future. The question is, are you using time on a practical level, or are you losing yourself in the future? If you think that when you take a vacation, or find the ideal partner, or get a better job or a nicer place to live or whatever it is, that then you will finally be happy, that’s when you lose yourself in the future. It’s a continuous mental projection away from the now. That’s the difference between clock time, which has its place in this world, and psychological time, which is the continuous obsession with the past and the future. There needs to be a balance between dealing with things in this world, which involves time and thinking, and not being trapped here. There is a deeper dimension in you that is outside that stream of time and thinking, and that’s the inner stillness, peace, a deep, vibrant sense of aliveness.…

…By living through mental definitions of who you are, you desensitize yourself to the deeper aliveness of who you truly are beyond your thoughts. What arises then is a conceptual identity: I’m this or that. Once you’re trapped in your own conceptual identity, which is based on thinking and image-making by the mind, then you do the same to others. This is the beginning of pronouncing judgments on another person, and then you believe that judgment to be the truth. It’s the beginning of desensitizing yourself to who that human being truly is.

…The ego has been here for thousands of years, and that means it has its place in the evolution of humanity. But our ability to think more and more, so that gradually we became so identified with thinking, was how we lost a deeper connectedness with life—with paradise. I believe we are now at an evolutionary transition where far more human beings than ever before are able to go beyond ego into a new state of consciousness.

This is the point where the evolution of consciousness, the awakening of humanity, is no longer a luxury. The effects of the dysfunctional ego are now being amplified by technology. What we are doing to ourselves, to our fellow human beings, and to the planet is becoming more and more destructive and devastating.

The ego cannot survive in stillness, so invite stillness into your life. That doesn’t mean that stillness is something you get from outside; it’s realizing that underneath the stream of thinking, everybody already has the stillness.

…Look very deeply into yourself and see your sense of “I-ness”—your sense of self. This “I” is bound up with the stillness. You’re never more essentially yourself than when you are still. You can invite stillness into your life by taking a few conscious breaths many times during the day. Just observe your breath flowing in and out. Another way is to feel the aliveness of your body from within. Ask, is there life in my hands? And then you feel it. It’s subtle, but it’s there. Is there life in my feet, my legs, my arms? You can feel that your entire inner body is pervaded by a sense of aliveness, and that can serve as an anchor for stillness. It doesn’t mean you turn completely away from the external world. It brings balance into your life between being still and being able to deal with things out here.

When you watch a tree, just be there as the aware presence perceives the tree. Nature is very helpful for people who want to connect with the stillness. Man-made things generate more thinking because they are made through thinking. Go to nature. Eventually you can sustain the state of stillness even in the midst of a city.…

…spirituality has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness.

It’s the stillness that’s the spiritual dimension.

― Oprah and Eckhart Tolle (eckharttolle.com)

Eckhart Tolle’s teachings are life changing. Once you truly grasp that everything is NOW, and you live fully, consciously in this very moment, life suddenly becomes easier, better and more fulfilling. You no longer need to stress about the future, or live in the past, you just do you[r] best, and live fully, right now in this moment.

― TeamSoul (iamfearlesssoul.com)

Advertisements

❄ ❅ ❆ Leave some Thoughts💭 or Comments💬

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: